Donald Trump comments on NFL officiating

Because of course he did.

Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post tweeted that Trump has stated that NFL referees are throwing too many flags this postseason, and that they are doing so “to impress their wives.”
Donald Trump and Steve Ross
First of all, Trump is guilty of having pretty much no knowledge of officiating or evidence to back up this argument or many of his others.  I honestly believe (and have always believed) that officials are at the butt end of a greater problem of anti-expert (and even anti-education) culture.  When someone with real knowledge comes in (say, about global warming), there’s a strong subset of people in our culture who say that they don’t care how long this group of people have studied something, that they still can’t be convinced–and that their own opinion is just as valid.

I felt this way after Super Bowl XL (has it really been a decade)? And I called for the hiring of an expert official on the staff of the networks before it actually happened (you’re welcome, Mr. Pereira).  I honestly believe Pereira and his followers have been good for sports culture and might make a dent in anti-expert culture:  when there’s a weird call somewhere, instead of idiot sportscasters popping off with no knowledge, their first response is now to ask an expert.

This isn’t a political blog, but I think it’s safe to say that what annoys people of all parties about Donald Trump is the way he is willing to come crashing in with bombastic opinions about topics about which he has very little knowledge.  It’s not a surprise that sports officials eventually got to feel the wrath of that, since they are among the most common victims of that ugly part of our culture.

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The Onion on refs

This pretty much sums up sports fans when they discuss officiating.

It’s NSFW, by the way…and damn hilarious.

NPR story about NBA ref’s dad.

And it’s very sweet.

For the guy like me…

who is both a referee and a debate coach:

Philosophy referee signals.

While we’re in a lull…

with no news from the last couple of NCAA games, nothing huge in baseball yet, and me, the new dad, without any time to write about the SI article from the fall about home-team ref bias, I present you this.

Please note it’s not safe for work (bad words, gore).

I include it because Rob Riggle plays the linesman and acts out a ref’s fantasy.  Well, until the angry fan fights back, anyway.

 

Muppet refs

Speaking of family matters, I was watching a few videos with the boy on the computer today.  He asked to see some videos about the letter O.  Since I know his love of sports, I settled on this video–probably from the latter half of the 1990s.  I noticed that Telly Monster was dressed as a referee.  Why he’s wearing a hat to officiate hoops is beyond me.  And I certainly hope somebody coaches Big Bird to work on his defense, which is abysmal.

But I digress.  Upon seeing Telly dressed as an official, my wife said this:

“Did they have to choose the most neurotic Muppet to be the ref?”

Hadn’t thought of it that way, I must admit.  But what Muppet would be the best basketball official?

Kermit has a strong sense of fairness, but tends to lose control when things go awry.  Ernie is too mischievous.  Bert would absolutely go bonkers–doesn’t have the emotional wherewithal to handle stress.  Elmo is such an idiot that he’s a four-letter word in our house.  Big Bird lacks physical coordination.  Piggy would go violent.  Fozzy would call attention to himself (we’ve all worked with a Fozzy, and it isn’t fun).  I’d have to vote against Animal.

So who?

I’ve got it down to Scooter and Prairie Dawn.  Scooter stays calm under pressure, is likeable, and I think would be trusted.  But Prairie Dawn, while a bit of a neruotic control  freak, does have an interest in fairness and won’t take any crap.

Am I missing anyone?  What do y’all think?

What really goes on under the replay hood

You can count on The Onion to have it covered.  Pretty funny.