C’mon Ref!

Sports are great. Well, that statement depends on your perspective. Some people hate sports; some people hate the idea of trying to catch a ball or dribbling past a defender. I, myself, fall into the category of those who love sports. There are few things in life that make me more happy than a tight game on the line. When the coach calls my number, and when the score is oh so close, I feel like a little kid on a thrill ride for the first time. My hearts starts beating and adrenaline rushes into my body. I feel scared but ecstatic to be in the game – that situation tops my list for being one of the most fun events ever. And then there are those people who just feel apathetic towards sports. They don’t mind getting up to bat, or shooting a basketball, but dedicating hours and hours to mastering sports skills holds no appeal to them. I think we could all agree that there are a wide array of feelings towards sports. I described three feelings so that you could hopefully think about things in a slightly different manner, because now I propose that, from a player’s perspective, we need to stop complaining about referees.

Over the course of my life, I’ve listened to people hate on refs for hours. But let’s be honest, we can’t change the refs and their calls. We can say, “Yeah, we would’ve won that game if the refs had been better.” We may be right saying that we would’ve won the game if the refs were perfect, but we still have to chalk up that game as a loses. With not very much experience to back me up, I believe players should stop complaining about referees because it acts as cop-out, players have no control over the ref, and a third mysterious reason.

In my humble opinion, complaining about referees is often a cop-out for not looking at what could have been done better. When reviewing a game without a coach present, it seems as though there is a lot more time spent looking at all the bad calls of the officials versus the ways in which a player could have improved. Some calls are not going to go your way; instead of focusing on how the refs could’ve been better, it would be far more beneficial to the player to look at what he/she did and didn’t do. Why is there so much time spent on complaining about refs but not looking at the flaws in our own individual game? Saying the refs were bad can be an excuse for not working to improve – not always, but this can sometimes happen. Not everybody is like this but I think the focus of what went wrong in the game should not be on the calls of the officials.

There’s this pretty fun video game out there called League of Legends. I’m pretty bad at the game, but one thing I’ve learned from it is to not complain about things I don’t have any control over. In League of Legends a player plays with a new team almost every game. He has very little control over who his teammates. There are times when a player’s teammates in LoL just suck. They can cost you the game, but like the above point complaining about your teammates won’t help you improve. People don’t have control over who their teammates are in LoL or what type of calls the refs make; however, we shouldn’t complain about what we don’t have any control over. It, again, shifts the focus from self-improvement.

Finally, the third reason. I didn’t know how to describe it because it is a bit twisted. I don’t think players should complain about bad referees because it adds an extra challenge to the game. It forces a player to be absolutely perfect in every aspect to win. It forces a player to make sure that all their actions are legal and look legal. Probably very few people will agree with this point, and that’s totally fine, but bad reefing makes the W all the more sweet.

There is one case I left out which refs purposely making calls against your team. I think it is okay to complain about this, but I think this happens far less often then we like to think. For most of us, the refs are just trying to call a fair game and we should support them, not torture them, for that.


4 thoughts on “C’mon Ref!

  1. Nicely written, princebradley. You very clearly presented your opinion of the issue, and you provided multiple supporting examples. Your points, including the third, in my opinion, were well presented and explained, and were logically strong. The only recommendation that I have for you? Read through your post out loud before you publish it. That will help fix any sentences that don’t sound right. Besides those few syntax corrections, very well done.


  2. Hey Drew.
    Nice post. You present a lot of ideas, and support your main idea about not complaining about refs. You make this topic interesting to read – as reading about refs might not have been my first choice.
    One suggestion: the post feels a bit all over. You have your main idea, and you support it eventually, but I’m a little confused along the way. Does that make sense?
    Overall well done.


  3. Drew. First this is very well written post. You had an interesting idea. However more specificity would have been beneficial. I was not quite sure, why League of Legends was brought up, it almost weakens the argument.

    However I would argue that for sports such as basketball, the calls the refs make really do influence the game. For instance say you two seconds left in the 4th quarter. The other teams drives, you take charge, and they call a foul on you. Say, there actually was an offensive foul, but the ref called it the wrong way. This one such example where a bad call would make a difference. I would argue that, we, as players should respect the refs, and not argue on the court. However it is perfectly okay to complain in privacy.


  4. So, I think this is one of the most vivid pieces of your writing that I’ve read. I love the descriptions in the first paragraph (“when the coach calls my number, and when the score is oh so close, I feel like a little kid on a thrill ride for the first time”), and I think your passion (and thus your voice) really comes through in the post as a whole. I would encourage you to work on incorporating the same sense of voice that comes through here into all of your writing. Try to find the angle on a subject that makes you passionate — that connects, on any level, with who you are — and share that with us. Writing is about communication, and communication is most interesting/rewarding/enjoyable when there’s a sense of personality — of human beings interacting (not just information being exchanged). Nicely done.


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