Players, coaches and executives have to keep their lips sealed when talking about referees, or pay a fine. But the media has free speech on the matter, yet mostly ignores things unless they are extremely controversial. Why, journalists, do you choose not to shed more light on something that frustrates fans so, so much?!?!A referee’s job is to enforce rules, and create a fair playing environment. But if judges in the real world acted like referee’s do on the ice, then we would have complete lack of faith in he legal system. The atrocious ways that referee’s call penalties is just extremely frustrating to watch. And yet, unless it’s a bad call that effects a very important game, it gets ignored.
How many times do we see a missed call, and in the post-game recap some reporter says that refs are human and the players need to fight through that. Are you insane? Why does the ref get off the hook that easily? Why does he not get chastised in the media for sucking at his job? We know it’s hard, and a few minor things might fly under the radar. But I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about blatant cross checks, trips and hooks that just slide by. When a ref is calls a ton of penalties, and most of them are nonsense, they still get a free pass. They slow down the game, ruin the entertainment value, then hop on a plane and go to the next city. And the only criticism we hear is in the comment section of an online article.
What about star players getting star treatment, and this being widely accepted. So and so is a good player, so the refs will give him the benefit of the doubt. Why?!?!?! How is that fair to anybody? Whether it’s Joe Thornton getting slightly hooked or Matt Bradley it should not matter. If a player has the puck, it shouldn’t matter what name is on the back of his jersey when determining whether or not to call a penalty. The borderline calls that star players get are ridiculous. They already stand out because of their superior talent, and now they become that much harder to defend. Yet, we I don’t see any newspapers questioning the NHL (or any other league) on why they allow this to happen.
Referee’s acknowledge and accept that they make calls based on a players reputation. That’s completely retarded. Yes, guys known for being rough should be watched a bit more. But they shouldn’t get called for something on reputation alone. When a star player gives someone a face wash, it’s let go. A grinder looks at someone the wrong way, and they’re headed to the sin bin. And when a grit player gets roughed up a bit, it’s let go. What. The. Hell. There is a rulebook, with pictures and explanations of what a penalty is. There is nothing in there about about having a shorter leash for some, and more leeway for others. Call a fair freaking game.
And finally, I hate make up calls an retaliation calls. If a ref makes a mistake, then he does not owe that team anything but an apology. Don’t make things worse by calling another bogus penalty. Yet when there’s a bad call, the announcers immediately predict that a call going the other way should be coming. When a guy is getting roughed up, a zebra looks at it and lets play go. When he fights back, the arm goes up and he goes to the box. And all we hear about is how the refs are looking for that, and that you have to be disciplined. Self protection is penalized, but starting the confrontation is not.
My point isn’t about the horrible officiating. I want the professional members of the media to put more pressure on the league to fix this. We, the fans, can bitch and moan all we want, and nothing will change. Refs will continue to frustrate us, and more importantly, our favorite teams, without being held accountable in public. Sure they might get some heat behind closed doors. But that is not enough. They’re like a fraternity, who protects one another. I want more coverage of their stupidity, biasness, and absurd logic so that they have no choice but to change the way they call things. I want games to be more fair, and the only way to initiate more change is to embarrass these stupid zebra’s into making fair calls.
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