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Archive for the ‘Officiating (current)’ Category

Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time (either the hockey only entries on Blogger, started on 04/07/06), or my livejournal which has all my entries, started way back on 01/09/05) know perfectly well my feelings about fan criticism of officiating in recent years. For the informed? My feelings concerning fan criticism of officiating is that it has gone overboard and in many cases it is unobtainable for the officials to meet the fans expectations of them. Enough of that, what made me smile was the “In the Bleachers” today:

I can already see people laughing at that and thinking it’s funny because “the refs do such a horrible job”. For me, it goes right along with these other gems:

from Drew Litton:

From USA Hockey’s “Relax It’s Just a Game” campaign:

here , here, and here.

Yes, the previous cartoons are about parents of hockey players but they are about everyone. All of the swearing at the ref and other such things has gotten past the point of ridiculous in recent years. Complaining about how “there aren’t good officials”? You could be part of the problem. What with officials getting assaulted, swore, at, and other such things, I am sure there are plenty of people out there who are saying they won’t get into officiating because taking that sort of a risk just isn’t worth it. This isn’t all about fan trouble, but also player trouble. People are taking a game too seriously. This isn’t a problem you say? If so, there couldn’t be any need to have procedures for when an official gets assaulted. There is zero sense to get so obset because the officals aren’t seeing everything that happens out there or they’re not meeting the standards you would have them meet.

Let the officials do their jobs, let the leagues handle it if they aren’t doing their jobs, let the players play, and let the coaches coach. Enjoy the games, feel free to get excited when your team wins (or sad if your team doesn’t), but remember everyone “it’s only a game“.

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When talking to someone who loves a particular sport, they may say the phrase “I’m a fan of the game”. So what they are saying is that they love the sport its-self, even though they may have a favorite team. How do you define that? What would you say defines someone who has “the love of the game”? A few criteria I can think of:

1) The person is willing to watch any game, any time, for any league.
— I’m thinking this probably is the biggest criteria. I’m not talking about you not watching a game because you need sleep because you have to work the next day, I’m talking about watching a late game when you have no other worries to attend to. You’re a NHL fan, only follow NHL games when your team is involved and have no interest in college, junior, or prep hockey? You’re probably not a fan of the game. A college student who goes to only games that your school plays in and is only interested in those games? You’re dismissed off the list. You’re a high school student who goes to the games because “it’s the cool thing to do” and other things like that, yep you’re gone too.

2) Sports memorabilia
— This has changed quite a bit in the last 10 years or so thanks to the internet. It used to be if you saw someone in a jersey that they (probably) were more likely a fan of the game. Now that’s not really a way of judging. It’s very likely, however, that they do have the love of the game if they own multiple jerseys from multiple teams. It’s extremely likely if their jerseys span different leagues and also include ones from teams other than that person is a fan of.

3) Tickets
— Having season tickets isn’t a gage on whether you have the love of the game. At some colleges the students camp out for long times, so they can get what they want for their student tickets. They might just have the love of the game. It also might not be the love of the game, but the love of a particular team.

4) Road Trips
— This one is probably a good indicator as well. Willing to catch a game away from your favorite teams’ stadium? You’re probably likely. Did you plan a road trip just to see the game or are you seeing a game at a stadium other than you’re own that doesn’t include your own or are you watching a game from a different league? You’re very likely.

5) State of Mind
— There’s a book about Minnesota high school hockey (“Blades of Glory” by John Rosengren) which has a quote

“The average teenage boy thinks about sex once every seven seconds; in Minnesota, he thinks about hockey the other six.”

Got it that much on your mind, you’re likely (or you have nothing better to do). Spend ridiculous amounts of time browsing through sites , planning for events, and/or dreaming about a sport. Yep, I think you’ve got it.

6) Participation
— Are you actively involved in the sport? You’re likely. Doing it as a (unpaid) volunteer? Even more likely. Running a website using your own money, spending tons of time keeping it up, without thinking of things such as profit. Yep, you’re very likely.

None of these criteria can tell if someone has “the love of the game” or it they don’t, but they could be good indicators. Any other ideas? In my case I would say I have the love of the game for hockey and possibly football (soccer to NA people), but my interests in other sports, like NCAA basketball, I do not have it.

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