Refs Who Had No Idea What Was Going on

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Refs Who Had No Idea What Was Going on
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The enforcer of rules—the penalizer—makes enemies with every decision. And the beneficiary on the other side is only a friend until the next call goes against him. The referee gives, takes, and like any human being, makes mistakes (some more than others).

For the referee, the label 'thankless job' is neither cynical or insincere; it's a harsh, but practical designation. It is, quite simply, the truth. 

The combination of punitive power and human error is nearly fatal to any referee's credibility before a single whistle is even blown. Toss in a few infamous cases of officials involved in gambling related shenanigans and you can guarantee all the mistakes a given ref didn't make will be of little value.

Often only part-time employees, the zebras assume the role in the best manner possible—with a stoic, business-like approach. 

Even if a referee intervenes and influences the game action with a flawless delivery, astute application of the rules, and/or a keen eye, he is going to hear boos (or garbage) rain down from the crowd, and get an incredulous response from those affected.

So, when an official does his job, but fails spectacularly in doing it, he's simultaneously giving life to all the suspicions harbored by fans, players and coaches, while also providing a cathartic, hilarious moment. Well, hilarious unless it's an egregiously bad call.

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