Dear Refs, Please Stop Ruining The Game

Jay MitchellContributor IMay 31, 2009

DALLAS - OCTOBER 19:  Referee Joey Crawford #17 looks on during a preseason game between the Detroit Pistons and the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center October 19, 2007 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: 2007 NBAE  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Let’s start out with a question:

What is the most inconsistent part of the NBA?

A) Shaquille O'Neal’s Free Throw Shooting

B) Ben Wallace’s Jump Shooting

C) Officiating

While options A and B are both very tempting, it is becoming more and more apparent to me that the answer is clearly C—The officiating. 

In some games, simply looking at a player wrong will earn you a technical foul.  During others, the refs take more of a “no blood, no foul” approach. 

Actually, forget the discrepancies from game to game, how about quarter to quarter, or maybe even possession to possession. 

One thing is for sure; you never can be sure what you are going to get with the refs in the NBA today. 

Who wants to sit and watch a game that turns into a free-throw contest because the refs woke up on the wrong side of the bed and want to call every ticky-tack foul they see?  There is a reason why there isn’t a free-throw contest during the All-Star Weekend; B-O-R-I-N-G!

Seriously, does anybody enjoy watching a game where the teams shoot 75 free-throws?  It completely kills the momentum of the game and slows everything down.

I would much rather see a game where the refs let the majority of the physical play go and only make the calls when things start getting out of hand.  When there are 100 fouls called during a game, it seems to kill the competitive spirit. 

Let’s push for the NBA to live by this motto: “If you don’t get frustrated and mad, you don’t care about the result.”

Let players duke it out a little bit, hockey style.  Let the players show their emotion without giving them a technical foul.  Let players celebrate when they make a good play.  Why do you need to call a technical foul when a player shows some excitement after posterizing the defender? 

Last time I checked this isn’t little league basketball where everybody has to be a winner or somebody’s feelings will get hurt.  If people that are old enough to play in the NBA can’t take a little bit of taunting after they get dunked on, they don’t deserve to be making millions of dollars while the rest of us work our tails off just to make ends meet. 

Now, I am not suggesting that the ref’s ignore all fouls and let players tackle each other or anything like that.  All I am asking is that they let players show some emotion. Let there be some physical play without blowing your whistle if your jersey makes contact with your opponent. 

Players are capable of getting physical without killing each other.  If this wasn’t the case, we would hear of some street-ball related murder on the news every day. 

Maybe part of the problem is that we have 70-year-old refs trying to run and keep up with players that are young enough to be their grandchildren, leading to officials constantly being out of position.  I am not sure what exactly causes all the discrepancies in officiating, but I do know that it is rampant in the NBA.

Dear refs, please stop ruining the game.  Let the players play and be the ones that decide the outcome, not you.  I'm sick of the NBA, where crappy officiating happens.