Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What kind of call is that?

What kind of call was that?

NBA vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson: "We're going to expand the universe of unsportsmanlike actions that will be penalized. They will include air-punching at an official. Waving him off as a sign of disrespect. Running up to an official from across the court to voice a complaint. Flailing arms in disbelief. Jumping up and down and pirouetting in disbelief or clapping sarcastically at an official. Those are some of the types of actions that really have no place in our game. NBA players complain too much and do so much more than players in other leagues. We have a great game with great players and we have a great product. Let's focus on executing offense and defense and being highly competitive, because complaining doesn't have a part in our game and has never changed a non-call to a call, or a call to a non-call. So focus on playing the game."

First of all, this has David Stern’s fingerprints all over it. The Commish has done a fantastic job but sometimes in an effort to turn the NBA into a Walt Disney film, it comes across as being too prefabricated. I find nothing wrong with etiquette and decorum since there is too much complaining but a rule like this... well, it is a little too much.

When I read this new rule change, I thought it is a bone-headed rule that is open to too much interpretation that will make it all the more confusing. This will give those referees with an ego an opportunity to make themselves an even bigger part of the game. The refs should be invisible. If people remember their names it’s not because they did a good job but because they fuck up calls, games, and people. Even gamblers. Let’s not forget them. You have not even solved the eternal problem of bad officiating and now, you give them another stipulation that makes them more God-like.

How do you interpret this? If you play basketball (or any sport for the matter), you will know that there are really bone-headed and suspicious calls in the game. How do you want to people to react? In the heat of a playoff match, in a crucial play in the dying seconds of an all-important match and there’s a blown call and you want them not to react? Let’s just walk away and play the game? Yes, ideally that’s the way. But that does not happen. This is just unrealistic.

You fine players and coaches (and Mark Cuban) for complaining and taking shots publicly. How about you? Who watches the watchmen?

Ever see referees jump up and down and being emphatic in their calls? How can that not add to the frenzied atmosphere? More so when he blows a call and it drives an opposing team nuts. How about putting those refs on a leash. Ah, but you censure them and suspend them without the fans knowing. So much for public image. In a time when conspiracy theories abound about who wins and who makes the playoffs, this does not help.

Imagine if this is implemented locally where the referees are even more stupid, corrupt, on the take, in cahoots with gamblers and unscrupulous team owners who are fooling the public.

 I'm the real NBA star here! So shut your trap before I slap you with a T!

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