There is one person for whom us sports fans rarely give credit to for their contributions to the game, the referee. What are sports without officiating? Chaotic jungle ball full of un-safe violence and that occasional douche who calls a foul every time his shot is blocked and/or stolen. Athletic competition needs officiating to organize the game and make it a fair playing field. A completely thankless profession that is usually only noticed through the object of spite and hate. When all other excuses for a loss are gone, you can always blame the referee.
Now I’m not a man who likes to blame the ref, after all I’ve been in their shoes, and it’s not easy. When I was 13 I became a Little League umpire, I thought it was pretty cool… right up until the coach of a squad of 8-year olds came storming out of the dugout at me enraged by my previous call, I felt like the helpless zebra that gets chased down by a vicious lion on the Discovery Channel. I was traumatized by the incident and never went back into officiating again.
So I respect the official, he has a lot to know and little room for error. But there is one man who I have casually noticed as a fan of the NBA, that is without a doubt the embodiment of everything that is wrong with professional officiating, and that man is Joey Crawford.
To really understand this man’s thinking, you have to first think about what kind of mindset a person would need to actually get into this business in the first place. Here we have a short man, with clearly a lot of anger inside him, with little to no physical ability, and who probably began balding at an early age. A lifetime of torment and being picked last in pick-up games is very likely the past that has created the monster that is Joey Crawford. So he decided “Hey if they won’t let me make an impact on the court with the ball in my hand, I’ll just make an impact by taking it out on everybody who can!” And thus, the career of another NBA ref took off.
Joey Crawford is your typical ugly little bitter man who gets his rocks off by pissing off anybody who crosses his path. If he was your neighbor he most likely would have his Rottweiler take a shit on your lawn, have your car towed if it were parked even an inch in front of his drive-way and call the cops every time you turned on your stereo to file a noise complaint.
But Joey can sell his own asshole tendencies far better than I ever could through written text, so I’ll just let him show you for himself.
Here is Joey calling two technical fouls against The Spurs’ star player, Tim Duncan… while he was on the BENCH. Yes, in a tight game in the third quarter, Joey Crawford ejected the best player in the game while he wasn’t even playing because he thought he may have been laughing at him.
This right here is Crawford in a nut shell. His own ego and insanely high insecurity has forced him to single-handedly ruin what was a very competitive basketball game. Rather than watching the action unfold on the floor, Crawford is completely transfixed on Duncan and worried that his jocking and laughing on the bench with fellow teammates is solely aimed at him. In the midst of Joey’s blow up, Duncan stated that he repeatedly challenged him, saying “Do you want to fight?” If this example doesn’t embody the kid who was constantly teased in high school taking his insecure frustrations out on the world, then I don’t know what does.
Not convinced yet? I have more. Here we have Joey T-ing up Celtic center Kendrick Perkins after calling a bad foul on him and then taking exception to Perkins holding his arms up in the air. A symbolic gesture that clearly was meant to point out Joey’s extraordinarily small penis size.
As long as we’re in the over-reacting to a foul category, here we can see (in poorly video taped tube-vision I may add) Joey throwing Kenyon Martin out of a game for a questionable foul. Earlier in the game Martin had been jawing a bit with Joey, so this was Joey’s way of saying “Yeah that’s right! I win because I have a WHISTLE!”
So he likes to throw players out of the game the moment his frail ego is challenged in the least, completely infuriating if you are a fan watching a game for, God forbid, any reason OTHER than the referees. But that’s not the only way Joey can f*ck up a game: Here in Exhibit D, we see Joey’s anxiety actually causes him to physically disrupt the game, and then promptly adds insult to injury by blowing the call.
Yes, you did just see that: The referee ran over a player, most likely due to being overly hopped up on amphetamines, and then called a foul on the nearest defender. God forbid he make a call and admit his own wrong-doing, “you know what, my bad, I totally just trained over the dude with the ball, allow me to at least atone for it by making the right call.” Nope, Joey can only point a finger at the nearest scapegoat and say “Fuck you, you did that!” Does being a pivotal moment in a 3-point game with under 20 seconds make a difference to Joey? Clearly not. Don’t try to question his ethics, that will only get you a good old fashioned playground fight challenge.
Still not convinced? *sigh* What are you a family member of Joey or something? Then you should already be aware of his asshole tendencies dagnabbit! Okay, last but not least, here is the most recent example: In this post season game between The Suns and The Trail Blazers last week, we have what must have been an inadvertent whistle turn into a fabricated foul that Joey not only saw in his own head, but botched the realm of what is even physically possible.
Although Joey clearly missed what actually just took place two feet in front of him, he decides to fabricate what just happened, because, as we’ve established, HE HAS A WHISTLE. Don’t bother asking your fellow officials what might have actually just taken place, Joey will tell you which player the foul was on, most likely the last player to look at him funny, and which player was fouled, probably the last player to tell him how well he was looking in his grey ref shirt. Whether or not the two players ever made any contact in the actual play’s sequence need not apply.
What offends me most about Joey is that he seems like the kind of guy that would rather strike up a bloody civil war than admit he was wrong. He blows his trusty whistle, yells out something absurd and than refuses to re-visit it no matter how non-sensical the call may have been. It’s like that cop who just T-boned your car, but rather than apologize and offer a solution to fix the problem, tells you why you were in the wrong and then writes you up for it, and any objection will find you in jail, because he is THE LAW (the real world equivalence to Joey’s whistle).
Despite these obscenely clear examples that Joey Crawford does to officiating what Ozzie Osbourne does to the English language, NBA commissioner David Stern maintains the salty vet as one of the top officials in the league. He may have a good grasp on the rules of the game, but there are literally thousands of men who are willing to take the time to learn the NBA rule book front and back just so they could tell men far bigger and more talented than them what they did wrong, pick any of them! In a league that has a recent black eye from a betting scandal involving one of it’s officials, does it really need to keep an ass hat like this, who clearly puts more value in his own stocky rep than he does the game he’s officiating? Do the right thing David, tell Joey to piss off! I’m sure he could find a home in the LA County Sheriff’s department, I heard they are in need of even more insufficiently built, egotistical assholes who need to tell others what they can’t do in order to increase their own self worth. Sounds like a perfect fit to me.