It should go without saying that no one likes piss poor officiating, especially when Your Favourite Team is on the receiving end of it. But it happens, and not just when scrub refs are called in. It happens all the damn time, so you’d think by now we’d stop blaming refs for a teams loss and instead see our teams for what they really are: probably not even good enough to win with helpful officiating. Unfortunately, that involves a semblance of sensibility and it’s difficult to have when You Favourite Team sucks.
Refs aren’t always going to be on the same page and sometimes players like Mikhail Grabovski will “handle” the puck and get called on a new faceoff rule that results in a Delay of Game penalty. And it’s all going to be a momentary piss off, but you should probably just get over it because bad officiating and dumb, new rules aren’t going away. And the ghosts of bad officiating’s past aren’t going to correct mistakes.
Why I don’t let refs get to me anymore:
This the 2002 Team Canada women’s hockey team after winning gold in Salt Lake City. They played the American team on American soil and an American ref handed them 13 penalties (mostly bullshit) throughout the game. They could have easily given in to their anger or felt defeated through the match, but they powered through each call and nabbed their first gold despite the Americans best efforts to get a win by any means necessary. This isn’t about Canada vs. USA hockey, this is about sketchy officiating and it can happen by any ref in any country in any tournament. This was a blatant case of a ref trying to help out their country who was down. But it didn’t work.
That game changed the way I felt about bad officiating. It made me realize that a bad or decent team will probably get defeated by bad calls, but a great team will find a way to win. I still consider this game in the top 3 of the best hockey games I’ve seen. I can remember asking friends if they had seen it and when everyone responded with “nah” I felt like they missed out. It was an amazing triumph and remains a good reminder to STOP CRYING ABOUT SHITTY REFS. I suggest you find this game and have a watch to gain some perspective when your team gets one or two penalties you find shifty.
I’m not saying we should just sit back and accept terrible reffing, but there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it. You want to write the league a letter about a particular ref, go right ahead. Will it do anything? Probably not. Instead, aknowledge why you’re really mad: your team isn’t very good.
For the record, there was a great post on the Battle of California that highlighted calls during a Ducks game from the other day that inspired this post. Check them out, and the rest of SB Nation if you don’t already.