A while back, a pair of articles on the Top 11 Sports Fans We Love To Hate (Part I, and Part II) were well received on these very pages. In fact, to date, they’ve been the two most popular articles ever published on this site.
After discovering so many sports fans we could all live without, I never thought I’d find a new breed of fanatic that pissed me off even more than the first twenty-two. Until today. The number one sports fan that I now love to hate is The Guy Who Complains About The Guys Who Complain About The Refs. Specific, I know.
We can all agree that complaining about officiating in sports is one of America’s pastimes. Like it or not, it is. But to a degree, harping on the men in stripes can wear thin. If things are going bad, the refs might occasionally make them worse, but they should never be the sole source of blame for a losing effort by your team.
That said, it’s human nature to critique a bad performance of any kind. If you go see a movie that sucks, you’re going to tell people that the movie sucked. If you get bad service at a restaurant, you’re going to tell people that you got bad service. If the officials in a game you happen to be watching make a handful of bad calls, you’re going to tell people that the officials made some bad calls. And that’s where The Guy Who Complains About The Guys Who Complain About The Refs comes in.
The funny thing about The Guy Who Complains About The Guys Who Complain About The Refs is that he’s a relatively new breed of creature and has really only existed since the dawn of the internet age. He tends to populate message boards and fan sites (like this one, perhaps), and might cease to exist if it weren’t for his computer. His biggest gripe with society is that people complain about officials, and it is his mission in life to point out every individual who does so and call them a whining hypocrite.
Allow me to take a minute here to clarify my stance on officials.
First of all, they’re humans, which means they’re capable of making mistakes. In that way, they happen to be a lot like the rest of us. They’re also getting paid to a do a job, and in that way, we have the right to be critical of them. So when they do a bad job, is it so wrong for us, as sports fans, to point that out? Hell no, it’s not.
For example, let’s say for a minute that you’re an accountant. If you screw up someone’s tax return, undoubtedly someone is going to hold you accountable for your mistake. It might be your client, it might be your boss, it might be the IRS, it might be all of the above. Fact is, you’re going to get called on your boner and have to face the consequences.
But what about if you’re an official? You make a bad call, shouldn’t you be held accountable for that call? I think so. Most people think so. The Guy Who Complains About The Guys Who Complain About The Refs doesn’t think so. In fact, he hates you for thinking so. That’s how passionate he is about his misguided beliefs.
The way I see it, if The Guy Who Complains About The Guys Who Complain About The Refs is going to hold officials to this double standard of societal behavior, perhaps he is the hypocrite, not us. He truly feels like everyone else is to blame, but the officials are innocent. Really? I mean, really?
Let me ask you this. Are officials ever the only reason a team loses a game? Answer: No. Even if a contest comes down to a last-second call that gets botched, the losing team could have done plenty of things differently to put themselves in a better position to win prior to that.
But are officials partly to blame when a team loses a game? Answer: Yes. Because we all have to understand that a different judgment here or there on a certain play has the ability to change an entire ballgame. Simple fact of the matter. It is what it is.
When we, as fans, perceive an officiating crew to have done a good or bad job in calling a game, shouldn’t we have the right to call it as we see it without being subjected to The Guy Who Complains About The Guys Who Complain About The Refs? Hell yeah, we should. But then this d-bag comes along and imposes his high-and-mighty dumbass religion upon us and we have to sit there and take it simply because we offered an opinion. A f*cking opinion.
It’s ridiculous and it needs to stop. I don’t really like the type of people who rip on officials without fail after every game. They’re petty and need to gain perspective. But I absolutely hate The Guy Who Complains About The Guys Who Complain About The Refs. He’s like a bad weed. He won’t go away, and the more you try to get rid of him, the stronger he gets.
Self-righteous smug bastard. The world doesn’t need people like you ruining sh*t for the rest of us. I’m not asking you to agree with us, or accept our way of thinking. I’m just asking you not to go all Tim Tebow pre-Wonderlic test on everyone and stop pushing your frame of mind on dissenters who aren’t hurting anyone with their natural, human reactions. That’s it. That’s all. Just disappear.
I’ve got nothing else. I’m spent.