Last evening, I had the privilege of attending a high school football game. The home team, coached by a former colleague, played their hearts out, but ultimately was defeated in the end, not only by the opposing team, but by the referees.
Yes, as much as I do appreciate seeing my team win, I also appreciate the level of skill it takes to accurately referee a game, and I honor and respect calls for the opposing team when they are the right ones. I may “boo”, but I know that it was, nonetheless, a good call.
Yet last evening’s fiasco was abominable. In addition to consistently conflating “encroachment” and “false start” calls, we began the second half kickoff with a “Safety”/”Inadvertent Whistle” / “Re-kick”, followed not a few minutes later by a referee long tossing a football from the sidelines in the direction of the referee in the middle of the field, only to have the errant throw hit a player directly in the head.
All I can assume is that the salary for this high caliber of referee is coming from the LAUSD budget.
Do we need more funding for schools in California? You bet. Or there will be more of this:
5th down and 14 to go…..wait, wait…….something’s wrong here….
The Bad Plus – 1980 World Champion
Today will be an L.A. first for me. Despite living a mere two miles from the Staples Center, this evening will mark the first NHL game I have ever attended west of the Mississippi.
The Kings, who I feel not a little ambivalent toward, will be facing off against the N.Y. Islanders, a visiting team that will have at least one fan in the crowd, a fellow New Yorker colleague of mine who is convinced that I’m insane because I root for all the wrong New York teams (Mets, Giants, Rangers) versus his supposedly superior Yankees, Jets, and Islanders.
It’s about time for a hockey game. After all, after seeing my fair share of fights at school, it’ll be relaxing to see some adults duke it out for once.
Wilco – Poor Places
When I was a kid, I watched the Olympics every two years with my family. Barcelona, Lillehammer, Atlanta, Nagano, I watched both winter games and summer games with joyful expectation.
This year, I did not end up watching the Vancouver Olympics at all, and I’m trying to track down the gradual decline of my interest in the Olympics in general over the last decade. Several theories abound, such as the fact that not owning a television makes it difficult for one to watch sporting events. Or perhaps it’s that NBC’s programming technique of broadcasting 40 seconds of hockey, followed by 94 seconds of downhill slalom, following by 17 seconds of curling, followed by 67 seconds of ice dancing is quite literally making America come down with national ADHD. Or perhaps it’s that I’m more excited about slightly more interesting international sporting event coming this summer, World Cup 2010. I suppose it also has to do with the fact that neither my colleagues, nor my students give much of a rip about the Olympics in comparison with the global fútbol tournament occurring this summer in South Africa. Four years ago, I remember getting text message updates of games and relaying the information on to my students who very much cared about the results.
What’s even crazier is that my 8th graders from Germany’s 2006 World Cup are now graduating seniors with the South Africa 2010 World Cup! These guys will be seniors in 2014, when the World Cup is in Brazil! Wow, how time flies!