Referees are supposed to, for the most part, remain invisible. Generally speaking, a fantastically officiated game is one where the officials aren't mentioned at all. Or at least that’s how it used to be.


When you watch this video of Joey Crawford’s overly theatrical call, it makes you wonder if the intent of these officials is to monitor the sports entertainment, or to become a part of the spectacle themselves. I mean, what else could Crawford have been thinking as he flew down the court like a zebra on a bed of hot coals? And, before you tell me that it’s harmless and its merely amusing, consider this: if an official enjoys getting attention for the way he makes his calls, how long will it be until he begins manufacturing those opportunities?

All professional sports have referee and umpires with major egos. In baseball, Angel Hernandez has gotten away with being a petty grudge-holder for years, and “Cowboy Joe” West uses his platform as an umpire to subtly promote his country music career. As far as the NFL goes, if you think Ed Hocculi couldn't find a better fitting, less flattering uniform, you’re fooling yourself.

I’m not here to rant and rave about instant replay or blown calls; referees are human beings, and human beings make mistakes. It is important, however, that referees and umpires regulate the game in an unbiased fashion and understand that it is never about them. As soon an official starts taking aspects of the game personally or begins to crave the attention that’s being received by those around him, then his integrity has been compromised and he can no longer perform his job.

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