Posted on: March 26, 2008 3:39 pm

Are Basketball Referees Metrosexuals?

I have observed the game of basketball for quite some time now, only to find that the officials are sub par at most levels.  I'm talking High School through the NBA.  Now, I know that some guys do a pretty good job on a nightly basis, but they are few and far between.  From top to bottom nobody knows what is a walk and what is not.  Can a player take three steps?  Did the player really pick up his pivot foot before dribbling?  Can a player pivot out of a jump stop?  It seems that referees take many liberties with the interpretations of a walk, depending on who is in control of the ball.  What about defensive position?  This year, I actually saw an official give a charge to an offensive player when the defender was in the air try to block his shot.   How can this be?   Well, I have a pretty good idea.  Many calls in basketball made by officials are for effect.  Think about it.  It is sexy to call a walk when nobody else sees it.  It is sexy to call a charge and have the whole crowd respond to a forceful gesture.  I actually know I guy who makes his charge calls while hoping one foot and patting the back of his head and then punches the air in front of him.  Now, let me ask you this.  If the charge call is ambiguous, which way do you think this guy is going to call it?  That is what leads me to ask the question: Are basketball refs metrosexuals?

Let me elaborate.  I have noticed that a certain kind of male character gravitates toward the profession or part time profession of officiating basketball.  I'm talking about guys who do this on a weekly basis, in front of large crowds, not necessarily the ref down at the YMCA.  If you will notice, most referees appear on the floor before a basketball game and look like they have recently showered and are ready for a night on the town.  Their hair is rarely out of place, shirts neatly tucked in with no signs of wrinkles, and shoes look like they were just bought at the local Athletes Foot.  Have you ever noticed how some referees glide or prance gracefully up and down the floor?  It's almost comical.  And, I guarantee you every ref has premeditated mechanics (or how they signal fouls).  I truly believe that a majority of basketball officials belong to the modern stereotype of "metrosexual."

Metrosexual defined:

metrosexual (met.roh.SEK.shoo.ul) n. An urban male with a strong aesthetic sense who spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle. —metrosexuality n. 

I believe the reason that basketball officiating is in the state it is in, because many of these guys show up not to officiate, but to be seen.  It is a look at me profession.  How many other professions can you get booed one second an then make a crowd erupt in cheers the next.  This is why you see so many over-dramatic motions when signaling a foul or possession of a ball.  It's not about managing and maintaining the game, its about being in the spot light.  I think that basketball attracts more these types of officials because of its up close and personal style.  You always know what a basketball referee looks like, because you are right on top of the action, or the camera is so close.  Other sports have their share of showboats as well, but basketball is by far the worst and is the worst officiated sport I might add.

What do you think?


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