My nine year old daughter looked up at me and said "Daddy, why is everyone saying the Ref sucks?" I was ashamed, and red in the face. I realized that I had been saying it too. I explained that we didn't agree with his decision. She said "but that is his job, what about his feelings" Ouch.......that one hurt. I stopped and apologized to her. I told her she was right and I was wrong. It was never ok to personally attack someone who is just doing their job. My thoughts went to that 17 year old that some old guy was yelling at because his burger had a pickle on it. Yuk......bad behavior.....this was the same thing. We decided we have no more right to say "Ref you Suck" than he has the right to go into my office and yell "Ken you Suck" to my employees(some may agree). We decided that we will never chant that phrase again. It is ok to cheer on your team. To boo when you are not happy. It is never ok to say "Ref you Suck". Leave it to a nine year old to put the world into the proper perspective.
So what if the game is not called objectively? What if one team is getting the short end of the stick more than the other teams? How could that be? It seems to me, there can only be a few ways for that to happen in a league.
1) The league has a vendetta against a certain owner or ownership group and wants to teach them a lesson.
2) The Officials are on the take.
3) The Officials have formed an opinion about a team, city or fanbase and they want to teach them a lesson.
1) Clearly, Karmanos has no love loss for the Red Wings. The Red Wings are a class franchise and likely wield some power in the Commissioner's office. It is a leap of faith to think they are conspiring with the officials to target the Canes. The reality is no league would likely risk the integrity of their league for a vendetta. They would be risking millions and millions of dollars.........Probability.....low
2) There are plenty of cases where officials and players are on the take. It is going to happen from time to time.
The NBA lost a lot of credibility when one of their Refs turned up corrupt. It can happen ..... in NHL I don't think so. Most of these guys are hardworking, honest, proud people who have worked their way up through the minors to get to their dream. That journey is humbling and difficult. I don't see those guys being on the take. Probability.....low.
3) What could cause the Officials to sour on our team, our city or our fanbase? How about......."Ref you Suck". I have been to dozens of games in Montreal, college hockey schools division I and division III. I cannot recall ever hearing that chant in Montreal(maybe because they speak French). It happens in College but...even there we were thinking "singling out the Refs cannot help our team". I have watched games in Philly on television and recalled hearing them use that chant. Never heard it in Detroit..... When was the last time Philly won a cup? In fact, I only remember hearing that chant used regularly at the RBC Center last year and this year in the two games we have been at. How must that make a proud, honest man feel? Not too objective. Probability: High
To the Officials: We respect you, we think you do a great job. We know you are honest and we want you to officiate our games honestly and objectively. If you hear that chant in Raleigh, it is because your call has perturbed us. I pledge that I will try to get my party and my friends to not use that chant any longer. We owe it to our children to teach them why it is wrong.
To the Fans: If we continue to use that chant, we may never sniff the cup again. Lets end it.