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    Ignorance, Idiocy and Arrogance: The story of one incompetent crew of referees

    Driving into Chamberlain to cover the East/West Classic, I knew I had two jobs to do. First, I was going to cover the Chamberlain boys and girls basketball games for my job at the SUN. After those games were done, I’d then put on my broadcaster hat on and do play by play for Midstate Communications.

    Little did I know that by the end of the night, I’d also have a plethora of material with which to write a blog post about. (By the way, it’s been a while, how have you all been?)

    Sandwiched between two blowouts on the day was the Lennox Orioles squaring off against the Spearfish Spartans. Lennox was 0-4 on the season but all four losses had come against some seriously high-caliber competition and the fact that they were winless against that schedule was actually quite understandable. Spearfish, on the other hand, had also played a tough schedule including wins over Red Cloud (LNI runner-up) and Pine Ridge. By all accounts, the game was going to be a knockdown, drag out fight.

    And it was, until ignorance, idiocy and arrogance got in the way.

    Part One: Ignorance

    Late in the third quarter, game within two, Lennox held the ball for the last shot. The possession turned sloppy quickly and a forced, ugly shot was all that was left for the Orioles. So, Joe Hendrickson (if memory serves) puts up an awkward shot and it goes off glass and into the hoop. Sounds like a normal made basket, right? Only this time, the ball was still planted firmly in the palm of his hand for at least one-half to a full second after the buzzer sounded. That may not sound like a lot but you may legally get off two shots in the NBA in that amount of time. It was a call that any referee, no matter the age or skill level, should easily make.

    Part Two: Idiocy

    After the referee had blown the call (and Lennox fans jubilantly cheered their serendipity for having such an incompetent referee), it became pretty clear that he had screwed up. The referee (who, by the way, had been screwing calls up all night, it just wasn’t obvious because the prior games had been blowouts), did not confer at all with his crew,  only proceeded to boisterously and with the utmost certainty motion that the basket was good. The other two referees, as I understand it, are to be watching other aspects of the play while one keeps an eye on whether or not the shot gets off in time. So it is understandable that they didn’t see it, but the other two parts of this inept triumvirate took the referees word for it without batting an eye, questioning him not in the least.

    Part Three: Arrogance

    Inevitably and understandably, Spearfish’s crowd and players reacted in a negative way. Listen, the referees had screwed up already and had given Lennox two points they didn’t deserve. By this time (maybe ten seconds after the botched call) they should have already known the magnitude of their error and stuck with their call but no, bigger egos prevailed and the second most incompetent referee on the floor decides to stick Blaine Bacon with a technical foul because he said what everyone (who wasn’t wearing orange) was thinking.

    So the refs screwed up, it happens. Apparently, this trio of incompetent whistleblowers had never studied Bobby Kennedy and taken note of one of his favorite passages.

    All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only sin is pride.

    The technical foul made their guilt all the more evident: due to their incompetence they allowed two points and then because they could not admit that they were wrong, they assessed a technical and gave Lennox two more points.

    Oh, and in case you didn’t see, Spearfish lost by two points. Without the blown call and the technical foul called out of arrogance, Spearfish theoretically would have won by two.

    So, that leaves me with just one question: what needs to be done? Well, to start things off, the review board at the SDHSAA needs to view this debacle and quickly make a decision in regards to punishment. What would be justified? I understand it’s just a regular season game and seeding is not near as important in basketball as it is in football so I feel that a one-game suspension is in order for that crew. Those responsible for this colossal case of incompetency need to be held responsible.

    Lastly, it should be known that I feel bad for the players and coaches on both sides. No team wants to win in controversial fashion and no team wants to let the men in stripes decide their fate. It was a hard fought and exciting game, it’s just too bad that sometimes, we as humans let ignorance, idiocy and arrogance get in the way of doing what’s right.

    Hopefully, the SDHSAA won’t make the same mistake.

    2 Responses

    1. Devin Says:

      +2 likes -3 dislikes

      Where have you been, I rely on Sports Buzz for insight and sports entertainment and it has not been the same or worth tuning into for 6 weeks. Your articale was the first real and interesting insight put out in that time far as I'am concerned. Feel Sports Buzz needs to fix things or close shop as it does not compare to last year. Again enjoyed your piece and please relay my opinion to who ever is in charge as it has went downhill big time. Thanks

    2. West River Hopeful Says:

      Don't think just one crew has the market on "ignorance, idiocy, and arrogance" There is a crew that works District 15

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