Joey Crawford and the tragedy of referee relevance

Without having to watch the beginning of the game for the formal introductions, even the casual NBA fan recognized a familiar face on the floor Tuesday night during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. Not those of the world-famous LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, or even Roy Hibbert. The face I’m referring to belonged to infamous NBA referee Joey Crawford.

The fact that Crawford, or any referee for that matter, is a household name should be seen as a disaster. There is no issue with the hardcore fan knowing the name of certain referees, but there are certain officials who are known even by casual fans.

Joey CrawfordOff the top of my head I can think of certain referees who come to mind as well-known. Along with Crawford this includes the NFL’s Ed Hochuli, college basketball’s Ted Valentine and baseball’s C.B. Bucknor. Each of those guys is known for different reasons, but for the most part, being a well-known official is an issue.

Hochuli is included because his name is well-known among fans of the NFL, but it is tough to put the blame on him. We all know who he is because he’s the most muscular ref in sports. NFL referees have their names displayed on television whenever they announce a penalty, so they get much more exposure. That takes some of the blame off of them.

The media is always going to be at fault for publicizing the names of certain referees but there are those who simply put the notoriety on themselves.

A perfect example of this is C.B. Bucknor, who is famous thanks to his reputation as an awful umpire. Any game with him behind the plate typically draws at least a few negative comments from the announcers.  A poll conducted by Sports Illustrated in 2006 showed that players rated Bucknor as the worst umpire in the league. ESPN conducted a similar poll in 2010 and the results were identical.

Bucknor is not alone in putting attention on himself. Joey Crawford and Ted Valentine, both basketball referees, are household names due to their horrid performances on the court. Both Crawford and Valentine are “eccentric” on the court.

Just look at Crawford in the following video:

What the hell was that? I don’t know if he is aware that the fans are not, in fact, there to watch him make calls. Crawford even once kicked Tim Duncan out of a game for laughing on the bench.

Cut to Ted Valentine in the next scene of the show. He has been given the nickname “TV Teddy,” which is a name no referee should be proud of. Check out this delightful performance by “TV Teddy” when giving an explanation:

He must have been reminded he was on television when checking the monitor so he needed some extra time in the spotlight.

While I did point out the media plays a role in publicizing the names of the aforementioned referees, it can’t all be put on the media. For Crawford and Valentine, their ridiculous behavior puts them in the spotlight. How could the media not point out their antics?

Any referee as eccentric as Crawford should be fired. Thanks to the NBA referees’ union, it isn’t that simple, but keeping Crawford around is a mistake for the league. Fans go to games to watch their teams, but when Crawford is a referee they have to worry about how he will impact the game.

Not only will Crawford make bad calls calls, but he will let fans know that he is making the calls. Whether that will be by running down the court to make a block call, or jumping up and down to show it was a travel.

Referees should be the impartial judges of games. Last time I checked, no one watches court cases for the judge. Also, judges do not jump up and down to announce decisions. They are simply there to uphold the rules.

The names of referees can be announced at the beginning of the game, but broadcasters should not have to say their names during the broadcast, and writers should not have to name them in postgame reports.

With the ever-increasing world of round-the-clock media coverage the names of referees will continue to be publicized, which will only make things worse.



About Steve Kubitza

Being a native of the Cleveland, Steve Kubitza has endured many years of sports torture. He is a die-hard fan of his hometown teams, and also is a fan of professional sports in general. His articles will cover many different stories regarding the latest news, along with his opinions, in the world of sports. He also gets into the world of professional wrestling, offering his views on the current landscape of the WWE. Follow him on Twitter (@KubitzaMSF) to hear his opinions on everything from Cleveland sports to the WWE.

Comments

  1. Bob Hamburger says:

    Am a referee myself and go to several camps attended by NBA offcials. In the official’s opinion, Crawford is the best. Have heard this from likes of Javie, Wunderlich, Callahan, Malloy, Zorba and Lindsay. Yes, he has a quck trigger, but he is very well respected.

  2. Some genuinely grand work on behalf of the owner of this web site,
    absolutely great articles.

  3. What i do not realize is in reality how you are no longer really much more smartly-liked than you might be right now. You’re very intelligent. You know thus considerably on the subject of this matter, produced me for my part believe it from numerous numerous angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be fascinated until it’s one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. All the time care for it up!|

  4. Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; we have developed some nice practices and we are looking
    to trade strategies with other folks, please shoot me an email if interested.

  5. Quality articles or reviews is the important to interest the users to visit the site,
    that’s what this web site is providing.

  6. Normally I don’t learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do it!
    Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank
    you, very great article.

  7. I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but great topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for magnificent info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  8. I don’t even know how I finished up right here, but I believed this publish was good.
    I don’t recognise who you are but certainly you
    are going to a well-known blogger in case you are not already.
    Cheers!

  9. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a
    40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has
    83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  10. Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also am a
    blogger, and I was curious about your situation; we have
    developed some nice practices and we are looking to exchange strategies with others,
    be sure to shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  11. I always spent my half an hour to read this website’s content every
    day along with a mug of coffee.

  12. What’s up, I read your blogs daily. Your humoristic
    style is witty, keep it up!

  13. Hello to all, the contents existing at this web page are genuinely awesome for people knowledge, well,
    keep up the nice work fellows.

  14. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything.
    Nevertheless think of if you added some great images or video
    clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips,
    this blog could definitely be one of the most beneficial in its niche.
    Great blog!

  15. These are actually great ideas in concerning blogging.
    You have touched some good factors here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  16. I have been browsing on-line more than 3 hours lately, yet I never discovered any interesting article like
    yours. It’s lovely value enough for me. In my view, if all website
    owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably
    did, the web can be a lot more useful than ever before.

  17. I’m gone to convey my little brother, that he should also pay a
    visit this web site on regular basis to get updated from most recent news update.

  18. I all the time emailed this webpage post page to all my associates, as if like
    to read it then my contacts will too.

  19. I think this is one of the most important information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general
    things, The website style is great, the articles is really nice : D.
    Good job, cheers

  20. These are in fact fantastic ideas in on the topic of blogging.

    You have touched some fastidious things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  21. Some really interesting information, well written and broadly speaking user genial.

  22. Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
    Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.
    I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to
    start. Do you have any points or suggestions? Appreciate it

  23. I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of
    space . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this
    web site. Studying this info So i’m happy to convey that I have a very just right uncanny feeling I discovered
    exactly what I needed. I such a lot no doubt will make sure to do not forget this website and provides it a look on a
    relentless basis.

  24. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was
    a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added
    agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?

  25. Excellent items from you, man. I have take into account your stuff previous to and you are just too fantastic.
    I actually like what you have received right here, really
    like what you are stating and the way through which you
    are saying it. You’re making it enjoyable and you still care for to stay it wise.
    I can’t wait to read far more from you. That is really a great website.

  26. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog
    loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  27. Hi there to every one, because I am really keen of reading this
    website’s post to be updated daily. It carries good stuff.

  28. I needed to send you the very small remark just
    to thank you very much over again for those extraordinary thoughts you have shown on this site.
    It has been really wonderfully open-handed of you in giving openly what many individuals
    could possibly have distributed for an e book to earn some dough on their own, and in particular seeing that
    you might have done it if you desired. These tips additionally worked like the easy way to be certain that some people have the identical desire similar to
    my very own to see somewhat more when considering this matter.
    I’m certain there are lots of more fun opportunities in the
    future for individuals that check out your website.

  29. When some one searches for his required thing, therefore he/she wishes to be available that in detail, therefore that thing
    is maintained over here.

  30. I as well conceive therefore, perfectly pent post!

  31. Its not my first time to pay a visit this web page, i am visiting this
    web page dailly and take nice facts from here daily.

  32. Hello, i believe that i saw you visited my web site thus i got here
    to return the prefer?.I am attempting to find things to enhance my web site!I assume its adequate to make use of some of your ideas!!

  33. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself
    or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to construct my own blog
    and would like to know where u got this from. many thanks

Speak Your Mind