What's wrong with this picture though?
|Photo courtesy Boston.com.|
- As referees we are there to help both sides, and it would seem that Hunter was in the need for some help to make sure he did not get seriously hurt. Officer Horgan is more focused on celebrating than on helping. At the very least, helping to contain a possible injury.
- Based on the reaction alone, it is clear where the bias is. If I were a Detroit fan at Fenway that night, do you think I would get a "fair shake" if an incident occurred with a group of Boston fans given the bias on display here?
So let me pan back and say that I am fairly sure the Officer helped sort out the scene in the picture and without question would have helped of something went seriously wrong. Also, I would opine if a Detroit fan was smack in the middle of all of this, the Officer would do the "smart" thing and simply escort the Detroit fan out. I don't believe Officer Horgan would ever do anything in derogation of his duty.
After all, he was just reacting to a truly historic event as any human would.
Referees can't do this however.
Imagine, just imagine, even if youth soccer somewhere if a referee reacted to a home town goal in such a fashion even if an even as dramatic (on a youth soccer scale) as this one.
Can you see the fallout?
Can you hear the fan(atics)?
Do you think the referee will work that league again?
It's hard ... really hard sometimes to suppress any bias or personal feelings about matches we are refereeing. Most of us are fans too and have to deny ourselves that side of things when we are out there ... and if at the professional and international level ... suppress these feelings in public too.
It sounds sad, and a touch unhealthy honestly ... but the contrary result is shown above, where just a moment of well intentioned emotion can crumble a career for a referee.
It has long lasting effects too. Recently I was at a Revolution match and was asked who my favorite team was. I really had to struggle to think and could not come up with any. When asked why not, I answered that I had been a referee so long that I saw The Game through an (almost) purely neutral eye, and while appreciating the skill of particular players, it did not reach an emotional level for me.
Granted it is a little odd, and Jr. still "doesn't get it." That's OK too as I want him to love The Game in all its glory and feel those moments that just want to make you throw your hands up and scream.
Don't feel too bad for me though, I spend my days yelling at the TV when the Boston Bruins are on.