Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What Tony Hayward and referees have in common.

As many if you know, I am a political junkie and follow current events in that vein. So I was reading a BBC story about Tony Hayward's comments as he is transitioning out of the CEO role at BP, and is being replaced by  Bob Dudley (full story here, courtesy of the BBC). It goes into how Hayward feels "demonized and vilified", over what is going on in the gulf.

How often has that happened to a referee? I would say, almost always.

Take a look at the recent story of the Chinese fan running onto the field and attacking the refereeing crew. One of the coaches blamed the referee. Are you serious?

How about this one where the Dutch blame Webb for the loss in the recent World Cup final.

My favorite of all time is Phil Luckett. Anyone know him? NFL referee extradornare who had the guts to follow the rules during a coin toss on November 26, 1998 when the Pittsburgh Steelers were playing the Detroit Lions. Yep, this is where Jerome Bettis called "hea-tails" during the coin toss, Luckett when with "heads" as per the rule of the game, the first call uttered is the one to be used. You all know the rest of the story, Steelers lose the toss, and eventually lose the game.

Luckett was certainly demonized and vilified in Hayward like fashion with "The Bus" leading the charge. Bettis did become just a little more contrite however when sideline audio was unearthed of him explaining to Bill Cowher (coach at the time) that he did say "hea-tails". Classy stuff. Talk about (ahem) being thrown under a bus ... sorry.

There is so much of an appetite to blame someone else that has an article about the Top 10: Bad Referee Calls. By the way, Chavez buddy is at #3 for his handling that turned into a goal back in 1986.

Why is all of this stuff the referee's fault? Why is what happened in the gulf Hayward's fault? I have to believe that Hawyard's knowledge of the platform in the gulf was in the aggregate how much money it was making. That's what CEO's of big multi-national companies do ... watch the bottom line.

Similarly referees are there to uphold the laws of the game and apply them as required. Why is it up to a referee to keep a player from cheating as Maradona did? Why should a referee take lumps because a player does not have the courage to tell his coach he screwed up a coin toss? I don't get it.

Maybe the referee is an easy target for those who choose to shirk responsibility for their, or their teams own actions. Maybe the referee is there for the good of the game as is just so magnanimous that they should just take it. Maybe we are too stupid to give it back to those who have earned the blame. I don't know.

I guess I would really like to see players and coaches step up a bit more and really look at the issue before speaking. Just like I would like to see the "O Team" take a step back from Hayward and look at the issue.

Don't get me wrong, referees screw up plenty, and the really good ones cop to it right away and the game is better for it.

Just ask Jim Joyce.


  1. I can tell you it's not the compensation!

  2. LOL ... I agree.

    You also bring up a good topic for a future post regarding how much referees make ... even as compared to players at the professional and international levels.