The poorly lit gym echoed with cheers and chants as I looked into a sea of maroon jumping in the bleachers. A large mural of a Warrior glared down at us from his concrete wall while the booming sound of the Braves/Seminoles/Chiefs chant rang in our ears. Five high school kids gathered around while we tried to yell out some final advice over the insane Southside Richmond crowd.
“There are distractions everywhere tonight. Let’s play our basketball. This is going to be the toughest team we have faced all season. Get out there and play the game that you love!”
The battle began. I was really excited to face a tough team and test our abilities. I thought we were going to have a fun and electric game until the final buzzer, but a pudgy man in a black and white striped shirt with a short stature and penis-shaped head named Maurice had a different plan in mind. He made this clear by blowing his whistle during the first possession of the game. What I saw next was going to completely ruin my night, my weekend, and the entire season.
I looked up at the clock. 7:32. Twenty-eight seconds had passed. I looked down at the court to see Maurice hopping and dancing his way to the center of the court with the elegance of a newborn giraffe.
“BLACK! NUMBER TWO! WITH A…”
Maurice then proceeded to smack himself in the head unreasonably hard.
“…HIT TO THE HEAD OF WHITE PLAYER NUMBER TWENTY-THREE. THAT IS A FOUL. WE ARE GOING TO BE SHOOTING TWO SHOTS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!!”
While I didn’t disagree with a foul being called, I was more than annoyed with the antics. Was this ref really going to make a state semi-final game about himself? This was not the time or place to try to steal the show, Maurice. I leaned over to one of the other coaches and quietly said, “Is this guy serious?”
Maurice’s penis head must have had eyes and special hearing devices in the back, because he cranked that cock-cabeza around like a velociraptor looking for his first meal of the day.
“I AM THE REFEREE. YOU ARE COACHES. PLEASE DO NOT SPEAK TO ME THE REST OF THE GAME. THANK YOU.”
I honestly couldn’t tell if Maurice was talking to us or projecting a Shakespearean monologue to the entire gymnasium. Regardless, I don’t deal with referee’s bullshit, so I decided to counter back with, “Nobody was talking to you Maurice, go do your job you apparently take very seriously.” Maurice did not appreciate that and decided to prance back out to center court like a sumo figure skater again.
“BLACK. BENCH WARNING. THEY ARE DISRESPECTING THE OFFICIATING AND THAT WILL NOT BE ALLOWED THIS EVENING. THIS IS THEIR LAST WARNING. THANK YOU.”
Remember, only twenty-eight seconds had passed. This was somehow only the beginning. Maurice hated both teams. He refused to let us play basketball. He denied two exceptional teams of getting into a rhythm and going to battle with each other. While most refs call a blocking foul, a hit, or a hold, here are some more of his obnoxious “foul” calls:
HIS SHOULDER IS TOO LOW BUT SINCE HE IS NOT EXTENDING HIS ARM WE ARE GOING TO GO WITH A BLOCK INSTEAD! HOLD YOUR GROUND!
NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! BASKET DOES NOT COUNT! LOSS OF PLAYER CONTROL!
TOO MUCH JERSEY!
OKAY THAT’S IT YOU TWO! I HAVE HAD IT WITH THE PUSHING DOWN HERE. THAT WILL BE A DOUBLE FOUL ON EACH PLAYER. BOTH OF YOU NEED TO CUT IT OUT!
And my personal favorite:
DISPLACING THE OTHER PLAYER WITH HIS REAR END WHICH IS NOT ALLOWED!
I am not blaming our loss on Maurice at all. We were outplayed by a very good team that went on to win the state championship. In fact, we were up by one point with less than five minutes left. It was a great game, but it could have been so much better had this jackass not ruined it. He ruined it for both teams. I went to tell the other coach congratulations after the game, and before he could say thank you, he was too busy apologizing for the horrible officiating. It really ruined the game. Sad!
Maurice, if you are somehow reading this, fuck you. Your head looks like a penis..
Image via YouTube