I know many of you, regardless of what NFL team you root for, are like me in that you're probably interested in ESPN's weekly Monday Night Football game. It helps when your team is playing, but for fantasy football reasons and some others, it's hard not to watch.
One of those others I'm referring to is the ever-popular segment on the pre-game show known as "C'Mon Man!" If you're not aware of the segment, let me just say it's a number of sometimes funny, but usually outrageous clips, where the catch phrase is, "C'Mon Man."
Well, since I don't want to infringe on ESPN's clever phrase, I'm going to use my own in reference to a couple of things I need to get off my chest. I'll call it "Uh, Really?"
The first revolves around soccer, specifically girls this time, as that's the sport I'm covering and have seen more of this season.
I've seen this a number of times over the past few years and already a couple of times this year. I'm talking about when players from both teams, in this case Team A and Team B, come together and as a result, one of them is injured. Nothing flagrant, just a part of the game injury.
In this case we'll use Team A as the injured player, who for whatever reason is either also called for a foul or maybe play continued a little bit before the referee stopped the action with Team B in possession of the ball.
Once the player in question is attended to and substituted in for, play resumes. This is where my "Uh, Really?" comes in.
Team B plays the ball immediately back to Team A, usually to the goalie or in some cases, just by kicking it out of bounds. Either way it makes me squirm in my seat and brings on a few irritating thoughts, thus this column.
In a most recent game, Team B did not play the ball back to Team A immediately and it brought a verbal complaint from Team A coach. Not once, but twice. It was taken kindly by Team B coach and all was well.
Well, for them, but not for me. I am all for good sportsmanship and fair play, but this is out of hand. The team in question of the hurt player gets a substitute. What happens when a Team A player gets a red card and is out of the game with no substitute? You know what happens, Team B tries to take full advantage of the extra player for whatever remaining time there is. Hence, hockey's power play.
Picture this in baseball. Let's say a player for Team A, the home team, gets drilled in the leg while at bat, with the game tied in the bottom of the ninth. Could you imagine Team B, the offender, balking or throwing a wild pitch or even just saying take second base to even the playing field? Not hardly.
I'm not sure where this started and who started it, but "Uh, Really?"
My other "Uh, Really?" moment came at a weekly football game Friday night. Every team in every game has a ball person who is to shadow the sideline referee, so as not to slow down the game and make sure the team is playing with its own ball. Clear?
OK, often these ball persons in high school are just students, both male and female. Some are injured players and others are not. In this case, not. And too often, they're not on the job the way the should be. But when they are, they deserve better than what I saw.
The ball person in question was where she needed to be, with two balls already in her hands. The referee, some 10 to 15 yards off the sideline has another ball for her. The next thing I see is the ball thrown underhand, low and too hard, that glances off the ball person's lower leg. I thought, Hmm.
My Hmm grew to "Uh, Really?" sometime later when this ridiculous act happened again. This time with the referee much closer and the ball person still holding two balls, the toss was up high and toward her head. She dodged it and the ball landed harmlessly behind her. The referee laughed. "Uh, Really?"