The Heckler

Last night, while watching the Buckeyes battle Northwestern on the hard court, I watched a hairless referee botch another call.  I could restrain myself no longer.  I stood up from my seat and yelled:  “Hey Baldy!  Get your head out of your ass!”

Kish was shocked, and perhaps neighboring fans were, too.  She yanked me down and pleaded that I never do that again.  In particular, she said, I should never comment on someone’s physical appearance.

I’m sorry that I called Old Chrome Dome “Baldy,” but I had to get his attention, because he clearly blew the call.  His scalp condition was such that I doubt my effort was the first time he had been called “Baldy.”  In fact, I’d imagine he responds to “Baldy” routinely, perhaps even when that name is shouted by his mother and members of his family.  So why not use a word that he might hear and recognize?

As far as the rest of the comment goes, I encourage heckling at sporting events.  If you’re going to don that striped shirt and whistle and judge other people, you’ve got to expected to be judged yourself.  If Mr. Clean is going to blow a call to the detriment of the Buckeyes, he needs to understand he’ll be called on it.

I think heckling can get out of hand when it becomes profane (sorry, I don’t think “ass” really qualifies) and violent, but a little needling of the ref is part of what should be a home court advantage.  I’d rather be an occasional heckler than a fan who never stands up, cheers, or chants.

8 thoughts on “The Heckler

  1. Mr. Decorum/Rectitude reveals his Achilles heel. We’ve all got ’em. Heckling’s yours, Robert. [What I don’t get is that Mr. Webner’s invective is unleashed on college basketball; ho-hum!]


  2. And well that Kish was embarrassed. So am I. My nephew, who was taught better, making a speatcle of himself ! Suppose those behind the bar in the courtroom yelled at you during your cross examination when you ask a stupid question ? You do your best and aren’t able to satisfy everyone during the heat of the contest. Not a Webner occassion, but a “Hack” performance nonetheless. A “c’mon ref” might, (I tress “might”) be OK if spoken to the personnext to you, but yelling out crude invectives isn’t. It is a sporting event, and even those who are not participating are supposed to display sportsmanship. Geeze !


  3. WB, when I read the first paragraph I was grinning because it is so unlike you and it was very funny.
    I have to agree with Kish. One of the descendants played D2 ball in college and sometimes my own dear husband would become agitated enough, ranting to himself, that I would pinch him, discreetly, and remind him it was just a GAME.
    As I read unclemack’s comment, I felt chastised too. You didn’t behave the way we expected, and because of that, I was highly amused.
    I understand you were carried away by the intensity of the moment and I don’t think you should feel too terrible. Just a couple of weeks ago, I lost my composure at work and compromised my objective demeanor. Regrettable behavior which is now history so we’re moving right along.
    I can’t help but grin at unclemack’s analogy of hecklers in the courtroom. People would be lined up around the block to get a seat!


  4. Yikes! With EJ, UM, Winship, and Rosler — to say nothing of Kish — lined up against me, I clearly am in the wrong. So, the next time I see a professional referee make an absurdly bad call, I’ll try to make sure that he gets a hug and a participation trophy, and I’ll call out to him that it’s all right because he gave it a good try.


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