Monday , Mar , 31 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Whining, Griping and Complaining

Whining, Griping and ComplainingAfter a loss that includes poor officiating, three things happen: 

1.      Losing players and fans complain,

2.      The losing coach says, “Well, we shouldn’t have been in the position to let the refs decide the game,” and

3.      The winning team’s fan call the losers “whiners.”

Everyone does it.  On the same San Antonio Spurs blog, one guy says that Manu Ginobli is the subject of racism greater than Jackie Robinson and another guy says that the Suns are back to their same-old whining.  That’s just the way it is.  I do the same thing to the other teams that I hate.

On the Steve Nash non-call referenced above, I would have to agree with point #2, above.  It was probably a charge, but who is going to give Steve Nash a charge call against Chauncey Billups late in a close game in Detroit?  I probably would not have done it if I had been officiating the game.

It’s funny though, how one fan base cries for fouls and calls the other team’s fans a bunch of whiners. 

While I don’t complain about the calls so much (for example, I constantly say that Amare Stoudemire is called for phantom fouls simply because his real fouls are so dumb that he generally deserves multiple infractions), I, being one of those “whiny” fans still cannot understand why the league is so inconsistent in regard to Tim Donaghy, referee gambling, and inconsistent officiating in the post-season.  In other news, it appears that Donaghy is a real gem.

Again, in Detroit, Point #2 is appropriate.  However, during the recent Warriors-Lakers game, it was not.  Golden State was robbed.  The worst thing about the play was that there was a ref in position that didn’t make a call (even though it should’ve gone against Fisher, giving the Warriors two shots and the ball).

To rely on Point #2 can be a cop-out.  Like the instance above.  Really, with teams this close and this good, refs do make a difference.  Whether it is by oversight or design, these guys often become more important than the players.

Further on this point is the discussion of “flopping.”  Since I’ve already pitted the Suns and the Spurs, let’s examine and dissect this further.  Raja Bell is a flopper – when he is playing defense and gets hits, he attempts to strategically flop to get a foul.  Manu Ginobli is more of a diver – offensively players often take a dive when they don’t seem to be getting calls by trying to fight through the foul.  Both moves are veteran moves and usually only highlight the abuse the player is actually taking.  Ginobli and Bell get those calls because the zebras know these guys really do take the abuse.

Add to all of this the expectation that stars should get the calls and you have a game that is frustrating for fans to watch.  Bill Simmons has the gall to argue that the Suns should actually get more calls.  In the game against New Jersey, Phoenix went to the line 41 times.  He also echoes the widely-believed rant that the NBA wants to see certain teams in the Finals.  What has Stern done to disabuse us of this belief?  Sweep Donaghy under the rug and let other refs gamble.  Good move.  These beliefs are held precisely because of the bad calls, the refusal to admit mistakes and the totalitarian grip on league “discipline.”

All fans will have this persecution complex in which everything and everyone is working against them because: stars are expected to get calls, flopping and diving are necessary to prove your point, mistakes are not admitted, bad calls are rampant and scandals are hidden.  The pathologic nature of the whining and name-calling is quite amazing – everyone does the same thing and everyone believes themselves – but it is caused by the league.