TiCal’s Corner: Bob the Ref

Over the past year, I have had the unspeakable pleasure of working with the man and soon to be legend, known as Bob the Ref.  Bob has taken to CAC like a fish to the water that we humans so often pee in when we swim in it…any correlation to reffing?  I think so.  Today, I give the man who has taken more than his fair share of s#it from You People an opportunity to give a little back.

1. Bob, it’s a pleasure to have you step into the Corner. Please tell us where you are from and how you came to CAC.

All good referees, as you know from your own experience, train hours a day on the physical, mental and game management aspects of the game, learning by reviewing tapes and testing to ensure that the referee’s knowledge of game rules and nuances is second to none. Of course, I just fell into this gig by answering an ad on Craig’s List. I think Tibbs and Josh saw that I was breathing, had a striped shirt with a patch on it that I stole off a homeless guy at the Kendall Square T stop on the way to the interview and didn’t drool, so figured I was legit.

See, this is what I am talking about.  One person goes around offering massages and commits gruesome murders and Craigslist gets a bad name.  Where are you now FOX 25 News?  We got a news story involving Craigslist with a “happy ending” and NO murder

2.  As a ref, you have seen some great moments in hoops.  Please, tell me, who holds that special place in your heart for the GREATEST meltdown on the court because of one of your calls? 

Greatest meltdown? WSNS B2 Monday nights are dear to me, as every night was the GREATEST meltdown. Directed at me would have to be the night I T’d out half of JTho’s team, or even another night with the great JTho himself (yes, knocking over the entire line up in the paint on a free throw IS a foul, even if there are only 20 seconds left and your team is down by 2!). I’ll keep some of the best stuff on the down low, as what the cops don’t know we need not share. You?

Mine involved someone throwing a shoe at the other team because I did not make the call.  Yup, Random Task was born.

I feel like this conversation is like the part in Jaws where Hooper and Quint discuss their “wounds”.  I’ll drink to your leg if you drink to mine….

3.  What is more tainted, the Major League Baseball all time home run record, or Jeff Green’s underwear any time a pass is thrown to him in the fourth quarter of a meaningful game?

First of all, you assume that I am familiar with the underwear. Not enough beer in Somerville, my friend! Hey, I had season tickets in the outfield seats at Three Rivers Stadium during Barry Bonds first three years on the Pirates ($1 a game with a student ID, with the 11th game free). Man, did that guy balloon up or what? Can’t say what did or didn’t happen, but those home run races between him, Sosa and McGuire brought baseball back prime-time after their disastrous strike (NFLPA, hello?). Hell, I watched, we all did. It was exciting. Tainted, but exciting.

I just hope Jeff Green brought a Tide-stick to those games, that’s all I’m saying.

4.  Does time really heal all wounds?

For guys, yes because we are wired to forget. Just like I forget all that hatred spewed in my general direction each and every night. Allows me to wake up with a fresh hope that tonight, TONIGHT, will be the perfectly reffed game. Reality sucks, but so it goes. For girls, no. That’s why my prom date from 1983 is still not talking to me.

My prom date has to keep talking to me or my aunt will tell my mom and there will be hell to pay around Thanksgiving.

5.  Who are some of your fav’s down here at CAC to ref.  I hear you were quite popular in the Co-Ed leagues.  Any time you can rival DMac in relevance its pretty impressive.

Nobody rivals the great DMac and now that BFab has escaped the confines of Massachusetts, the world is a smaller, shallower hell. That said, love the Co-Ed leagues and am full of Llama love but, unfortunately, Tibbs fired me. I’m sure it was because I was too obviously staring all creepy-like at the female players and had nothing to do with Tibbs receiving an inordinate number of fouls called by me. He wouldn’t be that hateful, would he? Huge credit to all the score keepers who have our backs and remind us on occasion that it is only a game. At least I’m done after the final horn, but if those write-ups don’t get instantly posted on the boards . . . damn! I wouldn’t want your job, O’Cal!

No one wants my job, hence the fact that we have the standing ad in Craigslist for scorekeepers.  I think Cro Magna Man is the only person alive who hasn’t tried chucking stats at CAC.

6.  Was Lebron’s celebration after beating the Celtics more embarrassing than the Jets celebration after beating the Pats this past season?

At least Lebron James is human. Jets fans . . .

Yeah, Jets fans are the bottom of the barrel, we can all agree on that.  Just hope Bron Bron comes up with another preemptive excuse just in case he loses in the finals.

7.  What is your favorite NBA playoff moment of ALL Time.

Come on. Bird stealing the inbound pass, kicking it to DJ underneath for the game winning layup? Classic win over those hated Pistons teams!

I loved Shawn Bradley getting dunked on.  Seriously dude, 7+ feet tall…Cmmmmmmonnnnnnn Mannnnnn!  F’n Mormons.

8.  Favorite CAC moment of ALL time thus far.

Gotta be the Janitor at the King Open marching across the court, mid game and calling time out. Or same guy trying to eject Rory from the game (his game was already over). Poor Rory, he can’t catch a break during OR after a game! Actually, best times are always the beginning of each season, meeting the new players and realizing that, before long, they’ll each hate me more than their local IRS agent in their own special way. Seriously, I’m loving the CAC and the brand of ball. Good stuff and folks are great to commit to making it a serious league. I think the level of play and passion increases each season and the expectations that things will be run professionally, by both the CAC and the players, lends to a special environment. Keep ‘em coming, this is good stuff!

9.  Best basketball movie of all Time.

Please. Baseball movies are great (The Natural, Field of Dreams, Bang The Drum Slowly, Pride of the Yankees, The Winning Team, Bad News Bears, Babe Ruth Story, League of Their Own, The Rookie, Bull Durham?). Basketball movies? What a choice: Michael Jordan with Bugs Bunny? Shaq as a genie? Billy Crystal as a referee? The Fish that Save Pittsburgh? What the hell. Next question.

 10.  Best moment off the court with the CAC contingent?

Sunset Grille rocks the beer towers and the Boston Beer Company team made a lasting impression before they were one-and-done. But the referee doesn’t often go out after, know what I mean? That’s right. Only three nights have I ventured forth out of four full seasons, averaging 8 games a week, and on only three of those nights were people not chasing me with pitchforks. CAC is great when both teams can mutually agree that I suck, something my friends and family have known for many years. And without Rory hooting for a foul this season or BFab here to remind me of it from the table, I need all the CAC hate-love I can get. Looking forward to getting me some more of that this season

Bob, I’m sure you will get EXACTLY what you are looking for.  Best of luck this season and thanks for bringing “it” to CAC.