Sunday, February 11, 2007
I don't even know where to begin. This kind of shit would only happen to me... I guess that before I go any further, watch the video above. It was already sitting in my inbox by the time I got home. I don't know who shot it, or how they got my e-mail address, but it was sent to me by a fellow reader by the name of Nathan Coleham. Nothing in the message, except a subject that read: Hope you're OK. Thanks Nathan.
All right, I bet you're confused. I know that I still am. I'll walk you through it, and maybe I'll straighten it out in my own mind at the same time. Here's a runthrough:
Most of the day: Uneventful. Everything was going fine. Done about 6 games and no problems. The occasional coach complaints and fans boos, but that's nothing compared what was about to happen.
7PM: Final game of the day and it was set up to be the showcase: Memorial vs. Rochester. Two rival schools that had a history of bad blood. Not exactly a fun way to end the day. The whole first half I could tell that things were starting to get rough. Players pushing, coaches yelling, and fans swearing. Craig (The other ref) and I went into halftime knowing something was wrong. It was just that kind of atmosphere. Small gym and crazy fans does not inspire confidence in a smooth game. We talked about trying to get the game back under control, and both agreed to have a small coaches meeting before the second half got going. That's when it got started.
8PM: The moment Craig and I walked out on the floor we got booed. Here's the thing, I honestly felt like we did a good job. Neither team got shafted (foulwise) and I never felt like we called anything too out there. I guess everyone else in the building saw something different. So... we got both coaches together for a quick team meeting. Turned out to be a huge mistake. The Rochester coach felt as though he was God's gift to basketball. Before Craig or I could even say a word, he immediately laid into us.
Rochester : "That was the most horseshit half I have ever watched. You guys better get your act together."
Me: (Thinking: Uh oh, this is not good) "Coach, Hold on, You have to calm..."
Craig: "Coach, that's a technical."
Oops. Not a good move on his part. It was like the ground opened up and Satan himself had emerged. Rochesters' coach let a growl that mimicked a lion's and reachd for Craig's throat. Memorial's coach tried to step in but got a hand plastered to his face instead. By now, all of the fans and players had noticed the outburst and the wheels had been set into motion.
It's hard for me to describe that happened after that. Everything went into a blur. People came out of the stands and the two sides met each other in the middle like two Spartan armies colliding on the battlefield. I ran for the safety of the locker room, but I had to slide through the mod. There were fists, arms, legs, and plenty of angry faces. Let's just say that I was not the approiate person to be in the middle to it either. I got a kick to the leg and a slap to the face, but it was nothing compared to the gorilla that was waiting at the exit of the gym. He left me with a black eye and threat that went along the lines of "My son didn't touch that kid. You called his third foul. Now I will put you on the sidelines, for a loooong time." His fist hurt my face.
I managaed to crawl out of the gym on my hands and knees and finally slumped into a chaig. Craig has made it back but only after sprinting to the door seconds before gorilla guy got there. Police arrived shortly after and you can see in the video that were pretty serious about things. They even took the time to escort Craig and I out of the building.
Here's what happens next: Tommorrow (Well, today I guess) I have to attend a IHSA board meeting that is supposed to sort things out. I don't know what it will solve, but I know that I won't want to be there. I want to forget what happened and everyone to leave me alone for a couple days. I'll let you know how things go.
Now to go get some swollen shut eye.