Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The NBA pre-foul: Don't you dare smile, mofo

It finally happened. Rasheed Wallace has had a relatively smooth two seasons in Detroit, becoming a vital part of a perennial NBA championship contender. He's been embraced by fans and media here, but I think there's always been an underlying fear that 'Sheed might somehow go off the deep end and become the menace to society he was portrayed as in Portland. Well, that may have finally happened. And it was a good thing NBA referees were on hand to quell the incident before it grew into a full-blown eruption.

Thank you, Jack Nies. Thank you for keeping our 'Sheed in control. Thank you for keeping the NBA game - our NBA game - clean and morally upstanding.

What indignity did 'Sheed commit to warrant the stern (pun intended?) reprimand of a technical foul, inching Mr. Wallace dangerously close to a season total that, pending an appeal, will result in a one-game suspension?

That crazy mother#$@%er laughed! And he didn't just laugh, he smiled, showing all of his teeth to Cleveland's Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

(Photo by Mark Duncan/ AP)

In fairness, Nies and his colleagues were probably watching out for any retaliation that might result from 'Sheed's elbow to Ilgauskas' head on Sunday, which opened a cut that required five stitches to close. So the whistle lips were probably a bit itchy when Ilgauskas threw 'Sheed to the floor in Monday's rematch with the Cavaliers. It's also possible that the refs were on a high state of alert after seeing signs in the crowd that said "'Sheed Must Bleed!" (Who knew Cavs fans were so bloodlusty? Of course, they did boo LeBron last week...)

But still, we're talking about laughing. We're talking about a smile. (Would we have Need4Sheed without that smile?) What exactly are the refs trying to legislate on the floor? It's like Minority Report officiating - they'll whistle you for a pre-foul, because you may have been thinking about doing something that could escalate a touchy situation. What would you do if you were whistled for a foul you had not committed... yet?

"No laughing in basketball," 'Sheed said to the Detroit News, "it's a serious sport or you're going to get thrown out."

No kidding. It's so serious, by the way, that referees have called 10 technical fouls on the Pistons in their last three games. (Who knew Scott Skiles had so much pull with the league?)


  • At February 28, 2006 11:02 AM, Blogger Big Al said…

    I agree, Sheed has been getting shafted recently in regard to techs. Has he deserved the majority of them? Probably. But over the last few games, the refs are T'ing up Sheed if he just looks at them askance. As Sheed so eloquently put it, the calls have been "Felonious."


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