Column: Check out the hype

Published 5:57 pm Friday, March 4, 2005

By Staff
Well I am sure most of you know by now that Buchanan has made it to the district championship game Saturday and as expected it is playing Bridgman.
For those of you who haven't seen the Bucks in action yet this season and have been wanting to see what all the hype has been about, this is your chance.
Buchanan beat Bridgman earlier in the season by three points at Bridgman and the Bees knocked the Bucks out of the No. 1 spot in the Lakeland Conference by four points a few weeks ago at Buchanan.
This, I promise you, will be a very intense game. Any time you get two talented teams together fighting for a championship it's going to be intense. The Bucks will be fighting for their third district championship in a row. Last year they made it to the state semifinals and this year their goal, of course, is to make it all the way.
Coloma and St. Joseph will also meet Saturday night at Dowagiac High School for the Class B district championship. This game will also be very intense.
Lets just hope that neither of tomorrow night's games get out of control like the game did Tuesday night when Bridgman met Watervliet. If you didn't hear or read about it, well lets just say it got ugly. Very ugly. To the point that fans were leaving the gym.
I didn't see the game, but when I went to Bridgman Wednesday night I heard all about it. Head butting, pushing, shoving, guys getting thrown to the ground, elbowing, the list goes on and on. And the referees didn't really do anything to stop it. That's why so many people left.
Basketball is a physical sport, not as physical as football obviously, but there is some pretty rough contact. Some referees will let players get away with a little pushing and shoving, some referees call every little touch which can make a game last forever, and some, like the case the other night, will let you get away with murder or they just aren't paying too much attention which makes some wonder what game they are even watching.
But we have to remember that referees are not always to blame for the game winning call and really are not horrible people. Sure they do make some pretty bad calls and don't always see everything, but what about the good calls they make? They are only human. They are entitled to make mistakes. I know a game that is decided on an official's mistake may not be acceptable, but who said being a referee was an easy job? It's not! Most of you have no idea what its like being one.
I have officiated a few games before and didn't quite get the abuse that most refs get, but I did get yelled at an awful lot. It is very frustrating having people yelling at you constantly, "Hey, Billy traveled. Come on ref didn't you see that foul? Three seconds, three seconds!"
It is very hard to catch every mistake, especially when most of the time there are only two refs watching 10 kids on the floor, even more players in other sports.
So instead of just yelling at officials, just be sure to get out and support your local teams especially in games like these.
The players need nothing more than to know they have a lot of people cheering for them and have tons of support behind them.
Good luck to everyone this weekend and to those who move on and remember good sportsmanship is the biggest key to winning anything.
The most important lesson one can learn from sports is how to be not only a good winner, but a good loser as well. Not everyone wins all the time, as a matter of fact, no one wins all the time.
Winning is the easy part, losing is the hardest. But, you learn more from one loss than you do from a million wins. You learn a lot about sportsmanship.
It's really tough to shake the hand of someone who just beat you. If you can learn to do this and push through that pain, you will remember what that moment is like the next time you win and have a better sense of how those competitors around you feel. This experience will teach you a lot on and off the court!