#2. "What Were You Thinking When ..."
And now let's throw it to our sideline reporters for their thoughts on useless sports commentary:
"I think they wanted to shake up some points on the board more!"
Sideline reporting is kind of a tough beat, in that it involves talking to people who couldn't say anything interesting if they wanted to, and they don't want to. Not that sideline reporters make their jobs any easier, almost every one of them relying on this, the crown prince of inane interview questions: "What were you thinking when you did that thing?"
The reason this is such a dumb question is because there's no possible interesting answer to it. The actual answer can be one of two things:
- "Boy I should really try doing that thing," or
- "I wasn't thinking. The play developed too quickly for anything other than instinctive reactions."
Those are the only possible things a player could be thinking in those situations, and neither of them is interesting to learn. And because there's nothing interesting to say there, and because they're full of adrenaline, and because a lot of them are idiots, and because I think a few of them are just fucking with the reporter, the players almost always respond with some made up nonsense anyways:
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Sport
"Yeah, well I wanted to board some shake points on the moor."
#1. "This Ref Is Making the Game About Himself"
The platonic ideal of a perfect game is a closely fought contest with incredible moments of athleticism, skill, and strategy on display that isn't decided until the very final play. At no point in this vision of sport at its best does a zebra ever trot onto the field and slow everything down by nagging at people.
"Hey guys, can you stop having fun, kay?"
If the best possible game has no whistles blown, it follows then that games get less enjoyable with more whistles, and commentators routinely applaud referees who "let them play" and berate officials who "make the game about themselves." The implication being that if there are a lot of whistles, the referee must be doing something wrong.
Or, you know, the players might be.
"Since when is kicking a guy directly in the asshole a card?"
Those rules are there for a reason, right? To prevent players from gaining an advantage illegally, that's a good one. I hate it when a referee who gives a lot of cards or penalties is criticized for "losing control of the game," as if the fact that the players are trying to murder each other right in front of him isn't really relevant.
"Really, I think this says more about your insecurities than anything else."