Friday, December 11, 2009

The Ref Punched The Cotton Candy Guy

Bill Simmons, ESPN's The Sports Guy, has a section in his weekly column called, "GREAT CALL OF THE WEEK." Sometimes, it's sports related. Other times it's not. This week's made me smile.

"I took my 4-year-old daughter to the Clippers-Magic game Tuesday. Every Clips game turns her off on the NBA just a little bit more. After all, dead crowds and sloppy basketball isn't exactly a hook. She spends most of her time rooting for the cotton candy guy to walk by, asking if various players have "permanent tattoos" and listening to people in our section yell at the refs and Mike Dunleavy. Not the best way to develop a fledgling NBA fan.

In the second quarter, one official made a horrible call against the Clips that got a groan from our section. The guy behind us even screamed "Donaghy!!!!" My daughter was confused. "Why did he scream that?" (I explained that Donaghy was the name of a really bad ref.) "Is that Donaghy right there?" (No.) "Why was he a bad ref?" (Because he just was.) "But why?" (Now I'm debating whether to dive into the Donaghy scandal, ultimately deciding to repeat that he was just bad.) "Daddy, I want to know why Donaghy was bad."

Needing an answer she would understand, I fibbed and told her Donaghy was a bad ref because he punched the cotton candy guy once. She couldn't believe it. "He punched the cotton candy guy?" (Yup. And nobody got to eat cotton candy for the whole game.) "Are you making this up?" (Nope. That's what happened.) "Well, he's a very bad ref," she decided. "You shouldn't punch the cotton candy guy." (I agree.) And with that, she let it go and started watching the game again. Telling white lies to your kids so they'll finally be quiet -- that's my Great Call of the Week."

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