I didn't know the difference. It's interesting when you grow up with only one thing and you travel to friend's house and find out that there is a choice you didn't know existed. Like the time I found out about bagels. When I first saw them I didn't know what they were. We always had english muffins or just plain old bread. I felt the same way when Grandpa would eat his "brown bread." Grandpa loved pumpernickel bread. I wrinkled my face as he put his butter on a toasted slice of that dark brown bread. I asked Mom what did we have when I got home and she said margarine. I didn't see the big deal but as I've gotten older I realize butter is really really good. It makes everything taste better. Isn't it nice to have something or eat something that you know has the "real" stuff in it? I guess that is why the phrase "like mom/grandma used to make" differentiates the degree of goodness.
It's the same with games. There are just some games that have the "real" stuff in it. The players play hard, the coaches coach with heart and the fans cheer optimistically for their team. These are the smooth as butta games! I remember one game that I officiated at the Daytona Ocean Center over the Christmas Holidays. During the winter, NAIA northern colleges bring their teams to bask in Florida's sunshine while playing in tournaments. The game I was assigned had two teams that used the five man in and five man substitution system. Or in this case the five women substitution. Both teams were ranked nationally as the highest scoring teams in the NAIA division. They didn't foul much as they were so busy running and gunning three-pointers and substituting fresh legs that the score ended with 208 total points in normal regulation! This was a new record high points for me as an official. Hardly any fouls and fun to watch too. We ran our butts off but it was one of the most enjoyable games I ever had. 103 to 105 was the final score. I hated to see either team lose.
I was so excited to get this game I called my assignor on the way home. I said excitedly, "Tony, we just finished our game at the Ocean Center and it was great! I wanted to call and thank you for that game!" He replied, "What went wrong?" I said, "Nothing. I was just calling to let you know how great a game it was. The final score was 105 to 103 and they hardly fouled the entire game!" I was almost out of breath from excitement as I had called as soon as I got in the car to drive home. He said, "BJ, Don't call me for that shit!" and hung up on me. [I am going to set the scene with a couple more stories about Tony in the upcoming days. This one is to present the frame of the entire picture.] Great way to deflate my balloon I thought. Tony was not known for his smooth tact and you can see why in this one sentence how his words cut like a knife. Unprofessional, like oleo as Grandpa would say, not very smooth.
I tossed the ball and promptly went to my position at Trail. As the offensive player dribbled to the corner of the side line and half court line right in front of me being closely guarded by a defensive player, I started a five second count. When I got to five, I heard my partner blow his whistle from his position UNDER THE BASKET and signal five seconds! YGBSM! (You Gotta Be Shitting Me!) This was going to be a rough game not to mention that I had been assigned two games with this guy. After a forty minute pregame of the usual "Trust your partner, Call your primary [area] and Call the obvious," he had defied his entire pregame with the very first call! It was my primary, I had the five second count and he hadn't trusted me! He should have been watching his own area and let me make my call in MY primary area! I tried to shake it off as the first-call-jitters, but the entire night was like this. I thought why am I even out here? In the last quarter of the last game, I literally took my whistle off and ran up and down the court with it in my pocket. I couldn't figure out why John did this? Did he not believe in what he preached? Was it because I was new and in his mind inexperienced? [I had just returned from a summer filled calling Girls AAU Basketball as an AAU National Official. The Girls game uses a shot clock. He had never officiated with a shot clock in all his "thirty years experience."] Was it because I was a female official? Either way it was unprofessional.