Zebra? More like donkey…
Remember when you were a kid and you lost your grade school hoops game and you and your parents were always certain that the other team paid the referee off? I do. Man, you guys sure did whine about it. Really, your team just wasn’t as good as the opponent. But you were a tough little tike who gave a lot of effort. And anyways, it’s not about winning, it’s about how you play the game, amirite?
We’ve heard plenty of stories about crooked referees that did turn out to be true, though. From Tim Donaghy on down. Eastern Kentucky has put a new twist on referee scandals. 14th/15th Region high school basketball referee Tommy Hutton was convicted on two counts of trafficking a controlled substance. [source] Hutton also refereed several Sweet Sixteen games, so he is the most likely reason why your favorite team lost (or won) the state championship over the years. What a jerk.
The video over at WKYT shows Hutton engaging in a drug deal. He was even caught doing a deal right before going to ref a game. Kind of sad to see this type of stuff going on around kids. The funniest part, however, is his excuse the gave the cops — selling BBQ sauce was the reason folks kept coming in and out of his house. Ha. That’s rich.
It’s always interesting to think about the subjective angles of referees, whether it be calling it in favor of one team because of preference or because of advantages. When people with such shady character are involved in high school games, the integrity of the sport plummets, as you have no idea whether the guy with the whistle has an ulterior motive or not.
But Hutton can’t be the only ref out there selling or even doing drugs before games, right? I’ve seen some pretty awful games where the referee had to be on something. Let’s make a list of the worst officiated games of all time in which drugs may have played a role:
— UK vs. Duke, 1992: The stomp? Come on, man. Either the ref suffered for glaucoma or was pulling for Duke. Open your eyes!
— Monstars vs. Tune Squad, Space Jam 1996: In order for aliens and stretch armstrong limbs to be involved, some sort of hallucinogenic had to be involved.
Let’s hear your choices…