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Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Thanks For Your Eyeballs

This is Epth Nation averaged 31 visitors a day last week, making this, as VH1 would say, the "Best Week Ever." Thank you all. Clearly, I need to to more stuff about Ubuntu.

Just kidding.

Seriously, thanks. Now on to the NBA Playoffs:

Every year at this time, NBA fans are shocked all over again at the poor officiating they see in the playoffs, as if something was going to change from the previous year's debacle. Teams are routinely jobbed by officials, who constantly violate several solid and non-negotiable refereeing principles and in doing so make horrible calls. In a world where games come down to the last minute, 3 bad calls against one team over the course of the game can determine the winner, leaving the NBA open to allegations of game-rigging and foul play. The playoffs are supposed to be the NBA's showcase, but most of the time what they're showcasing is bad officiating and pissed-off fans.

This is an unacceptable situation, but the people who care about changing it -- players, fans, media, coaches -- are powerless. The only people who can change this are NBA execs and the officials themselves, and those two groups like things the way they are thank you very much. Look at what happened to Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban: After putting forth on his blog a benign suggestion to help improve officiating, he gets fined 100 grand. Why can't owners publicly suggest ways to help improve the league? Is the league embarassed by the officials? Is the league so sensitive to the issue because they know its a problem but don't want to do anything about it?

Despite its futility, I feel it necessary to suggest ways to improve NBA officiating. Since this blog and its author are in no way affiliated with the NBA, I probably won't get fined:

1) If an official makes a call, and it is proven from replays that the official could not see the play because a) he was looking somewhere else, or b) there was an obstruction between him and the play, then the official is suspended. On the second offense, he is fired. Eat that, Dick Bavetta.

2) Since officials currently are making all sorts of calls they can't see, meaning they're just guessing, clearly we need more officials out there. Increase the number from three to four, so that they won't have to violate suggestion 1).

3) Get rid of the star system. No, I mean it. Get rid of it. Officials need to see players as equal, to keep the game fair. Otherwise, the rules are meaningless drivel.

4) Enforce traveling for real. This is an easy call to make, I don't see why its constantly missed. Everybody knows the rules -- stop letting things go just because they look cool. If you enforce it, they will be forced to learn proper ways to look cool.

5) Call a foul on Bruce Bowen every time he commits one, thereby fouling him out in the first quarter of every game. Dude gets away with moider out there, and he's ugly.

6) Make flopping a foul. If the ref sees you fall to the floor when nobody touches you, he can give you a personal. We need to get rid of the confusion. This ain't soccer.

7) Refs are to be as robot-like as possible. No more giving out technicals just because a player looked at them funny. No more showboating or talking to the coaches. In fact, let's only refer to the refs by numbers, rather than names, and not allow any interaction between them and the players/coaches/Mark Cubans.

With these new rules and norms in place, we can change basketball forever. It's either this or go totally WWE and have hot chick refs, face paint, pre-game threatening interviews, soap-opera storylines, and fake backboard breakings every night. It's one or the other, David Stern. Don't try to ride the middle, or you'll end up in the prickly bushes in between either fork in the road.


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