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6/12/2008 02:39:00 PM
Most Infamous Refs in History
Will Tom Donaghy go down as the most famous referee in history?
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com
One year ago, nobody knew Tim Donaghy from Tim Duncan. Now Donaghy will go down in history as the man who blew his whistle during the NBA's biggest gathering and managed to draw attention away from the Celts/Lakers match-up and to the men in stripes. In a perfect world, we pay no attention to the men behind the stripes. But this is not a perfect world. Here are my top five most infamous referees in history...
2. Joey Crawford: After being charged with filing false income taxes in the this late '90s, this NBA ref was suspended a few years ago for ejecting Tim Duncan from the bench during a game (while Duncan was laughing), and then, according to Duncan, challenging him to a fight on the court. Crawford returned and even reffed the Derek Fisher no-call game against San Antonio a few weeks ago.
3. Eric Gregg: The man referred to as the "Plump Ump" forgot the strike zone for Livan Hernandez during the 1997 NLCS against the my Braves.
4. Red Cashen: Hey, not every ref is infamous for being bad. Cashen will forever be linked with his iconic, "First Down!" call.
5. Danny Davis: OK, so he was a WWF referee, but still, his egregious flaunting of the rules back in the late '80s, when he allowed The Hart Foundation to blatantly cheat and take away the tag team titles from The British Bulldogs, shook me to my core. Then again, I was about 12.
Which ref will you never forget? Let us know below...
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com
Never in my life have I seen a worse umpired game that the 97' game against the Marlins and Braves in the NLCS. Eric GReggs' Strikezone was as large as his body. That was a pathetic display of umpiring....Piss Poor
Absolutely no way you can put a WWF/E ref on this list without it being Earl Hebner for the Montreal Screwjob on Bret Hart, and then later getting fired from the company for selling WWF merchandise without permission.
I don't know the names of the umpires in the '91 Series between Atlanta and Minnesota, but my God, how could they be that bad?! Hrbek pulls Gant off the bag and then Gant gets called out!? Justice hits a home run that is clearly inside the foul pole but it is called foul?! The Gant one really got me though. Hrbek literally picked Gant up off 1st base, threw him away from the bag, and then "tagging" him "out" was the worst call I have ever seen whether in person or on TV.
I have to agree with the comment about the anti-Seahawks refs in SB XL. Never seen anything like that before or since in the NFL. And I don't like the Seahawks or live in or near Seattle (I'm from Ohio).
Actually, it was a hockey ref when I was playing Midget hockey that we dubbed "Charley Tuna." Called a bench minor on the time-keeper and then charged it to the VISITING team. One kid took a slash to the face and he called that kid for delay of game.
He used to jump up on the boards all the time and two kids from different teams rode their check into him so he went over the boards. He "retired"soon after. Nothing that has happened in the pros has stuck with me as the one that affected the outcomes of MY games. ;-D
totally agree with 11:03...Super Bowl XL. The worst was Hasselbeck being called for an illegal block after throwing an interception and trying to tackle the guy with the ball. He went low to avoid a block and get to the ballcarrier behind the blocker. The blocker went flying, and Hasselbeck got called for an illegal block below the waist. Sad stuff...
How about Ed Hochuli? He's only the scariest ref ever. The man is referred to not only by fans but by NFL players themselves as Ed Hurcules. You couldn't disagree with one of his calls if you wanted to. And if you wanted to you WOULDN'T!
Hue Hollins - cost the 93-94 bulls their 4 title in a row with the phantom foul call in the garden with three seconds left against the knicks...Hollins later admitted that he blew the call...Horace Grant had blocked a final shot cleanly and then suddenly Hollins called for two free throws...there was no time left...the Bulls ended up losing by one - went home and won game 6 and couldn't win game 7 in NYC...of course the knicks lost to the Rockets so there was some justice...
From this Celtics fan, I give you Kenny Mauer and Bennett Salvatore.
Mauer conveniently ignored Paul Pierce breaking his teeth a few years back and continues to hold an apparent grudge against him (see LeBron hauling him down in Game 7 of the Celts-Cavs series, no call).
Salvatore called the bogus charge on Pierce in the Eastern Finals and is known for being a homer.
Everyone you're forgetting Rich Garcia, the umpire from the Orioles/Yankees game in which Jeffrey Maier reached over Tony Trasco's head to give Derek Jeter a homer run and thus ruining the O's franchise and allowing me to come up with new swear words at 8 years old
The entire NHL is bloated with bad officiating. It is so consistently inconsistant. In no other professional sport do the rules change depending on the time on the clock. It makes it confusing and frustrating to watch. No wonder hockey ranks right below Womens Softball in the TV viewership in the US, because how can you follow a game when you don't know which plays are going to be called.
"Hey, not every ref is infamous for being bad." Er, then what would Cashen's infamy be for? It sounds as though you approve of "First Down!", so it's not that. You seem to be confusing famous with infamous.
I'll never forget John Sherry, who collapsed mid-way through the Pirates v. Braves 1992 NLCS. I forget who replaced him, but that guy later called 4 straight balls on 4 straight Stan Belinda strikes to Damon Berryhill in the 9th inning. Cost the Pirates the game. Very Leslie Nielsen-esque from Naked Gun.
"Hey, not every ref is infamous for being bad." You might want to have someone literate edit your blogging. Or you can tell us which one of these definitions defines Red Cashen:
in·fa·mous [ínfəməss] adj 1. notorious: having an extremely bad reputation 2. abominable: so bad as to earn somebody an extremely bad reputation 3. law punishable by a serious penalty: punishable by imprisonment or loss of civil rights 4. law convicted of infamous crime: convicted of an infamous crime
[14th century. From medieval Latin infamosus , a variant of Latin infamis “of ill repute,” literally “having no fame,” from fama (see fame).]
Game 5 1992-1993 Knicks-Bulls - they couldn't even call one foul when Charles Smith got fouled 5 times. The leagues was too scared of the big bad Knicks beating Michael Jordan and his babies. Guess Hue Hollins gave us some poetic justice. But Bulls fans, you are the biggest whiners out there.
During the '80s, Ed T. Rush was the most inconsistent and biased official in the NBA. As a kid, I remember cringing before every Laker game when Chick Hearn announced that he would be officiating that evening. He was always good for 2-3 missed calls a night and there was little doubt in his desire for controlling the outcome. And this was WAAAY before ref integrity was questioned. Think I am biased; go ask Cuban for his opinion on him once he became Director of Officiating (http://espn.go.com/nba/news/2002/0107/1307127.html)