Last night, Teddy Valentine hit Joel Berry with a hilarious, 180 degree spin ending any chance for a complaint to be heard.
Twitter hated it, which is fine, since optically, it looks bad, and that’s what Twitter is for, knee-jerk reactions like these:
A bit drastic, but like I said, knee jerk reaction.
Then, this morning, Sporting News put up a post about TV Teddy.
I’ve played in a handful of games officiated by Teddy Valentine. He’s a professional, there to do his job. He is competent, veteran ref with a little flair. Nobody enjoys their job more than TV Teddy, and considering his occupation, I think we should leave Teddy alone.
When was the last time you watched a basketball game on TV and thought to yourself, “Glad the players are showing so much respect for the ref’s tonight” or “Wow, look how much love the crowd is showing that official” and you sure as hell have never said, “That job looks pleasant, I’d like to do that.”
I would shovel snow from people’s driveways with a garden spade wearing a thong and a tank top for $8/hr before I officiated high level basketball games.
How many jobs require keeping a straight face while thousands of angry people yell obscenities at you, or while foaming-at-the-mouth co-workers (coaches) have to be restrained from charging you in rage. How many places have monster sized human’s, adrenaline pumping in the heat of competition, SCREAMING at you about your performance on the job. None.
This isn’t professional basketball, where arguing every call made has become a norm. It’s collegiate basketball, and there is zero discussion about calls between players and ref’s. If they miss a call, get back on defense and hope for a makeup call.
TV Teddy earned his nickname from his theatrics on television. After a career of what seems like 50 years of collegiate basketball officiating, I think Teddy has earned the right to show a little personality on the job.
He turned his back on a player, which looks bad, but he didn’t throw his whistle at Joel Berry like Steph Curry threw his mouthpiece at a ref. Teddy is like a tenured college professor that tells stories about taking acid at Woodstock with no fear of getting fired. He know’s he is safe and is having a little fun. He probably got a couple laughs from the crowd and it made his night.
Maybe Teddy V doesn’t associate himself with cheaters? Who knows.
Everyone relax, take a deep breath, and let my man Teddy live. Oh, and Sporting News, shut the fuck up.