Sunday, January 21, 2007

4 T

I'm a technical foul magnet.

For those of you that are not basketball aficionados, a technical foul is a foul that comes about when a player or coach is acting in an unsportsmanlike manner, like getting on officials. Unfortunately, I can't seem to shake the dreaded "T". My history has been chock full of them.
My most embarrassing tech was when I was an assistant coach on the Mesa Verde J.V. team, a team that had little heart, little coaching, and no fire. I got the "T" in the last game of the year hoping to inspire a little fire. It didn't work, and I didn't even show up to awards night I was so embarrassed.
I was ejected from one game during my first year at Live Oak as the J.V. coach from the dreaded "2 T's". It was the first home game I had ever had at the school, and it didn't really give a good first impression. I can't remember why I got the
first "T", but I do remember the varsity coach,Imdad Khan, telling me that the ref was a real asshole, and would heave me at his convenience. We started down 18, got it back to down 4 with only 2:30 minutes left in the game when I was up off the bench encouraging my guys to press. All of a sudden I heard a whistle and the ref T'd me a second time for not being seated while the game was in play (once T'd, a coach has to sit for the rest of the game). We lost by about 6. The athletic director forgave me and I coached another 3 years.
Believe it or not, I've never been given a technical for using profanity. I did say "Jesus Christ" in exasperation after a bad call at the Sutter J.V. Tourney. The ref turned around and said "What did you say?". I told him that Jesus Christ wasn't profanity and he T'd me up while saying, "During this game it is". Bah. I wonder if he'd have T'd me up if I said that Jesus was the ultimate socialist (those that watch th news will get it).
I've had four technicals this year. One in Fortuna was for ragging on a young official about the homer job as we played the host school in their tournament. We didn't lose because of theofficals, but they didn't help. The second technical came a few weeks ago when an official simply didn't like me. I coached a family member a few years ago. He didn't play much. Get the picture? The third technical was last weekend at Elsie Allen. I said "that was a garbage call", and got lit up. The fourth was last night, in a big game. After a touch foul on one of my players, I lept up and told the player that it was great defense and to keep it up. The ref T'd me for showing him up and being too loud. Fortunately, the players made up for the mistake and we won an excellent game.
I probably deserve about 60% of the techs that I get, and I'm being serious. I have two serious disadvantages when coaching that simply irritate the officials. First, I have an incredibly loud, booming voice. It's the kind of voice that people 100ft away would hear even if there was a full throttle jet engine between us. In my Junior year in high school, our starting power forward Shannon Rasmussen told our point guard, "I don't have to worry about listening for the plays, I can hear Brown's voice over the whole fucking gym." I was, and still am, proud of the voice. People swear that I should be in radio. The problem is that it really grates on the nerves of refs who come by the sideline. Most of the time, I'm not even talking to them, but my loud
voice comes as a distraction to their task. The second disadvantage I have in the game is that I rove the sideline like a caged animal. I'm up and down the bench, encouraging players, pumping my fist, clapping like crazy.......just being everywhere that a ref doesn't really want me to be. So you have a crazy loud coach with a booming voice reminding you that the last call was bogus, that equals a couple of T's. Some say that I should try reffing, and I have. I reffed for three years at Chico State for college intramurals, which might be classified as worse than high school. You try officiating a game between two frats, it isn't pretty. Of course, most technicals occur with younger officials. I've been T'd up once in 5 years by Varsity level officials. Younger officials are just less confident about calls, and more concerned about what you are actually saying on the sideline. The more senior officials will come over and let you know you stepped over the line. I got to know a couple of the officials over in Yuba City pretty well while at Live Oak. One of the top guys during a home game came over while I was ranting and said, "Jeff, you're looking like a jackass and I'm not going to throw you out. I'm having too much fun watching you." We both laughed and it was done.
Anyway, I have my weakness that I need to work on I guess. Last night was a really big game if we were to have lost because of my technical, it would have done mucho damage to my relationship with my players, who worked their ass off for the "W". \
Ok, coach. Focus.
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