Keep in mind that it is just a game


Kentucky Wildcats running back Benny Snell Jr. is escorted to the locker room after being ejected from the game during the Music City Bowl game against Northwestern on Friday, December 29, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. Kentucky was defeated 24-23. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Hayden Hooper

In the recent year, UK has seen bad officiating in all of its sports. The most memorable are the calls from John Higgins in basketball and the PAC-12 referees assigned to the Music City Bowl last month.

Earlier this week, ESPN reporter Kyle Bonagura said in his post on, “In the days following the game, Coyte received a barrage of threatening calls to his cell and office phones, sources said, as did the commercial real estate association he belongs to.” Bonagura was reporting on the antics of the Big Blue Nation.

Seem familiar? In March, we saw the same thing happen against John Higgins.

Where should the game end and life begin during these scenarios?

Now before I go into this, my reactions to these calls were the same as the BBN. I starred at a wall for 30 minutes after the UNC game, but I didn’t go as far as calling the referees businesses and giving them bad reviews.

It has gotten so bad that Kentucky Sports Radio is in a ridiculous lawsuit with Higgins. There is nothing illegal about what KSR did during all the scrutiny they have had. It has gotten so bad that on their podcast and website, it’s a running joke that they have no comment on referees.

Talking about referees is a double-edged sword. Fans from other teams attack and the media attacks. You aren’t able to change games with the comments you make, and you won’t ever be able to. Calls can never be reversed, but how about we see it in a different light. Playing the game and playing into the referee’s favor can go hand in hand, but what if you don’t get the calls and win the game?

Remember, if it wasn’t for the last second shot from Luke Maye, we were on our way to overtime against the soon-to-be national champions and on the road ourselves to the championship. But since the ball went in, and we saw the post-game videos, the calls were highlighted the most. Referees should never be in the spotlight; it makes no sense since it’s all about the team and not the referees.

Now, the football scene is where it gets worse. You can say whatever you want about what would’ve happened if Snell didn’t get ejected, but not having him there probably gave the other team a boost. What about next year? That call was rejected by late talk show hosts like Seth Meyers, and now everyone is on our side. And remember, we were about a ruler off from winning that game without our star running back and our quarterback was nearly done.

After losses, going onto Twitter is a battle sometimes. Seeing tweets of nugatory comments about the team is one thing, but the referees is another.

So, the next time you think about tweeting or calling their place of business to ruin their reputation over a game, don’t do it. Remember, it’s one game, there will be other chances to see us raise a banner.