Going through withdrawal
March 9 was a dark day for officiating, as the three referees responsible for the St. John's-Rutgers game combined to miss a series of calls so obvious, Stevie Wonder sitting courtside at the All Star Game could've seen 'em. With each passing moment after the game clock expired, fans' disbelief, incredulity and anger grew. The world of refereeing hadn't been subject to a Twitter-thrashing of yesterday's magnitude since Jim Joyce made that fateful "safe" call back on June 3 that ruined Armando Galarraga's perfect game.
Today, after the chalk outline of Rutgers' season was removed from the floor of MSG, it was announced that the three refs have voluntarily withdrawn from the rest of the Big East tournament. By no means do I don't think the gentlemen botched the final seconds of the game on purpose -- human error will always be a factor in refereeing -- but I do agree with their decision to remove themselves from the situation.
John Marinatto said the choice was made "in the best interests of everyone involved -- including coaches, student-athletes, game officials and Big East member institutions." It's a small consolation for the Rutgers players and coaches, who will always wonder "what if," but it's something. And that something had me thinking: Who else should "voluntarily withdraw" themselves from their occupation? The list could be endless, so here just are a few people who should take their cue from the Big East Blind Mice and call it a day ...
• Sepp Blatter -- Whether he's recommending that female soccer players wear "tighter shorts and low-cut shirts," advising that homosexuals should "refrain from any sexual activities" while in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, or claiming that the IOC runs its finances "like a housewife," FIFA president Sepp Blatter has managed to alienate people all over the world, while simultaneously turning an already-corrupt organization into an even greater laughingstock. Time to hang it up, Blatter.
• Isiah Thomas -- When he took over as president of basketball operations in 2003, the Hall of Fame point guard turned a once-proud Knicks franchise into a joke. Not only did he lead to team to an overall winning percentage of .341 as head coach from 2006-08, he was charged with sexually harassing an employee, costing Madison Square Garden $11.6 million, and he held illegal pre-draft workouts for which the Knicks were later fined $200,000. While he may claim to be the coach of the FIU Golden Panthers, those in the know say he's still pulling all the strings in New York. Isiah, it's time to cut those strings yourself, and let 'Melo and Amar'e lead the Knicks back to glory.
• Donald Sterling -- Arguably the worst owner in professional sports, Donald Sterling has allowed his Clippers to be the doormat of the NBA for far too long. Whether he's heckling his own players (now former player, Baron Davis, who got the brunt of it) or attempting to celebrate Black History Month during the wrong month, he's just one big fail after another. A singular talent like Blake Griffin deserves much better.
• Snooki -- Alright fine, she's not a sports figure. She still needs to quit -- well, whatever it is she does -- 'cause I'm sick of seeing her Oompa-Loompa face on every channel of my TV and every page of my magazines. I'd love to see her take Bruno Mars' hit song literally and catch a grenade (as redundant as that may be).
If you could tell one sports figure to hang up her shoes or retire his clipboard ... who would it be?