Encourage retired referee to stay retired

I.M. Slick: Greetings from Joe Kleinsasser?s agent. I talked Joe into letting me write his Sideline Slants column this week. Well, not exactly.

It took considerable arm-twisting. What he doesn?t know won?t hurt him. He insisted on seeing the column before it was submitted, so I let him read a bogus column, submitting this one instead.

*?*?*

Dear Marion Countians: It has come to my attention that recently retired basketball official Joe Kleinsasser is having second thoughts about hanging up his whistle after 40 years of high school and college basketball officiating.

My concern goes far beyond Marion County, where he got his start in officiating. If he should un-retire from officiating, it will have an impact on high school coaches and student-athletes from Saline to Sedgwick County and Butler to Reno County.

His decision to retire at the end of last season was received respectfully, albeit probably happily by most players, coaches and fans during his retirement tour last year. Clearly it would be a mistake if he changed his mind and resumed his officiating avocation. After all, haven?t we suffered enough?

To that end, I?m asking a huge favor from all of you?coaches, players and fans everywhere. Simply remind Joe why he should stay retired from officiating.

It will be easy. Whenever you see him out and about, just yell at him some of the things he (and other officials) have heard on a regular basis. Remind him why he should be thankful he?s no longer a basketball official.

Pick and yell your favorites at Joe from the list below.

?Hey ref, what are you… blind??

?You need new glasses!?

?Clean your glasses.?

?I?ve seen better calls on the radio.?

?That was a foul.?

?Call ?em both ways.?

?Can you count to three??

?Whose side are you on??

?C?mon ref.?

?Intentional!? (Shout while crossing both arms over your head)

?Are you nuts? That was a charge. He lowered his shoulder, ref.?

?How much are they paying you??

?That wasn?t your call. You were out of position. How could you have seen that from over there??

?That was all ball. All ball.?

?What is this, five on eight basketball??

?A technical? For what??

?Why the stripes, ref? Is your shirt with the school colors still in the laundry??

?I?m blind, I?m deaf, I want to be a ref!?

?Hey ref, don?t quit your day job!?

?I?ve seen better eyes on a potato!?

?What game are you watching??

?Don?t be so ticky-tacky.?

?What do you think this is, football??

?You should have retired years ago.?

?You should be arrested for stealing.?

?They?re traveling every time.?

?Hey ref, you must be using radar to make those long-distance calls.?

?Did you use Skype to make that call from where you were standing??

?Hey ref, people go to jail for less than that!?

?Hey ref, I found your cell phone. It must be yours because there are 13 missed calls.?

?When you get home, make sure you check your answering machine, because you?ve been missing calls all day.?

?When you get up, wake up.?

?Hey homer!?

?Whatever they?re paying you, I?ll double it.?

?Are you getting paid by how many times you blow your whistle?

?Move around a little. You?re growing roots.?

?If you?re going to watch the game, you should buy a ticket.?

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