Rhubarb-informal meaning/ A quarrel, fight, or heated discussion.
For the sake of this story, names, places, teams, have been left out....due to possible pending actions.
Last night I traveled north some 40 miles for what was to be a quick Boys Freshman Basketball game...one game, 6 minute quarters, less than an hour total, what could be easier? I officiate/umpire a half dozen or more basketball and baseball games at this location each year, their opponents, the same, including a football game or 2 as well. Seems simple enough, doesn't it?
Game time 5pm, I meet up with my partner, a second year official who I have worked with a few times the past 2 seasons. I also have a couple of more scheduled with him the remainder of this basketball season go around....
The first half goes smoothly, and the home team, has a commanding 28-8 lead at the half...less than 10 fouls between the teams, and less than a half hour off the real time clock....this game is a piece of cake.
Forward to the second half, the home squad pushes it's lead to about 27 points at the end of the 3rd quarter....the only comment made to me was by the visiting coach(who I know from football season)...asking about the disparity of fouls in the 3rd quarter, his team had 5, the home team zero...my only comment was "I don't count fouls coach I just call them"..."I know" he says, "but your partner is anticipating his calls". OK? Not gonna answer that..so I head over to toss the ball in bounds for the start of the 4th quarter.
With the score 49-27 and about a minute left, the visiting coach is getting increasingly irritated with my partner....I'm thinking, "Let's get this blowout over with"! Not so fast...with 27 seconds left my cohort calls a foul on the visiting team, 2 shots....hummm, I think, this is not good, because I can hear the visiting coach demanding to know, from my partner, what the foul was for....
As I hand the ball to the free throw shooter, the coach continues his rant...swish, the first shot goes in...I hear the whistle, and "bang" my cohort has called a technical foul on the visiting coach...."bang" another whistle, another "T", I'm thinking "no way, did he just toss the coach"....well rules say, the Coach is gone, ejected, banished to the locker room after the second Technical Foul...to top that off, the offending coach gets to serve a 2 game suspension, pays a $100 fine, and attend a "Sportsmanship Class"....this was just the beginning of the evening's problems.
The coach, walking off the court, asks me a question, I answer it, and he heads off, knowing that his day is done, regardless if I agree with the actions of the other official. I hear a women shouting something from the small crowd in attendance, couldn't make that out....we administer the free throws, and after the toss in, the game quickly ends...54-27 the final. I'm thinking "Why the Hell would you allow yourself to get tossed in a blowout like this?"
Partner makes a Cardinal Rule Mistake____
The other guy makes a mistake, as I take the ball to the scorers table, he heads out the gym towards the AD Office/Changing Room....the Cardinal Rule is, you leave the court with your partner, he failed this and all Hell breaks loose.....
I'm at half court when I hear from the hallway, a shout, a crash, and a door slamming....by the time I get to the spot, the Veteran Head Coach is standing between a women, a man, and the AD Doorway....she is screaming at my partner, who has fallen into a dozen or so vases of roses, sitting on the table, roses, water, pedals, etc are laying on the floor...the women(a fan, parent, nutcase, all of the above?) backed by her husband(?) is trying to get at my partner...she says to me, "I want his name and number, so I can call the state"...I'm thinking, no problem, the state automatically gets called, and guess what? You are in big trouble..." She had grabbed the other official by the arm, and he falls into the office, and lands in the roses that had been set up to give to the School Secretaries for Valentines Day.....
The Head coach, a legend in Ohio, who has been in this game for 35+ years....looks at the couple and says..."If you don't leave, I'm calling the police"....things eventually get settled down, and we leave about 30 minutes later...paperwork, conversations with the State Association, Athletic Directors, etc, are going to happen today and over the weekend.....I have some pretty good ideas what is going to happen, it won't be pretty.
Between Baseball, Football, Basketball, playing, coaching, and officiating, I can guess somewhere near 100 or more seasons of work...I had seen most things that could happen.... after last night, I may have seen it all. It will work itself out....and if warranted I'll let you know the final details/outcome.