Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Square Peg - Unsportsmanlike Conduct



The Square Peg - Unsportsmanlike Conduct
© S. Bradley Stoner



It’s playoff time again. I thought last year was bad. Compared to this year, it was a cake walk. Yep, the boys are at it again. They tried to rope me in. Unfortunately I didn’t have a horse (pardon the pun) in the race since Denver didn’t make the playoffs. Their arch rivals, the KC Chiefs did. Me? I’m rooting for Pittsburg, but I’m not sharing that with Bingo Bob or Duncan Donutz. I’m sitting this year’s battle out.

Now ya’ll might remember that Bob is a Seattle fan. Well, last year he was a Panthers fan because Seattle didn’t make it... and he’s still seething about their loss to the Patriots two years ago. I’m for anyone who whups the Seahawks... except the Pats. Seattle was an AFC rival of the Broncos until they switched to the NFC where they at least stood a chance of winning the division. Seattle and the Raiders were teams Bronco fans loved to hate, if you know what I mean. The Pats are a great team, but come on, doesn’t Brady have enough of those rings? I mean, if he wore them all at one time, his right arm would be three inches longer than his left. Hmmm.... maybe it is. That could account for those whip-like deliveries of underinflated fast balls to his wide outs. Oh, sure, like you don’t make fun of Deflategate... so knock off the groans.

In any case, it all got started early this morning. I heard the shouting. While it didn’t shatter my Saturday morning, it did upset the birds and that pee-oed Paula Pettingzoo, who hollered some very unladylike phrases at Duncan and Bob. I was shocked. Since I somehow got appointed referee after the Wildcard round, I felt duty bound to step in and keep the peace. I saw Duncan jump the count and quickly flagged him for offsides unabated to the armchair quarterback. I got it in time to prevent a call of roughing the gasser. Bob was grateful, but Duncan was pissed.

“I was drawn off, bozo!” he shouted.

“Watch it, bub,” I replied, “talking to the ref like that could cost you another ten...”

Bob decided it was the perfect time to run a counter play, and that’s never a good thing.

“You tell him, ref!” he hollered, rushing up.

That kind of ticked me off, so I flagged Bob just on general principles. “Unnecessary gruffness. Those penalties will offset. Get back to your own side of the line of scrimmage. Replay the down!”

They retreated to their own side of the street, standing on their respective curbs and glaring at each other. Then Bob committed the arch error of insulting both Texas teams, but really laid it on the Texans. That’s something you just don’t do in San Antonio... or anywhere else in Texas. Just as I was reaching for the flag, Duncan delivered a devastating comeback.

“You’ll put a sock in that Jersey Boy mouth, or I’ll do it for you. I’m sick of those Beantown Bimbos dancing their way to the big one. Houston is going to be Mercilus on those Patriot...” Well, it was a not so nice epithet, so I’ll just leave it unsaid. And that Mercilus thing... I put that spelling in... I couldn’t resist it. Whitney Mercilus is a heck of a good outside linebacker for the Texans.

Anyway, I thought that last epithet was kind of uncalled for. I was about flag them both for Unsportsmanlike Conduct, when they both started to cross the street... and that’s encroachment! Out came the yellow flag. It looked so pretty floating in the gap between them, until they closed the gap and the weighted end bounced off Duncan’s forehead and smacked Bob right in the nose. Duncan rubbed his head, Bob rubbed his nose and they both turned to glare at me.

“Double unsportsmanlike conduct,” I shouted. “Double ejection... each of you go to your locker room.”

They continued to glare at me. I did the wise thing... “Game time,” I yelled and beat a quick retreat.

Oh, and hey! If both the Texans and Cowboys win their conference championships.... yeah, that’ll never happen, but a Texan can dream can’t he?