I know there are only a couple of days left of the all important mercato, but I have something very important that needs to be brought to light. Following recent events again where referees were abused by coaches and players, one person had the fortitude to step forward and offer a pragmatic suggestion: Referees should carry tazers. This brave person, was, of course, our very own fsun. What started out as perhaps just a humorous suggestion began to take root as we were breaking down the details. If this blog has any powers in the universe, I want to see this happen. Both for logistical as well as entertainment purposes. After all, why should it be only the police or private security guards who are told, “Don’t Taze Me, Bro!”
Obviously, the vision of your least favorite, constantly in-the-ref’s-face player or manager getting tazed brings instant smiles and/or laughter. What is it about the involuntary neuromuscular contractions that is so entertaining, exactly? I don't know. But think about it from the ref’s standpoint: These players and managers are getting harder and harder to control, and feeling more entitled all the time. What protection does a ref have when 22 players and possibly the entire bench from both teams, as well as coaches, assistant coaches, all swarm him? Currently, the poor ref only has small rectangles of colored plastic to defend himself. Do we wait until a ref is actually harmed before we act? I say no. Give them tazers instead of cards.
Imagine this: A referee makes a call, the players of one team run over to protest the call. He takes out a card, they don’t even blink. But if he pulled out the tazer, they would disperse like cockroaches when a light is turned on. Or at least they would once they knew what being tazered was all about. And the tazer could have two settings – yellow and red. They yellow would have relatively low electrical impulses, whereas the red setting could possibly be set to stun, rendering the player unable to leave the pitch of their own accord. I am willing to bet the instances of sending offs would drop dramatically. Or what about diving? That player that consistently dives – what if the ref gave him something to actually dive about?
Speaking of Barcelona, Sposato al Nemico brought up that they like their pitch nice and wet. Or can you imagine the games when it is raining or snowing? One player gets tazed, and the electrical impulses could potentially be sent to everyone on the pitch because of the conductivity of the water. How great would that be to watch as fans? Part football, part bloodsport. Protect the refs and sell more tickets.
Additionally, imagine a ref you didn’t necessarily like, running around the pitch, and all of a sudden, he accidentally tazes himself, dropping to the ground in convulsions. Who wouldn’t pay to see that? Nothing would keep the ref’s egos in check like the possibility of tazing themselves. And the ref that is a little too trigger happy is more likely to taze himself, so it would be a power that they wouldn’t abuse.
I don’t really care as much about goal line technology or instant replays or changing anything else in regards to the refereeing. I want to see players’ bodies flopping down and twitching everywhere. If a manager gets out of control, why send him into the tunnel when you can taze him? I can guarantee you no one else is going to mess with that ref after he’s broken out the tazer, which is a win-win for everyone. The crowd gets extra entertainment, and the ref immediately regains control of the match. How has this not already happened, people?
Tazers are a relatively inexpensive way to curb the outrage that is happening more often in the beautiful game. They would keep players and managers in check, and yet not give the referees a god complex. They would also bring increased revenue due to increased interest from fans, and thus pay for themselves. An armed ref is a referee that can feel safe and secure in his decisions. An armed referee gives a sense of security to everyone in the stadium. And an armed referee is freaking awesome.
It is a simple form of justice for those egotistical, hotheaded, brutes whose antics otherwise ruin the game for the rest of us. It alleviates the pressure of the refs to make the right decisions. It alleviates the beautiful game from disintegrating into something like you see in hockey. And yet it increases the entertainment value for fans: will he or will he not use his tazer tonight? Will that player dive and risk getting tazed? Is the pitch wet enough and enough players wearing metal cleats so that if the tazing happens, lots of people are twitching? Will the ref taze the keeper for timewasting, effectively leaving an open goal for a few minutes? I, for one want to see the players taking the pitch and shaking hands with the refs, saying “Don’t Taze Me, Bro.”
This post inspired by the genius of fsun and Sposato al Nemico
Our next match is
Milan vs. Udinese
Sunday, Febrary 3 • 20:45 CET (2:45 EST)