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What's up, y'all. 

Many times, I write this thing and it tends to be both entertaining and funny for the readers. I'm not trying to do that, it's just the way I talk and where the direction of my "rants" go. But every now and then, I've gotta be grown up Papa Bear Rameer and present a decidedly UN-fun rant dealing with the seriousness of league issues. I don't like those rants, but they're necessary. 

THIS is one of those rants. I'd like the entire league to read and digest this. First up - REFFING.

Please note I have heard and digested the complaints of teams and players about ref issues this session. Myself, Topper, Joe, Val and the vets of our league take it seriously, and want you all to know I am addressing it and will continue to address it. I will do my part and do my best to make sure our refs do their part. and your feedback is welcome - you can address me at any point to discuss the refs. I don't want the refs to diminish your fun and your experiences in our league, and I've already been talking to them about concerns, complaints and issues. 

THAT SAID...

The same way I'm addressing things bluntly with my refs, I will address them bluntly with you guys. As a whole, you guys have gotten out of control. The "D1 is brutal" train of thought is proving to be a myth, as in reality D1 as a whole has been neutered in terms of unruly behavior and I see way more crap in lower divisions towards our refs than ever. In EVERY division. Your $20 should pay for stable reffing and attention and focus, agreed. But it does NOT give you license to talk reckless and crazy to grown a$$ human beings because you don't like or agree with judgment calls. Y'all have increasingly been talking out the side of your necks to these guys, and acting like petulant children more and more frequently.

No more. 

Starting this week, refs will be encouraged to flag you guys for crazy talk. You're allowed to disagree, you're allowed to ask questions, question a call, challenge, etc. You're allowed to emote. You're not allowed to mock, tell refs they suck, f bomb them, etc. I have been mild mannered on both sides of this - in addressing the refs and addressing the teams. I'm no longer being mild mannered. Both sides will be handled far more seriously going forward. But as for you guys in the league?

I'm telling my refs to let me know which teams and players are problematic. I'm telling them to flag you more for abusive language, taunting, mocking, etc. I'm telling them to toss you for plays, series, halves or even games if they warrant it. And I'm putting suspensions on the table for habitual line-steppers. 

Any person who has gone too far will get a discussion with me prior to suspension (or with Topper, or with Joe, or with Val, Coach Jay, Garbacz, etc.). If, after we've told you our concerns and we find you to be acting a fool again - yes, you may be suspended. There are too many people who don't act a fool to allow the small number of y'all to continue to grow. I feel like y'all see some people and teams do it, and you feel emboldened to do it yourselves. Nah - no more. Back in the day, we had rivalries with each other, not the refs. You guys take this ish too far. 

I realized this past Saturday that I was actually keeping up with double-digit teams requesting not to have certain refs on their games? HUH? Where they do that at? NO MORE. You will get the refs you get. If there is an issue, you can let me know and I will address it. But no more moving refs around cuz you guys have developed a "thing" for some ref cuz you didn't like his/her calls. There are some exceptions I will uphold, but most of you will see refs you don't like at some point. And that's okay - you don't have to like them all. They're not all your friends. But Topper and I have enough to worry about switching schedules around for y'all. Now I gotta look at my schedules and keep refs away from a dozen or so of you the whole season??

Not bloody likely. Again, a few personal exceptions will remain. But that ref that called a pass interference you don't agree with? You're gonna see him/her again. You know why? Because I MYSELF see that same ref again even if they screwed me over. Topper can lay claim to having a playoff game stolen from him due to a bad call/non-call. Same with me, same with Lenny (Lenny may have had the biggest screw job on his team in league history). None of us ever said "that guy can't ref my team's games any more". If we sucked it up - you guys can too. 

Here's a secret - how you come across can effect your relationships with refs. They're human, you know. They know that some of you can't wait to be jerks to them cuz you hold a grudge from 4 months ago. you know which refs think I hold grudges against them? NONE of them. Cuz I let that ish go. I can claim that Garbacz, Travis, JZ, Billy, B, Tim Dove, Mark Buscaglia, Ricky and Reuben (off the top of my head) have made calls over the years that have cost my teams games. Now go ask all of those refs which of them thinks I harbor a grudge or act funny with them the next time they ref my games. They will all say they don't see any grudges from me. Cuz I don't hold any. 

They're human. Act like it. 

Now - Part II. SUBSTITUTIONS. 

Please note that in our rule book it lays out the parameters for using subs, and in particular - women subs. Please look this over. Very specifically, it states at the end of rule #5:

PLEASE BE ADVISED: If a woman is caught breaking this rule:

1. The team she illegally played for will get an automatic forfeit for the game played.

2. The woman who committed said rule violation will be suspended for (3) additional games for her rostered team.

3. The captain of the team that used the illegal female player will be suspended for (3) additional games. This penalty will also be enforced into the playoffs if necessary or carry over into the next session. Suspensions carry over into all Breakfast Club and/or gender games as well.

 

Wow, that seems like an insanely harsh penalty, doesn't it? IT IS. It's MEANT TO BE. To date, we have never enforced this rule. But 2 weeks in, and some of you - especially veteran teams - think it's a game, and you'll just show up and grab Woman A cuz you want to. You don't ask Joe, you don't ask Topper, and you don't ask me (you really SHOULD ask me, especially). Funny thing is - all 3 people mentioned  tend to try to be accommodating within reason. A bunch of you can say I've made exceptions for you. 

So I have no tolerance for finding random women playing last second. 

We have a JUMBO Universal Sub List for you to access. You have me walking around almost all day who you can talk to. Same with Topper and Joe (and please don't try the "skip Rameer and talk to Topper cuz I think I can persuade him easier" trick - all that does is make me walk over in the middle of your game and pull the player in question and REALLY screw you over). You have the ability to request any woman in your division or lower with a formal request prior to Saturday, and you can do this 4 times in the regular season. There's no reason for this tomfoolery.

Going forward - I'm enforcing this rule. You get caught skirting the sub rules, you get the punishment that has been on the books for several seasons now. It is not our responsibility to cover your team because your ladies overslept, got caught in traffic, caught a flat, ditched you, had to work, etc. We TRY to help you out, but sometimes you may have to unfortunately play short-handed. All We Do Is Qwinn played a championship and lost because of this - but at least they played the right way. Y'all will too - and if you don't, you'll receive multi-game suspensions. And yes, the woman subbing will too. Again - we've caught teams violating this rule occasionally and never enforced the rule. but when I have a BUNCH of teams trying to skirt it in the first 2 weeks and they're NOT mostly new teams that didn't know better?

Yeah. time to simply follow the rules as written. 

Lastly - back to our refs. They are not cashiers, and they are not credit unions or banks you can give late payments to. You know prior to every game that the ref fee is $20. Show up to your games with the payment, and with the correct amount (20 one dollar bills, 10 two dollar bills, 4 five dollar bills, 2 ten dollar bills or 1 twenty dollar bill will suffice). I am instructing my refs to no longer wait for you to find the money, or hold off on getting payment because YOU don't have change. Refs don't come to the fields with change for your $50 or $100 dollar bills. It's beginning to get ridiculous, so if you choose to ignore this - the refs will start the clock on time, and your clock will just run until you can come up with the money. Take too long (10 minutes, say?) - you risk forfeit of the game due to your own irresponsibility. 

I'm sorry I didn't spend any time talking about the actually wonderfully fun Saturday that just passed, or the great weather, the return of 5 Star Productions, food specials, and great games. But all this stuff needed to be addressed, and I'm de facto sergeant-at-arms around these parts. I'm also not known to be a bluffer. So please don't find out if everything I've written here is an "empty threat" - you won't like how things turn out. 

I hope you have a good week, and I look forward to seeing most of you Saturday. Please try to remember to have FUN and not be over-serious gym class all-stars. If you need help finding out how to do this - Matty Ice is back, there are 3 majority-ladies teams that have mastered this, and Vaspian plays every week as well. Take cues from all of them. 

Until then - I'll be in the cut. 

 

- Rameer AKA THE BUILD

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