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March Madness, Little League Refs, and Rabbit Ears

Ever since my son played little league basketball, I heard the phrase, “Hey ref, put down your rabbit ears.” I always wondered why the fans yelled that. I’m serious. I did.

I didn’t dare ask for fear I’d look dumb. (D’Oh) I mean, I was already known as the town dunce, I didn’t want to look like one, so I went along with the rabbit ear phrase.

It was when my GRANDSONS started playing basketball that I understood the ‘rabbit ears’ comment. For over twenty years, I believed, the ‘rabbit ears’ comment meant the cute, little, fluffy ears of a bunny. D’Oh. I finally understood it was a reference to the antenna on an old television. “Ah ha!”

A few Saturdays ago, I told a purely awful little league ref to ‘put his rabbit ears down.” I quickly found out HIS rabbit ears were particularly sensitive. Geez.

Apparently his ‘rabbit ears’ overheard my comment to a young mother about him being the worse ref I have ever seen. Now, granted, I know I was at a little league game and not watching a ref at the March Madness games . . . but still . . . ya gotta know when someone is running down the court with ball in hand, not dribbling it one time, that it’s a travel.

As soon as this 50 something ref overheard my comment, a time-out was called. “Uh oh.”

The rotten ref headed straight to where I was sitting, crossed his arms in front of himself and stared me down! He was staring me down—a sweet, innocent grandmother. The gymnasium instantly grew silent as all eyes watched the stare-down between the ref and me.

He didn’t know who he was messin’ with. I’ve been in plenty of fights with refs, umps, etc., before. I was no rookie.

I stood up in the stands, folded my arms in front of me and stared HIM down. He uncrossed his arms and motioned a technical foul.

A technical foul? How the heck did someone make a technical foul? We were in a time-out!

When the time-out was over, the teams took the floor again. With our eyes still locked on each other, the ref walked to the end of the floor to throw the ball in. Before he started the game, looking directly at me, he yelled, “MA’AM?”

It was as if the fans were watching a tennis match instead of a basketball game, in unison, their heads turned to look at me. The ball was in my court, so to speak.

I yelled, “Concentrate on the game old man and PUT YOUR RABBIT EARS DOWN.”

There was an audible gasp while all heads turned to look at the ref. What was he going to do? Call a technical foul on a fan?

That’s just what he did. He motioned a technical foul. My second one . . . in a game I wasn’t playing.

The gym was silent. No balls bounced. No whistles blew. Not even a baby cried. What the heck?

The coach of my grandson’s team, who happens to be my son-in-law turned and said, “Shhh . . . we’re losing sportsmanship points with every technical you get.”

What’s up with that? I’d never heard of such a thing. The refs are judging the fans for sportsmanship? What if that happened at the March Madness games? Huh? I suspect the fans would be all over the refs . . . not at THIS game. No one dared speak. They didn’t want to get a technical foul.

To add insult to injury, my son-in-law whispered, “Why don’t you sit with the other team’s fans and holler so they’ll lose some sportsmanship points too?”

With my bunny tail tucked between my legs, I shuffled to the sit with the other team. On my way, I made some sort of motion to that awful ref. I only needed one hand to do it.

But, if you’re at a March Madness game, don’t holler, “Put your rabbit ears down,” just in case.

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