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Henry Abbott has an absolute must-read piece about the league's media day with referees

You know, once upon a time I was pretty convinced the refs were biased against Portland.  Once upon a time there might have been some bad calls and Jake O'Donnell moments that made me feel that way.  But as I've grown older and watched more I've come to realize that, for the most part, the refs are just out there doing their job.  There will always be bad calls just like there will always be missed shots and poor substitutions.  Crap happens in sports.  We still see evidence of the star system in effect, which disadvantages the rest of the league compared to marquee organizations.  (No doubt which end of that scale Portland falls on.)  But that isn't particular to (or against) the Blazers.  Plus in this age where every broadcaster is a team supporter and, thanks to sites such as this one, every fan who wants one has a readily-accessible public voice, there's just too much complaining about the refs.  It's like seeing the entire 15-man bench and coaching staff rise as one to complain about every marginal call in the game.  Even if the call was questionable, it's too much.  It gets old really quickly.

I'm of the opinion that the world would be a better place if, for just one season, all complaining about the refs outside of the coach and the team captain ceased.  It would force us to talk about basketball (emphasis on the word talk as opposed to complain and basketball as opposed to whistles).  The amount of poor calls we missed getting riled about would be more than balanced by the clarity of the conversational atmosphere.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)