Hey Ref, See You At Dinner

Cody Kemble
Staff Writer

It’s weird to boo your dad. But sometimes he deserves it. When you’re in 8th grade sitting in pep club and he blows a call, it’s hard not to.
I always know when he makes a bad call, because everyone tells me about it. “Tell Steven that he made a terrible call and that he sucks!” Yeah, sure I’ll tell my father that he sucks, I’m sure he’ll love that.
Growing up, my friends would all look at me when my dad would make a call, like I blew the whistle. Sometimes I’d stick up for the call, and others I thought they were complete garbage.
Booing your dad feels sort of wrong, but not really, it feels pretty good to let it all out with a relentless boo.  One game he got booed pretty bad by the entire gym, and naturally I joined in. So after the game he asks me, “Did you boo me on that call?” I said, “Of course not! That was the right call.”
My dad has been reffing far before I was born. He’s reffed at pretty much every region tournament, and been selected to a few state tournaments. Ever since the first time I started playing basketball, he has said how much he doesn’t want to ref me. I’ve always wondered why, until I got to high school.
Officials in Ketchikan are pretty scarce. So occasionally he would have to ref a game or two that I was playing in.  
Sophomore year during Clarke I was looking forward to potentially getting some  varsity playing time. That time came in the second quarter of the first game. The guy I was guarding shoots a three. What do I do? I lay him out, and guess who calls a foul on me? Steve Kemble. There is no way he should have the audacity to call a foul like that on me, the person who has stood by his side on every call, ever.
Beginning of junior year for some reason we had Golden, CO come up for a weekend. Like why in the world did a team from Colorado come 2,000 miles to play a team that is 5’10” across the board? So the first game of the season I end up starting, which was a pretty big jump for me.
The whole week my dad was complaining about having to ref the games. I told him it wasn’t that big of a deal. If only I had known how wrong I was. Typically when a father is officiating a son’s game, you’d expect him to be a little harder on his son, right? Well he took it a little too far. Kyle Smith fouled the Golden point guard in the backcourt during a press. Meanwhile, I was at half court. My dad goes up to the scorers table and reports the foul. “Foul is on white #13 with the hold.” I can hear my family in the balcony start to yell. I look down at my number and then up at the scoreboard. “Oh, I’m number 13…” So I sprint up to him and say, “Uh so was that foul on #13?” He sort of stared at me for a second, and then ran over to the scorers table to correct who the foul was on. He hasn’t reffed a game I’ve played in since.

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