Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ed Hightower: Awful Referee, or the Awfulest?

In case you missed it, Michigan State took a trip to the wood shed, otherwise known as the Kohl Center, last night. They came out of it looking more like something I would use to bed my garden with than a basketball team. That translates to a 67 to 49 Wisconsin W for those of you who have no use for colorful metaphors. To rub salt in the Spartan fans' wounds, their very favorite ref was in attendance: Ed Hightower. The Only Colors, an MSU hoops' blog, did a piece highlighting Eddie's decision to get up in Izzo's grill for a good 30 seconds.* It really is kind of an embarassing moment.
As much as MSU fans hate Hightower, they aren't the only ones. The bleacherreport last year had a piece entitled, "One Fan's Plea that NCAA Referee Ed Hightower Must Go!!"* This was a Purdue fan's perspective. The basic premise was that a good referee should regulate without being noticed, one way or the other. Don't let the players get away with obvious fouls and control the tone, but don't draw attention to yourself. Ed Hightower draws attention to himself like a lightning rod. Even the most casual of Big Ten fans know who Hightower is.
If you want to temper this with the perspective that it's hard out there for a ref, you're probably partially right. Nobody likes refs, especially when their team looses. But, just for fun, check out facebook sometime for groups related to Ed Hightower. No ref should get that much publicity. But, for the record, if your looking for an agent Eddie, my commission is 10 percent.


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