Dick of the Week, Mar. 7-Mar. 13: Massimo Busacca

13 Mar

Why hello all you happy viewers, welcome to this weeks dick of the week.  Having thought about this very fairly (?), I have decided to make Massimo Busacca our newest dick of the week.  Referees tend to be a subject that we shy away from attacking for several reasons.  1.  They are only human therefore it is always possible for anyone to find fault with them.  2.  Referees tend to make many mistakes and given the long list of evidence anyone can compile googling “Referee” and “Screw Up.”  3.  Everyone else does it so why would we follow everyone else?  We actually had 2 dandy examples this week when an entire officiating crew decided to not call an out of bounds play and traveling with 1.7 seconds left.  This was bad because it essentially gave Rutgers zero chance to come back after they called the game and a win for St. John’s.  However, the refs were back on the sideline and in action after withdrawing from the tournament.  Hey, refs are just part of the game right?  They, at least, admitted they were wrong and decided to withdraw from the tournament.

In soccer, or football or however you refer to that game where you kick the ball around on the ground and can’t touch it with your hands, the referees are given a lot of room to make judgment calls and impact the flow of the game.  Having refereed soccer games, one can never know when a player is faking, fell on his own, etc.  You have to rely on your own opinion and do the best to NOT change the game. Again, you don’t change the game and you don’t let it get out of hand.  The 85-year-old grandmother brandishing her walker and swearing might disagree, but what the hell, its your job and someone has to do it.

What Mr. Massimo did was the unforgivable crime of changing a game at the end of the game by giving one team a huge tactical advantage.  If you didn’t see, Massimo sent off Robin Van Persie in the 55th minute for shooting a ball 1 second after the whistle blew for being off sides.  1 second.  There were 35 MINUTES left.  You send the guy off for time-wasting with half an hour left in a game?  I suppose he forgot that referees add-on extra time to compensate for the time lost during the run of play because the clock doesn’t stop.

Who would have thought that this decision would actually look reasonable?

Yes, I’ll say it.  If the referee didn’t see this play as it happened, it’s OK to only give the guy a yellow.  If a guy had to be sent off for every player laying on the ground, the sides would never be 11 on 11.  As a referee, the last thing you want to do is ruin a match by sending off a player for little or no reason.  This is why time-wasting is generally only called in the waning minutes of a closer game when one side is attempting to kill precious few seconds.  Now, I understand that the stats are not in favor of Arsenal making a case the they were really going for the game….but I will refute that by saying NO ONE tries to out-play Barcelona at HOME.  Chelsea, Inter, Manchester United, and the Netherlands (which applies because most Barcelona play for Spain).  What is the common thread of all of these matches?  The away team goes to Camp Nou (or the World Cup Final) and either keeps it close or digs in for a DRAW in order to either steal the game late and/or take it to Barcelona at home.  You don’t usually attack Barca because you know they won’t let you control the game.  Arsenal wasn’t playing attacking football because that hasn’t proven to be an effective way to beat this Barcelona team.  Sorry, they weren’t playing anti-football because they wanted to, they were doing it because it made the most tactical sense being up 2-1 after the first leg.

But hey if they want to play with numbers, 2 goals and a good 10 shots (at least) followed Van Persie’s ejection, so let’s not lose our heads saying this didn’t change the match.  When you lose a man, it completely kills your team. Especially, if you are playing an up-tempo passing team such as Barcelona because they will run you into the ground if you can’t properly defend them.

The main point was that Busacca didn’t technically do anything wrong according to the laws of the game.  But according to the laws of the game, any player who lies on the ground in pain and gets up 2 seconds after a foul is given should PROBABLY be carded.  Any person who takes A STEP inside the 10 yard barrier of a free kick should be whistled and the kick should be retaken.  Shit, half of the insults that are said in other languages should be carded.  And EVERY player who wasted 1 second should have been shown a yellow if that was the way Busacca was calling the game.  If I were an Arsenal fan, I would  re-watch EVERY SINGLE GAME this guy referees and compile a list of every incident that matches Van Persie’s cardable offense.  I may be vindictive enough to do this, but it’s not my team and I don’t have enough time to attempt it.  It’s just bad gamesmanship, maybe he was looking for a red card after giving out so many to Arsenal in the first half, I don’t know.  But now we are all talking about this referee and not giving full credit to Barcelona, which is usually what referees try to avoid.  So, my congratulations to Massimo Busacca for ruining a really good football match by kicking a player out for an offense that most referees choose to ignore under similar circumstances.

 

All referees actually work for Match.com

At least it nothing has happened to the players or coaches yet after they literally called the referee a joke.

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