The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.


Sports Authority

Adams: Don’t take interhall sports too seriously

| Friday, January 17, 2020

Humans are competitive by nature. It’s a natural instinct. We’ve evolved to compete for resources, for mates and in sports. The problem: sometimes that primal urge to compete with every ounce of our beings floods the sporting arena and can lead to unnecessary conflict.

As Vision (played by Paul Bettany) said in “Captain America: Civil War”: “Our very strength invites challenge; challenge incites conflict; and conflict … breeds catastrophe.” To be fair, while Siegfried is somehow stacked in every interhall sport, they aren’t putting the Avengers out there. Even so, the point still stands that excessive challenge can lead to bad things, and that’s what I have witnessed in Notre Dame RecSports.

Vision goes on to say, “Oversight. Oversight is not an idea that can be dismissed out of hand.” That’s where I come in as a referee. I am employed by RecSports as an official, and I have seen some things. These aren’t the kinds of things that give one PTSD, but they do still flood my memory and make me think about how stupidly serious people take interhall and co-rec basketball. That said, here’s my lecture on why everyone needs to take a chill pill.

First of all, I’ll add a (slight) caveat. If you’re playing in the interhall A league, I’ll give you somewhat of a pass. The A league is defined by what it is made up of, which is a bunch of good-to-great basketball players. Because of that, the competition is of higher quality, so they all get somewhat of a pass on how seriously they take the competition. But again, when it comes to interhall sports, you can only give it so much weight. But I digress …

The body of my argument is about B league interhall basketball and co-rec basketball, because that’s where I’ve witnessed the worst of this. My sweet Lord! (Shout out George Harrison.) What is wrong with you people?

To be fair, I have taken games way to seriously before, both at the junior varsity level in high school and in B league as a freshman. I’m not ashamed to admit that I cursed at an opposing player because I got way too heated during a game. But I’ve learned a valuable lesson: It doesn’t matter!

It’s the same reason my dad and I can’t stand these damn replay reviews in college basketball. I’m not the same stickler about it as he is, but I agree with his sentiment: there are things way more important than a basketball game. So going to the monitor to be anal about an errant elbow that’s just an incidental part of battling for post position, or looking for whether or not the ball barely scraped off the microscopic tip of a finger before going out of bounds, is just unnecessary. But I digress again …

I know this sounds like a lecture (and it basically is), but interhall basketball is not the end of the world. It’s just not. So when I’m officiating a game, and you get riled up at me for calling an intentional foul as you commit a clear path foul by wrapping up the guy by throwing your arm toward his neck area (though it was admittedly quick with no ill intent); or you get pissed when you’re up by 23 with four minutes left and I don’t see the opponent tip the ball out of bounds and give it to them; or when you’re on the bench and say “Shut the f— up” after I ask you to step off the court, just think about what’s far more important.

Think of the children starving in Africa. Think about the millions of people homeless worldwide. “There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” Hamlet’s ghost says in Shakespeare’s classic.

It’s fun to get a little cocky and fire up your home fans or to taunt the opposing student section on the road. But that doesn’t really apply in the North Dome of the JACC, does it now? I understand complaining to the referee about a bad call, and believe me, I have made plenty of bad calls. But before you let your emotions get the better of you, take a deep breath, look around and make sure I’m not the referee you’re about to flip out at, ’cause I’ll throw your butt out in a heartbeat.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Tags: , ,

About Hayden Adams

Hayden is the former sports editor of The Observer. When he's not working toward his four majors (physics and film, television & theatre) and three minors (journalism, ethics & democracy), you can probably find him hopelessly trying to save his beloved Zahm House from being wiped out. He plans to attend law school at a TBD location after graduation.

Contact Hayden