Working regular hours during the week, I rarely get a chance to play ball during the weekdays. The only league I play in is the Chelsea Piers league with some work folks early in the week. With the weather getting nicer, it’s going to be the outdoor 49th/9th courts again which is always a good place to sweat off the day of e-mails, meetings, and the sedentary work life.
I have quickly noticed a few things not only about myself, but of other players in this league during our night time games. The only way to describe this affliction is post-work court aggression, and it’s defined as follows:
- Complain more about fouls – It’s like we’re more entitled to the fouls, but it’s a direct result of people playing more aggressive and physical compared to weekend games. It ends up not being about technique, finesse, or playing as a team, but just playing physical and trash talking until you get your way. This aggression in turn causes more fouls, people complain more about fouls, and the refs find more excuses for not calling fouls. It’s a vicious cycle, but I’ve been on the worst end of this state of mind as well as completely removed from getting involved with the nonsense.
- Violent comments – Today, this one dood straight talked for five minute about how he’s gonna hit somebody and doesn’t care if the refs throw him out. The refs only exacerbated the situation by not calming the guy down, but telling him why he’s an idiot for acting the way he’s acting. Just another way to blow off steam I suppose.
- Ref mind games – Refs seem to have more of an attitude during these games, and seem to create this world of complete black and white where they are always right and back it up with emotional arguments. After I get called for a foul, there will always be a snarky comment about just “playing the game” and not “worrying about the call.” Refs are people to, and perhaps this is their outlet to reclaim their righteousness. The best games are the ones where you respect the refs and they respect you, and they call fouls without emotion. These weekday post-work games end up being filled with useless emotions and ultimately makes you the player more frustrated.
Tonight’s game was just plain frustrating, despite the last minute win. I found myself shooting off negative comments at my teammate, and realized I was blowing off my own frustrations with work on other people. I want to pass the blame, but the blame is on me for not getting to my man fast enough, and for not moving my feet faster.