It’s not unusual to see baseball managers lose their cool on the diamond. It actually happens all the time. We’ve seen coaches cover home plate in dirt, throw bases and even toss a rosin bag like a grenade (or all three combined in one single epic meltdown). It’s not often you see a hockey coach takes to the ice though, especially with a pair of sunglasses and a stick to mock a ”blind” referee.
The ”blind” referee incident happened during a North American Hockey League game between the Wenatchee Wild and Kenai River Brown Bears. Wenatchee associate head coach Chris Clark apparently wasn’t happy about the officiating, and maybe he had good reason to be upset. There were 109 penalty minutes handed out in the game, and 70 of those went to the Wild. After a fight in the third period gave Kenai River a seven-minute power play, Clark finally lost his cool. He put on a pair of shades, grabbed a stick, walked onto the ice and mocked the “blind” referee:
We’ve seen hockey coaches get upset in the past, but you NEVER see anything like this. They usually just stomp around and throw sticks or a bench on the ice. I’m sure in an effort to look as clumsy as possible, Clark looked more like Charlie Chaplin in a silent movie anything else. Unfortunately for Clark, not everyone finds the “blind” referee protest funny, instead they think it’s in bad taste. The Wenatchee fan who emailed me this clip said, “While I would not normally condone this type of protest, in my personal opinion, it was quite befitting the entire night’s officiating.” So, maybe it’s one of those had-to-be-there moments. I don’t think everyone will be as understanding though.
While the Wenatchee players and fans clearly enjoyed the show, the referee did not. He quickly ejected Clark from the game (to no one’s surprise). Clark only missed the last 6:29 of the contest, but I’m sure he’ll be out much longer than that moving forward. It’s junior hockey (where it seems like fighting happens as often as goal scoring), but I can only imagine Clark will receive a hefty suspension and fine from the NAHL. On the other hand, Clark is giving the league some serious attention because of his “blind” referee antics, so maybe they’ll take it easy on him. Any publicity is good publicity, right? I’ll update this story when I find out more about Clark’s suspension.
What do you think of the coach mocking the “blind” referee? Do you think it’s funny or offensive? I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on the world of sports, food and music!