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HEADLINES & SIDELINES: We get mad at them, until they’re not there

Random Sports Thoughts
• Minor hockey coaches and parents who scream and throw water bottles at young on-ice officials, some of whom are in their mid-teens, should re-think their positions, post-haste. Maybe they could find something else to do: go for a power walk, or take up stamp collecting, do whatever they have to do to get them away from the hockey rink, which is obviously a very stressful place for them to be. 
It’s not good for minor hockey if referees and linesmen are being driven from the game, all because some adults in the room don’t know how to behave in public. 
We all get emotional about sports; I’m not fit to be around on Sunday afternoons when things aren’t going well for the Cleveland Browns (which is almost all of the time); and the manner in which the Toronto Maple Leafs give the puck away in their defensive zone with stupid little passes turns me into an irritable, F-bomb-dropping jackass. Not good, I realize.
But you see, the only ones who have to listen to me are the wife (she’s used to it and can tune it all out) and Charlie the budgie, who doesn’t care because he completely understands: he likes to run his beak, too, and it doesn’t matter who’s around, or what they think of it.  
• More about the refs: Not to sound like the old curmudgeon who’s always complaining about the ‘kids these days’, but Brian Affleck, the referee-in-chief for Pictou County who has to make up the schedule for minor hockey and high school games, was talking recently about how some of his younger on-ice officials will commit to working games, then simply not show up.
It’s possible that the reason for this is because, at the last minute, something more urgent came up, or they simply didn’t feel like going to the rink that night (my words, not his). 
Perhaps a big video game tournament broke out, or maybe he’s got a broken heart because the girlfriend dumped him for some other guy. And maybe this ‘some other guy’ we’re talking about here isn’t afraid of sticking to a commitment, so he gets the girl. If your girl wants you to take her to the local teenage hangout for a milkshake, well, you take her for a milkshake. You don’t say you’re going to take her out for a milkshake and then not do it. 
Just sayin’.
Non-Sports Thoughts of the Week:
• Calling it right now: Peter MacKay will be the next Prime Minister of Canada.
• I’ve heard of rumblings that people are getting upset that the traffic cop with the New Glasgow Regional Police is handing out tickets.
I say he isn’t handing out enough of them, and this is coming from a guy who has no idea how many tickets he’s handing out in the run of a day. Could be 10, could be a thousand.
And when he does, he should also give motorists a quick heads-up on what to do at four-way intersections, and how they shouldn’t stop in the middle of a busy street – messing around with the natural flow of traffic – to let some poor guy out of Tim Hortons.
He is, after all, a traffic cop, so he’s supposed to enforce the traffic laws. That’d be like hiring a guy to make pizzas, then telling him he can’t make pizzas when he’s at work.
 

Kevin Adshade is a writer with The News. His column appears each week.

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