Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sympathy For Tim Donaghy

(Ronald Martinez - NBAE/Getty Images)

The biggest story in the NBA this past year had nothing to do with Kobe, Lebron, the Spurs or Jazz. It was all about a regular guy with a whistle and an agenda. After an FBI sting operation snagged NBA senior official Tim Donaghy, he admitted that over the past few years he worked games, including the playoffs, with a betting slip in one pocket and The Mob in the other.

He whistled while he worked the pivotal game 3 semi-final match-up this past season between the Suns and the Spurs, which at the time ESPN called “the most atrociously officiated game of the playoffs”. Maybe he helped himself and some low-level Mafiosos afford one more diamond-encrusted pinky ring and maybe he altered sports history by fixing a playoff game.

Donaghy’s admission to betting on games he was officiating for cold-hard cash was the equivalent of him rushing the stands and cold-cocking every NBA fan right between the eyes. Even Pete Rose and O.J. Simpson think the guys a weasel.

Our main man was also one of three refs officiating the Pistons-Pacers game in November 2004, which turned into the ‘Malice at the Palace’ after players went after fans in the stands. While there was no evidence of his gambling on that game, there was much criticism for the way that game was officiated and how the refs let things spiral out of control.

So before Donaghy transitions from officiating stripes to prison stripes where hopefully his cellmates are big, huge, hulking NBA fans I would like to send out a long-distance dedication to him. The only song that comes close to summing up Donaghy’s betrayal to the game was the Rolling Stones’ classic Sympathy for the Devil, and with a little embellishment it becomes Sympathy for Tim Donaghy, and it goes a little something like this…

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a ref of wealth and fame,
I’ve been around for long, long years
Stole many a fan’s soul and faith

And I was ‘round at Auburn Hills
at The Palace when The Brawl stained the game,
Chaos reined in the stands, on the floor
washed my hands, shift the blame

Pleased to meet you
hope you guess my name
But what’s puzzling you
is the nature of my game

Deep in debt over wayward bets
when I saw it was a time for a change
now its mansions, cars and an entourage
To be on Cribs would be insane!

So, games I tanked
holding a senior officials rank,
When the playoffs raged
And the calls? They stank!

Pleased to meet you
hope you guess my name
Ah, what’s puzzling you,
Is it the nature of my game?

I watched with glee
while your Suns and Spurs
fought fixed playoff games
Oh the bank I made!

Stern shouted out
“No ref conspiracy!!”
When after all
it was only me

Let me please introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and shame
And I made calls that were hideous
against teams before they reached L.A.

Pleased to meet you
hope you guessed my name,
But what’s confusing you
Is just the nature of my game

Just as every ref isn’t a criminal
and all mobsters saints
The Gambino family
just calls me Donaghy
when they need a ref on the take.

So if you meet me
in my tiny cell
bring a file in a cake,
for Satan’s calling to collect his debt
my crooked soul is his to take…


Cay-Dog said...

great post, man! i hope he enjoys his new life in a tiny cell.

Mavguy said...

So, what really happened in the Spurs/Suns game 7? Enquiring minds want to know… and keep them away from my Mavs…

Alan said...

Well “MavGuy” here are some great links that go into detail about game 3 (not game 7, since they only went 6 games). Sorry about your Mavs last season but maybe you should hook up with a real winner soon.