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No harm, no foul

Dear Editor:Basalt Mayor Leroy Duroux got the heave-ho from a basketball referee in Carbondale’s gym last Saturday night.I’m a Rams fan, but from where I was sitting, this was a clear case of “no harm, no foul.” There may be a running feud between his honor and the ref in question, but Duroux’s demeanor, seemed from a distance, as that of a Boy Scout. I’ve been watching high school b-ball about a dozen years now. In that time, the rivalry between Basalt and Carbondale has always been intense. The partisan, raucous, intensely tribal atmosphere at some of the packed games in the Big House, with fans from both sides mixing cheers with epithets, resembles that you might find in the highlands of New Guinea, just before the spears get handed out.Refereeing these aboriginal encounters is no easy task. Indeed, for awhile there, the Basalt girls’ coaches engaged their Carbondale counterparts in sartorial combat the likes of which have rarely been seen. I mean, some of the dresses deserved red cards.As for the refereeing, in the early years, it was my judgment that certain officials needed canine companions to find the gym, and a gift card to LensCrafters thereafter. More recently, with the addition of a third official to the floor, the quality of the refereeing has improved. With three pairs of eyes, the chances that somebody saw the play are vastly improved.Fans can take it way too seriously, and embarrass ourselves. But lest we forget, it’s a game. And it’s about the kids, whose athleticism never ceases to amaze.The last second turnaround jumper Cassie Meyer made on Saturday night was big time. Kat Fitzpatrick made her dad proud. In the boys’ game, after having been swarmed all night by the Rams’ defense, Connor Rakowski finally got at open look and casually swished a shot from 38 feet. The Ram’s Kyle Raaflaab had the hottest hand, draining six trey bombs himself. Has this valley seen a better coach than the Rams’ Roger Walters?To salve Basalt’s civic pride, I propose that Carbondale Mayor Michael Hassig venture upvalley next winter to the Longhorn’s gym, where he can be unceremoniously booted, late in the fourth quarter of a tight game. If that’s insufficient, Hassig can up the ante by proffering Carbondale Councilman John Foukroud, himself no stranger to eviction.In the meantime, let’s cheer the kids on and give the refs a well-deserved break. They call ’em as they see ’em, even when they don’t. Randy UdallCarbondale


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