The desert has been known to do very, very weird things to people. Tonight was no exception. During the rivalry Arizona, Arizona State game, before a free throw mid way through the second half, the ref blew his magical whistle and pointed towards the Wildcat cheerleaders. Everybody was confused at this point, but then the stunning realization: The referee had ejected a cheerleader, not a player, from the game. (And to all of our surprise, this isn’t even the most ridiculous ejection this year.)

Here are my thoughts on what happened:

Basketball games late at night have a tendency to include strange occurrences. College kids are a whole ‘nother breed, and for cheerleaders, having to scream at the top of your lungs and do flips and cartwheels creates a certain craziness almost mental-ward-worthy. You know he’s pounding some red bulls or Creatine before these games. Bring in the rivalry aspect of this game; USA vs. Russia, Patriots and Giants, me vs. my alarm in the morning (damn you, radar ringtone)… Arizona vs. Arizona State. In the heat of the moment, this guy is passionate about the game and we are left imagining what was said in the direction of the court that the official overheard.

The ref stares offscreen, presumably at the the cheerleader, then proceeds to get ready for the free throw. BUT THEN IT HAPPENS. Something tickled him the wrong way, he begins to march towards the cheerleader and ejects him from the game. The cheerleader just walks off like a champ and takes it, doesn’t even bat an eye towards the Tyrant in the Striped Shirt.

This is the hero we never knew we needed. Mr. 2018, he owns the world now. The guy was deep in enemy territory and just decided to let loose. He knew the magnitude of the game, so our modern-day Basketball Robin Hood chose to stand up to these bullies with their stupid dad shoes (editor’s note: Hey Andy, I wear “stupid dad shoes”) and horrible calls. He made a sacrifice for all of us, and in return, he becomes a new legend within the basketball ranks.

As an intramural athlete, avid PS4 player, and all around funny guy, I encourage trash talking. In fact, I’ve even been kicked out of a high school basketball game (don’t ask). The things that I have said to the zebras with whistles could be considered “very frowned upon,” however, it’s all a part of the game. I was raised to have thick skin, and if being yelled at to call up 1-800-CONTACTS, or a teenager making fun of your bald spot is too much to handle, don’t be a Ref. ESPECIALLY don’t be a ref for #PACAfterDark.

Moral of the story, this guy will be hoisted on the shoulders of others and considered a lifetime badass on campus. Legends will be told about him for years to come, and I am praying that when Arizona plays in the tourney, we witness a rematch between referee and cheerleader just so we can get a prologue to this wonderful story.

I don’t think it would surprise anybody to learn that this is the universal referee pregame pump up jam:

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