If criticizing a referee earns a club a fine, what exactly is the punishment for releasing a greatest hits mixtape of calls you disagree with?
Tampa Bay Rowdies chairman Bill Edwards will probably find out. On Monday, he released a scathing statement that lambasted the NASL as "full of inconsistent, incompetent and unprofessional refereeing." The coup de grâce, however, was the video that accompanied it. With a plucky, upbeat soundtrack, it is essentially a highlight reel of every disputed call that has gone against the Rowdies:
"Some may say it’s just sour grapes," Edwards writes in the statement. "To them I say watch this video to see just a sample of the bad calls the team has endured during the 2016 season. Then you make the decision."
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Soundbites in the video include commentators characterizing some of the calls as "brutal," "terrible" and "bad" but the video really hits its stride when it counts on-screen all the uncalled yellows the Rowdies wanted and then counts the yellow cards the team feels were unjust.
After presenting the video, Edwards writes, "Good refs? Bad refs? Let the League know how you feel." It’s a little bit of a passive-aggressive question to pose when he just wrote that the "officiating was disgusting" in their most recent match and released a veritable mixtape of poor officiating as evidence.
It remains to be seen how the NASL will react, but anything the league can do to ensure Joe Cole scores more bicycle kick goals is fine by us.