There's no question that Callahan was ejected. He admitted so himself. But what are the circumstances? Was Callaham being a jerk, which sometimes happens when a parent is watching his children play sports? Was the referee being a jerk, which also sometimes happens with some referees? A byline credits the reporter who submitted the story, and also makes it more credible because he or she is taking responsibility. But "staff reports" is an indication to me that the newspaper does not know what the hell happened, beyond the ejection itself.
While this kind of thing happens all the time, it's rare to see it happen to a County Executive candidate in a three-way primary. It will hurt.
I've already seen two ridiculous explanations:
"Hey, election season has begun, so maybe Glen Reibman slipped the ref a couple bucks?"
"He can't control his emotions and he wants to run the county. Didn't we just get rid of Ron Angle, the crazy uncontrolable clown, and now we get Callahan.
My God are there any grownups around? How can we elect someone like this?"
If you want to see parents thrown out of games every three seconds, watch girls' basketball.
Updated NOON: A Morning Call account of the ejection is bylined.
Callahan's wife Mafalda, who was there, explains what happened in a comment to The Express Times:
When my husband ran for Congress I sat back and watched silently as the anonymous bloggers posted ridiculous lies. I decided, for better or for worse, that I am not going to do that this election cycle. The opposing candidates will have to run on the issues and will not have a forum to post rumors fabricated to tarnish his reputation - not this time boys, so sorry. You are especially not going to do that when it involves my children and the Freedom High School wrestling team.
John and I have a tremendous amount of respect for referrees and the job that they do. However, like any profession, you have a few bad refs and some great refs that sometimes make bad calls. If I make a mistake at work, I'm held accountable and the refs should be held accountable too. Now put into the mix that wrestling is a unique sport & a bad ref or a bad call can cost a senior a spot at regionals and/or impact their seeding, the refs need to feel that pressure and they need to be on top of their game. As a result, many spectators are very vocal at wrestling matches and, as a fan, you're allowed to disagree with calls.
Now, I was sitting next to my husband during the match with our "Freedom Family" and we were all frustrated. My husband is a leader, so when he sees a bad call he's going to hold the ref accountable to the call. He was not inappropriate at all, from his seat he simply screamed "that was an awful call, just awful." He was defending not my son, but another freedom wrestler. He was singled out and asked to leave and he got up and left. It was not barbaric, is was not an embarrassment, it wasn't anything like some of you have been blogging about & quite frankly if you weren't there you have no business portraying the incident in any manner OR making any false correlations. I'm surprised it was even a story.