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Tale of Tape: Playoff Refs vs. Rogue Cops

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They say "power corrupts absolutely," and whatever beat he walks, when it comes to Johnny Law, inconsistency is a hard pill to swallow.

Looking for bad cops? The metro section of your local newspaper is riper than Nicaraguan street fruit. Obviously, a vast majority of cops are more than respectable, but the good ones just don't get the same pub.

Looking for bad officiating? Try the third period of an NHL playoff game -- or, as I like to call it, "Mr. Whistle Takes A Holiday."

And don't get me started on overtime. It conjures the golden age of professional wrestling, when we could count on the ref being conveniently distracted whenever someone snuck the dreaded "foreign object" into the ring. Of course, hockey players don't have to sneak. They come with standard-issue sticks -- the perfect tool to carve up some face tartare.

I'm all for Game On -- let the players decide the outcome, but at the expense of their kidney's and retinas? I say it's time to drop the puck and see who is the baddest of bad lieutenants: Playoff Refs, Rogue Cops ... let's see how they stack up at the tale of the tape ...

Nick Bakay's Tale of the Tape: Playoff Refs vs. Rogue Cops
Category Rogue Cops Playoff Refs Advantage
Inspirations Pirates Rogue Cops Rogue Cops
Bending the rules Pretty girls don't get speeding tickets Haven't called a third-period penalty since Eisenhower administration Push
Qualifications Nepotism Thousands of pucks to the head Rogue Cops
Existing medical conditions Sticky fingers The ability to look the other way,
a k a "Magoo Syndrome"
Freebies Doughnuts Trips to Ottawa Rogue Cops, with apologies to Don Koharski
Oft' heard "Step out of the car, and leave the contraband inside." "Don't make me warn you again, Mr. Domi." Push
Hotel aliases Sir Loots Alot Big Chief Broken Whistle Rogue Cops
Gets their panties in a bunch: A surprise visit form Internal Affairs When the stadium organist plays "3 Blind Mice" Refs
Good at dodging Prosecution Collisions Refs
Sure sign to be suspicious Drives to his fifth straight suspension hearing in a new 'Benz. Even the NHL won't let him work the playoffs, then revokes his Zamboni privileges. Rogue Cops
Xmas bonus Thick envelopes from madams A defenseman "accidentally" clears the puck into your five-hole Rogue Cops
If they were superheros The power to plant evidence The power to ignore blood on the ice Rogue Cops. I love a gardener.
Striped shirts Dreads 'em Wears 'em Refs
Blades Taped to their calves On their feet Push
Average salary $45,000 ... plus a home in Majorca. $175,000 ... plus all the hotel soap they can steal. Rogue Cops
Where do they
go from here
Pro wrestling Rogue Cops Rogue Cops
Justifications "Hey, my kids gotta eat!" "Yes, Brett Hull was in the crease! Yes, we've called it all year, but it's getting late and the commissioner looks really tired!" Rogue Cops

So there you have it, it's all so simple when you break things down scientifically. In a late whistle, the advantage ... goes to Playoff Refs.

But hang in there Officer. If you're going to carry a grudge, remember -- the whole rogue cop thing was my wife Robin's idea (California license plate 3YOD224). Until next time, I'm Nick Bakay reminding you the numbers never lie.

Humorist Nick Bakay, currently a writer for the CBS sitcom "King of Queens," is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and Page 2. He has a Web site at

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