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Calgary Flames

Column: There's a troubling new game in town: attack the ref

Usually, we come to criticize referees, umpires and those who officiate the games we play.

Today, we come to give them props for the thankless job they do.

And, more important, to plead for their protection.

Unless you've gone off the grid the past few months, it's impossible to miss what seems to be a disturbing new sport.

Attack the referee.

From a high school official in Texas who was blindsided and speared by not one but two football players, to a referee in Pennsylvania who was head-butted by a basketball coach, to an NHL linesman who was cross-checked by a player in a game just last week, the acts of violence are shocking.

Enough is...