I guess I owe Joel Przybilla an apology.
practice, Joel and I were discussing the notion that referees allow
more physical play in the playoffs (more on that in a bit) when I
mentioned the technical foul he picked up in the first quarter of Game
3. It seemed to me that Joel had been on somewhat of a streak when it
comes to technicals.
“I didn’t get a technical in the first two games, did I?” questioned Przybilla.
I respond, “I think you did.”
this time, Channing Frye takes a seat a few chairs over. Not fully
trusting my memory, Przybilla decides to get a second opinion.
“Hey, did I get a technical in either of the first two games at home?” asks Przybilla of his teammate.
“You got a technical in the first game,” says Frye. “You and Artest.”
says Przybilla, whose Midwest accent seems to become more pronounced as
he gets closer in proximity to his home state of Minnesota.
“Yeah you did,” responds Frye.
Przybilla comes back with another “Nooooo.”
yeah you did,” says Frye more forcefully. “And in the second game you
were real pissed. We’re like, ‘Here you go Joel! That’s the Joel I
know.’ The second game it was Steve (who picked up a technical).
Remember at the beginning?”
At this point, Joel begins questioning his own memory.
“When did I get one in the first game?” asks Przybilla.
“You got one,” says Frye, not really answering the question.
As Channing recalls, Joel picked up a technical after mixing it up with Artest early in the first game.
“I could have swore you got one,” says Frye.
PR flack Jim Taylor enters the conversation, with Joel promptly asking
him if he remembers whether he picked up a technical in the first game.
“You got double techs, didn’t you?” replies Taylor.
“Thank you!” says Frye.
Joel then explains how that really doesn’t count because, as he puts it, “those cancel out.”
says Frye, “but it’s still fifteen hundred dollars wasted,” referring
to the fine that comes along with picking up a technical in the league.
“It’s a thousand bucks,” says Przybilla incredulously.
“I thought it was fifteen hundred?”
“That’s because you’ve never got a technical,” says Joel with a slight air of superiority.
“I DO get technicals,” jokes Frye. “I’m just not usually out there long enough to get one!”
Mystery solved, though Joel is still skeptical.
“Did I really get one in the first game?” asks Przybilla for a last time. “They all blend in after a while.”
Well as it turns out, Przybilla was right. Despite what Frye, Taylor or I remember, the official box scores for Game 1
and Game 2
show no technical fouls called on Przybilla. It’s hard to believe three
people could remember something so vividly that didn’t actually happen,
but that was indeed the case. It’s a shame too, because the last thing
Przybilla needs is people adding more fouls to his series total. After
all, he’s doing a fine job of picking up fouls in real life; he doesn’t
need imaginary fouls too.