Ref, You Suck! Insulting Hockey’s Men in Stripes

The hockey-less heat of August provides one welcome relief for the NHL fan: freedom from the often egregious and grotesque officiating of NHL referees.
Though no stripe-clad man is currently jobbing the Capitals, we can still use this time to hone our taunting skills. Bellowing at refs is a long-standing tradition . . . and sure, there’s a homer’s bias to whether a given call was really botched, but the primal scream therapy of berating officials can release the pent-up steam accumulated as referees seemingly hand games to your team’s opponents.
Many clever and occasionally cringe-worthy insults have been hurled at hockey officials, though as my friend’s two-year-old son showed at a Capitals game a couple years back sometimes simple is best:

We’ve provided a few favorite/classic taunts below. I overhead my [Mike’s] personal favorite about 6 years ago in Section 426, shouted in impressively loud fashion by a woman who was at least 70 years old if she was a day: “Hey ref — you must be pregnant, ’cause you’ve missed three periods!”
How do you let the refs know their job performance is sub-par? Or what’s one of your all-time favorites you’ve overheard? Omit the profanity (feel free to use the %*#$ing symbols if need be) and please no racist/homophobic/etc. insults . . . but even within those guidelines you still have plenty of room to share delightfully dastardly taunts with your fellow readers.
We’ll select two favorites among the submissions and award each winner with an OFB goody. Help us fill out the list to a Dirty Dozen. Submissions accepted until 5:00 PM Eastern on Monday, August 11 ‚Äî so taunt early, taunt often!

  • If you had another eye you’d be a cyclops!
  • Save a Deer: Shoot a Zebra
  • Hey ref ‚Äî you must be pregnant, ’cause you’ve missed three periods!
  • Have another doughnut! (courtesy of Jim Schoenfeld)
  • BULLLLL-SH*T! (Hershey Giant Center version)
  • Bend over and use your good eye!
  • Hey ref, I thought only horses slept standing up!
  • I hope you die in a fire! (overheard in Philly, of course)
  • I’m blind, I’m deaf, I want to be a ref!
  • Hey ref, I’m leaving with your wife — even she’s disgusted with you.
  • ________ (add yours as a comment)

And if you don’t wish to rely on Lady Luck (or our fickle judging) for OFB loot, feel free to check out our store.

This entry was posted in NHL Rules, OFB Polls, Puck Sodas, Schadenfreude, Video Clips. Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Ref, You Suck! Insulting Hockey’s Men in Stripes

  1. sabres2345 says:

    “Hey ref… get off your knees! you’re blowing the game!”

  2. SpartyCuse says:

    You beat me to perhaps my favorite insult. I love using that one!!!

  3. SpartyCuse says:

    My two entries will be my 2nd and 3rd favs:
    “Were you the lookout at Pearl Harbor?”
    “Even PETA agrees – KILL THE ZEBRA!”

  4. MatthewK says:

    I overheard this one once and laughed pretty hard.
    “Hey Ref, I think I’ve got your cell phone here… it says you have a bunch of missed calls!”
    Any good insult usually starts with “hey ref”

  5. Not that I’m eligible for our own contest, but here’s another fun one:
    “Hey ref, wanna borrow my phone so you can make a #$&%ing call?!?”

  6. @ MatthewK: Heh, great minds think alike. 🙂

  7. One of the standard chants we use at Stars games ( is:
    “I’m Blind
    I’m Deaf
    I wanna be a Ref”
    [OFB note: That’s #9 in the article]

  8. Grooven says:

    My section often relies on me to fill in “Get off your knees Ref — you’re blowing the game!” but it’s one that relies on timing and not just shouting at any ol’ moment.
    “I can’t hear! I can’t see! I wanna be a ref-er-ee!”
    For the particularly bad nights: “I’ve got a rope! Let’s find a tree! We’re gonna hang a ref-er-ee!”
    (I’ll think of some of the others. They’re harder to come up with when not in the moment.)

  9. SpartyCuse says:

    “Hey Ref! Next time buy dinner before you screw us!”

  10. My standard is
    “Leonetti I am going to slash your tires!”
    “This isn’t the icecapades, let’s make some calls already!”
    “What GAME are you WATCHING?!”
    “Smith! Your own mother doesn’t even love you!”
    One of the regulars who sits near me at Spokane Chiefs games is an amazing heckler. One time he yelled “Kirk! You should call Spokane Pump because they fix things that suck!”
    Which is true, because that is Spokane Pumps slogan.

  11. Sombrero Guy says:

    how about “hey ref – go back to foot locker”

  12. ryptide says:

    my personal favorite, though a bit long…
    “Hey Ref! What do you do in the offseason? Burn down hospitals?”

  13. Jordan says:

    From my dad’s coaching days:
    “HEY REF! What color is your rule book?” Or he’d quote a page number from said rule book from memory. Impressive.
    But my personal standby is “Eat a d*ck, Ref!”

  14. ThunderWeenie says:


  15. ThunderWeenie says:


  16. Lee (PTO) says:

    @wrap around curl
    Dude! Another Spokane Chiefs fan on a Caps blog?! Awesome! I went to NC back in the late 80’s and used to go see them in the old building off Division(?).
    Careful with that trophy, eh?

  17. ThunderWeenie says:

    “Hey Ref! While you were out takin’ a whiz, there was a hockey game goin’ on!!!”

  18. @ Lee: Hey, the Giants loosened it before handing the cup over to us. I am convinced. At least Tokarski’s trophies were in one piece.
    I went to NC as well. Woot alumni!

  19. Joe says:

    This one was fun to slur during Game 7:
    “You’re an a**h*le Koharski!”

  20. Gmann says:

    Ref, you suck like a newborn calf!!
    Hey Ref, add one more eye to your head and you’ll be a cyclops!

  21. @ Gmann, Your cyclops submission is already mentioned in the original post. But I love the calf insult!

  22. Buuuurns says:

    A little long, but still a classic chant (heard it at DU Pioneers games):
    Who’s your father,
    Who’s your father,
    Who’s your father, referee?
    You don’t have one,
    You never had one,
    You’re a bastard, referee!

  23. ryptide says:

    Hey, ref! You’re missing a helluva game!

  24. Jay says:

    “Hey ref if you wanna just watch the game, BUY A TICKET YA BUM!!”
    And in the spirit of the blind ref comment:
    “Hey ref, if the dog barks twice, it’s a penalty!!!!”

  25. Grooven says:

    Hey ref, leave the hooking for 14th St!
    Hey ref, he doesn’t hold a stick that much when reading a Playboy!
    Hey ref, he holds his teddy bear less than that!
    Hey ref, Greg Louganis dives better!
    Hey ref, that must be some bad weed you’re on because that was a trip!
    Hey ref, try reading the hockey rule book, not Chutes and Ladders!
    Hey ref, get a monacle for your one good eye!
    Hey ref, wearing black, white and orange doesn’t make you a Flyer!
    And it is kinda funny when the whole arena starts a “Ref You Suck!” chant for one of the few calls they get right.

  26. Cathy W says:

    Because we have kids sitting near us, my husband usually yells, “Hey Koharski, Go to Lenscrafters!”

  27. Art says:

    Hey ref, Dvorski called. He wants his cataracts back.

  28. Art says:

    Hey ref, can your guide dog skate?

  29. 425ers says:

    My seat mate and I do this whenever we get frustrated…
    Seat one: Get off your knees ref
    Seat two: You’re blowing the game!

  30. Brian says:

    My verbal abuse is limited since my seats are on the glass. I also know that with all the noise it is almost impossible for anyone on the ice to hear you. With that in mind I upgraded my ability to communicate with the refs/players (but mostly the refs). I now take a small dry erase board with me. This way I can write all the little love notes to the zebras that they may not be able to hear. 🙂 I’m enjoying the list and will be including a copy to take to games with me. I also have an 8×10 laminated copy of the cover of Hockey for Dummies. Also a good one to hold up to the glass. If you’re ever up in Hershey, look for the marker board on the glass and you might find me. 🙂

  31. JR says:

    Wait, wait…I’ve got the winner.
    Hey ref, the JERKSTORE called and they’re running out of YOU.

  32. Ben says:

    this isnt really a chirp but i used to love when there were 3 refs and they would play the song “3 blind mice” over the sound system

  33. MinkIsBack! says:

    Hey, Ref, Turn around, bend over, and use your good eye!

  34. MinkIsBack! says:

    Okay, wait, I have another. Its a quote direct from Dennis Bonvie (for those of you not familiar, he played for Hershey then went to Wilkes Barre, which then became known as “the House that Bonvie Built”). Anyway after Wilkes Barre lost to Hershey Bonvie yelled down the tunnel to the ref “I hope you can F&*%&#@ Sleep at Night”

  35. Sean Foley says:

    “Hey ref! Does your wife know you’re screwing us?”
    “Hey ref! Are you waiting for actual penetration?”
    And from my wife’s signs for a really bad ref, also known as cleversign chick, “Scrough yough McGough!”

  36. Teka says:

    I tend to go with the standard “MY DEAD GRANDMOTHER COULD _______ BETTER THAN THAT!”
    My dead grandmother would think it was hilarious, really.

  37. Gmann says:

    Hey Ref, what part of do you come from?
    Hey Ref, you sure have a lot of in those stripes of yours!

  38. turquoise_donkey says:

    wow…who taught the donkey how to skate?

  39. Wcapfan says:

    I’ll never forget a great one I heard at Hershey last season vs Norfolk. The Admirals scored immediately after a blantant hold or hook that was not called, and during the goal scoring announcement, a pretty good heckler yelled out “goal scored by XXXX, assist by the ref”. You really had to be there…..

  40. is it september yet? says:

    My personal favorite was on the marquee in the phone booth:
    “Refereeing tonight brought to you by the American Society for the Blind”

  41. Tim Stough says:

    Go back to your job at Foot Locker!

  42. Grooven says:

    E! rah! rah!
    A! rah! rah!
    T! rah! rah!
    ME! rah! rah!
    E! A! T! ME! rah! rah!
    EAT ME! rah! rah!
    (that’s the original version, but I’ve also sometimes modified it so the first “rah” in the rhythm is “ref” — EAT ME REF! rah!; and also depending on how you yell it, it also easily becomes “EAT ME RAW! rah!” or “EAT ME RAW REF!”)

  43. RJ says:

    Hey Ref~ STEVIE WONDER would have gotten that call right!

  44. Grooven says:

    Hey ref, do they have blackmail pictures of your sister?

  45. Jean says:

    It is common here in the UK to yell “Ref!! Your mother – WOOF!” This was made much better when we participated in a pan European tournament and the Norwegian referee’s name (proudly printed on his back) was: Lasse (yep, pronounced Lassie!)

  46. brad rossen says:

    Hey REF; Ray Charles could have made that call !!!

  47. JMac says:

    WOW … you guys have a lot of talent … Keep making up taunts (even thou the refs cant hear you), keep going to the games, cause you are paying there game fees by being there !! Good work !

  48. Bobby says:

    Heard during the wait for the puck to cross the Red Goal Line for an Icing call. “Raise your hand if you suck at being a Referee.”

  49. josh says:

    hey ref are you pregnant?!?! cuz you just missed 2 periods!!!!

  50. John says:

    I’ve seen better refs at foot locker

  51. Mccormick96 says:

    Hey ref hellen Keller sees more calls than u you are just like the titianic fine untell you hit the ice

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