The last time I encountered the verb to pants in a sentence, the year was approximately 2004 and I was attempting to pants my friend for middle-school reasons. I have not thought about pantsing much in the intervening years, but I am pleased to report that the art form is alive and well in 2022, thanks in no small part to Tennessee representative Jeremy Faison. You may know Faison as the chair of the state’s House GOP caucus or as the guy who did a guitar serenade for Tennessee on its 225th “birthday” (June 1, 2021, by Faison’s reckoning, which makes Tennessee a Gemini). He is also the guy who tried to pull down a referee’s pants in the course of an argument (that he had apparently started) on Tuesday night. That the incident occurred at a high-school basketball game feels appropriate, or it would if we were not talking about an adult man.
The Tennessean reports Faison became enraged during the third quarter of his son’s match, “when a scuffle over a loose ball led to a technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct levied on each team.” Facebook Live footage shows Faison tromping down from the stands and onto the court to give ref Paul Pendleton a piece of his mind. The two men pointed zestily at each other from close range, but according to the Tennessean, it wasn’t until Pendleton told Faison to get the heck out of his gym (so to speak) that Faison made his fatal move. The lawmaker knelt and appeared to yank at Pendleton’s ref pants, trying to tug them “down and off” per the report Pendleton subsequently filed with the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. Pendleton reportedly wanted to call the police on Faison, so arguably the politician got off light on this one.
Anyway, Faison now sees the error of his ways and would like to repent for having “lost his junk” on Pendleton. He has posted an apology to Twitter and Facebook, which reads, in full,
For years I thought how wrong it is when a parent looses [sic] their temper at a sporting event. It’s not Christian and it’s not mature and it’s embarrassing to the child have always been my thoughts.
Unfortunately, I acted the fool tonight and lost my temper on a ref. I was wanting him to fight me. Totally lost my junk and got booted from the gym. I’ve never really lost my temper but I did tonight and it was completely stupid of me. Emotions getting in the way of rational thoughts are never good. I hope to be able to find the ref and ask for his forgiveness. I was bad wrong.
Ref, if you are reading this: Representative Faison is looking for you. Come on out; he just wants to talk!!