I take your point, and I nearly didn't post what I said for that very reason. That is, I know refs cop a lot, oftentimes unfairly from players that are hot-headed or otherwise out-of-line, and as such I don't want to just pile on them for no reason. I agree, being a ref is a tough job and all that, and I've never done it professionally so I'm sure I don't appreciate their perspective very well. Furthermore, I'm not "offended", and if you look at the thread you've mentioned, you'll see down the bottom that I actually posted something complimentary about the refs in the comp I'm currently playing in. Besides, that thread was just for laughs really; I don't think refs are being personally identified, apart from possibly one or two infamous cases. If refs want to have a bit of fun poking back at players, I'm all for that too, of course.
And yeah, totally, social ball is ultimately just having a bit of fun and a run around and all that; no point getting sheep-stations over it. However, when I played social at Wayville and Mars in recent years, the reffing, for the most part, was enough to make me stop playing. Literally. Not because it "offended" me, but because most of the refs were, frankly, too lazy to do much of anything at all, or even make a half-decent attempt to be consistent. (As I said, my opinions could possibly be out of date now because I haven't played at those venues for over a year. In fact, I really hope they are!)
Honestly, all I want out of a social ref is:
a) some sort of consistent reffing philosophy, especially with regards to the sorts of fouls they'll call and let go (and don't "play advantage", it only annoys people and rewards the fat/slow players who have to resort to dirty tactics), and
b) reasonable protection from the football-player-disguised-as-a-social-basketball-player morons who grab, tug, shove and slap behind the play, all game long.
I don't care if a ref stuffs things up now and again or misses an obvious call - they're only human, and that's part of playing sport. Sadly, in the experiences I'm referring to here, the odd missed or wrong call was the least of their problems.