Friday, November 21, 2014

Playoff Game

Two weeks ago I had a first round playoff game and was told that I would have a semi-final game this weekend.  My crew also had a second round game last weekend, but I was out of town for the diocesan convention and my grandmother-in-law's funeral.

When I got home, I received an e-mail from my commissioner telling us that we had been removed from the game this upcoming weekend (today) and that the state had given our association two other games for next weekend.  So, instead of working today, my crew will be working one of two state 6A semi-final games next week.  The other crew will have the state 4A final game next week.

This is a good thing for our association, and it's an honor for these two crews.

In that e-mail from the commissioner, he also requested our presence at a meeting this past Wednesday night.  Most of the two crews were there (my referee had a work conflict that he couldn't get out of, but the U, LJ, HL, and BJ were all present).  He basically wanted to get us ready to be at these games.  Both of them are in the Portland area, and both of them are high profile games.

Which means, "Be prepared to be watched and evaluated from the moment you enter the parking lot until the time you leave the stadium."  Yep, nothing says "Stay Calm" like knowing you are being watched and evaluated at every turn.  On the one hand, it's sort of nerve racking to be conscious of the fact that every move I make will be graded. 

On the other hand though, I won't be doing anything I haven't done before.  The game will still be played on a field 120 yds long x 53-1/3 yds wide with 11 players in dark jerseys and 11 players in white jerseys.  This reminds me of one of my favorite officiating stories of all time.

A veteran NFL official was getting ready for a game with his crew.  The crew had a new Referee (white hat), and this was his first game in that position; and he was nervous.  Nervous to the point of being incapacitated.  The veteran asked him a question: Excluding those of us in the locker room, is there any other person out of the 55,000 in the stands or any of the coaches on the sidelines who are more qualified to wear that hat that you?


"Do you think you can go out onto that field and referee one play, just one, correctly without screwing it up?"

Giving a little smile, he said, "Well, yes, of course I can."

"Let me tell you something: that's the only way this game will ever be played -- one play at a time."

I will be in Portland next weekend working a high-level, high profile state semi-final game . . . one play at a time.


First time comments will be moderated.