Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Three-legged Stool

Yesterday afternoon I worked the first spring scrimmage game for the SOU Raiders (2014 NAIA National Champions, btw).  It was good to be on a football field again and hang out with the guys.

To be honest, though, I was a little bored.  Seven-man mechanics is a whole lot different from the four- and five-man mechanics I normally work.  But it was still fun.

After the scrimmage the crew went out for food, drinks and fun.  Shortly after we got there, another official joined us.  The other six guys on the crew new him from having worked a lot of small college with him.  I had met him briefly when he came to our high school group and gave a presentation on working in the Pac-12.  So, yes, he started where we all do, Pop Warner and junior high, and moved up the ranks to officiate in the Pac-12.

As it turned out, he got "The Call" a few days ago . . . he is now one of several new officials in the NFL, which includes Sarah Thomas.

Anyway, he and I got to talking about things and he asked me if I were looking to move up into college.  I said, "No," and gave him a variety of reasons.  But we got to talking about what differentiates a "great" official from an "average" official.


"A great official understands all three aspects of the game and can integrate that seamlessly into his officiating.  There's this thing I like to call a three-legged stool -- Rules, Philosophy and Mechanics -- and the great officials know the importance of each."

I replied, "You would make a great Episcopalian."

Who said there wasn't theology in football??


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