Go back to your bench… I pointed down the sidelines to the place where the players had dropped their bags.
You can’t make me go anywhere, the player responded. While its true, he wasn’t playing, nor was he in uniform, he had identified himself as a member of the team. The Laws of the Game applied.
It required some effort on my part not to let out a snicker. The onus is on the referee to remain professional at all times, even when the players do not. The game belongs to the players. Without them, I wouldn’t have a job to do. They bring courage, skill, and passion to the game. As a steward of the game, it’s my job to keep that passion within limits to ensure a fair and balanced game and to look after the safety of the players.
But there are certain things we just don’t do during a match. Like walk up and down the sidelines berating the referee.
That’s fine, I told him. There will be no more soccer played until you do as I ask.
I pondered walking over to my chair on the sidelines and firing up a cigar. Alas, the young man did not give me enough time. He sheepishly returned to his technical area, and the match continued.
Overall, I thought I handled that well, and the crotchity old bastard that insulted me in the over 40 match afterwards. Such is the life of a referee. At least I wasn’t tired like I was the night of the Georgia Half marathon. I’ll never do THAT again. I was a little tired, after dropping Matthew and his friend off in Panama City Beach for the week, but I felt like I gave the players my best, and it was a good effort.
My goals for the two games was to run hard and make up for a lack of workouts for the week. I took my running stuff with me to Panama City Beach, but I just couldn’t get the mojo to get out the door and run. I drank beer instead. I managed one ride on the trainer during the week, one swim, and today, I rode outside, in the wind and sunshine, for the first time since November.
It reminded me that running fitness is not cycling fitness is not swimming fitness. My VO2 engine is huge from the work I put in over the winter. I’m hoping and praying that it won’t take long for my muscles to catch back up again.
Have a great week, y’all!