Back on the Field

August 8, 2005 at 2:29pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I ventured back onto the soccer field this weekend for the first time since May. I reffed three games on both Saturday and Sunday. I am pleased to report that everything went remarkably well. I was dog-tired by the end, and I’m a bit sunburnt. But that’s what you get when your summer exercise includes zero running and you fail to apply sunscreen.

I managed to make it through the weekend having stayed on most players’, coaches’, and spectators’ good sides. With the exception of one girl’s declaration of “You suck,” I heard very little direct dissent. Some of my partners didn’t come through the weekend as unscathed as I did, but I’ll be honest with you: more often than not they deserved the criticism.

There was one scare. Only two minutes into my third game yesterday I heard cries of “Ref! Ref!” I looked behind me to see my AR1 lying motionless on the ground, with a couple people standing over him. He was a big fellow, it was a hot day, he wasn’t moving… You can imagine what went through my head. I immediately stopped play and sprinted over to him. Fortunately he wasn’t dead. He had just stepped into a hole and twisted his ankle. He took a moment to shake off the pain and we resumed play. As a sports official I witness, on average, about one serious injury per year. I’ve seen broken bones, seizures, and head injuries. At the time I thought for certain I was witnessing my first heart attack. That turned out not to be the case. But I know it’s only a matter of time.

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