Mind Dump

October 4, 2007 at 3:38pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I have way too many things on my mind right now. It’s causing me a bunch of stress (some good, some bad), and I need to get it off my shoulders. So here’s a quick mind dump:

Robert is awesome. I know I’ve said that before. I’ll say it again. (And again.) I really enjoy spending time with him, and I know The Missus does, too. He is gradually beginning to pick up some new words, which is nice. He has always been a vocal and communicative kid, but not much of a verbal kid. To hear him say “buh!” while pointing at birds in the sky is a lot of fun. (But geese waddling on the ground, according to Robert, are most definitely not birds.) He is also finally branching out in his food choices. For so long the poor kid gagged every time something with a funky texture went into his mouth. Now he is able to try a variety of different solid foods and find the ones he likes based on taste, not based on whether or not he upchucks. The biggest surprise so far: he likes onion rings.

Work is going well. I’m busy busy busy. That’s great, but it’s also a source of significant stress. It’s a good stress, though. Working on several different projects for several different “bosses” really taxes the brain. I love it, and if I can keep the money coming in, I’ll keep doing it as long as I can.

The big stressor of the week comes from an incident in a college soccer match on Tuesday. Over 89 minutes into the game—that’s less than a minute left—there was a foul. Then a chest bump. Then a tackle. Then a really hard tackle. When all was said and done, one player from each team was ejected for fighting, and two other players were cautioned (yellow carded) for related offenses. I have very few qualms with how my assistants and I handled the situation. I was positioned exactly where I needed to be positioned on the field. My AR and I quickly identified the offenders and prevented others from joining in. Once everything calmed down, we stepped back and extremely carefully broke down the situation to make sure we “cleaned up” by the book. We reviewed the sanctions with the captains and each of the coaches. All in all, our response was nearly textbook, and I have been told so by the athletic conference commissioner and my referee chapter’s president. So why am I so stressed?

I think it’s just my nature. I don’t like messiness in my soccer matches. Ejections are messy. Ejections for fighting are even messier (harsher penalties). A thousand people could tell me I handled the situation as well as could be expected, and still I would review the situation over and over in my head.

Plus, it’s just plain stressful having to so carefully review the situation and report it to all the people I’ve reported to. First, the other referees and I talked for nearly 30 minutes after the match. I have spoken twice with the athletic conference commissioner. I have filled out forms and written supplemental reports. I’ve sent and received a bunch of e-mails. Goofing up during the administrative phase can be just as damaging to my career and to the teams as if I had goofed up during the match.

One big positive item is that the incident was caught on video, and I now have the video in my possession. I’ve never before seen myself on video in a “crisis” situation. The video is short (some parts of the “clean-up” are edited out) but very helpful. For example, I mis-remembered how the whole thing started. It’s a great lesson in perception, memory, and reality. My positioning on the play was as good as could be expected, given the context of the play at the time. I closed the distance quickly when trouble first started. At the time the last player earned his ejection, I was literally one foot away from the action. I don’t like the way I show cards to players, though. I look too angry, like I’m trying to bop them on the head with the card. I’ll need to change that. Then there’s the injured player laying on the turf in the middle of all the action, sprawled out, not moving. It looks bad on the video, but no way was I going to let trainers come onto the field until I knew the situation had calmed down. The last thing I needed was trainers getting into it with players.

Anyway, that’s enough of that. There’s my mind dump. Time to get back to work!

Reply to this post

The Comments

Gene October 4, 2007 at 4:44pm

Perhaps you just need to ref another soccer match so you can move past this. It sounds like you handled the situation efficiently, fairly, and with respect for the game. Nice work!

Mr. T October 4, 2007 at 5:39pm

For so long the poor kid gagged every time something with a funky texture went into his mouth. Now he is able to try a variety of different solid foods and find the ones he likes based on taste, not based on whether or not he upchucks. The biggest surprise so far: he likes onion rings.

Interesting. Seems like Robbie is gradually becoming socialized into the kinds of food textures we tend to like in this society - something crispy on the outside filled with soft stuff in the middle.

jwiltshire October 4, 2007 at 6:12pm

Mmmmmmm…. something crispy on the outside filled with soft stuff in the middle. *Drools*

Fletch October 4, 2007 at 8:53pm

As long as it’s covered in bacon, it should be fine!

Mr W., I can understand your stress. You need a little extra money so you can go have some fun. I’m going to send you a check, but it will be for more than the amount you need. Please send the extra amount back to me…

Dave K October 5, 2007 at 1:59am

If you would have sent off the person for the chest bump (which you call ‘violent conduct’ here: http://lincolnite.com/625elmstreet/entries/state_soccer_update/), then maybe there wouldn’t have been any problems after that.

Neal October 5, 2007 at 3:17am

Fletch, that cracked me up.

Fletch October 5, 2007 at 3:40am

Thank you, Neal! That’s always my goal in life.

Mr. Wilson October 5, 2007 at 2:29pm

@Dave K—See, that’s why we need you as a referee. You are so awesome, you could have identified the problem instantly; ran there; separated the person committing the misconduct from other players; red carded him; and kept the next player from continuing the fight; all within the scant 1.5 seconds (I just timed it from the video) available to you. It truly would be a treat to see your masterwork on the field!

Seriously, man, come on. Don’t play naive. You know full well that these things explode in a heartbeat. Not to mention that college men are giant bags of testosterone just looking for an excuse to go off. The only thing that would have stopped this fight before it began is if cheerleaders on the sideline had all whipped off their tops.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

The Blogs

Syndication icon

Toolbox