Labor Day is traditionally a national day of rest for American workers.
But, refs, umpires and hard working sports officials who oversee all the action on the playing field, basketball court, hockey ice, soccer pitch, etc. never seem to get the day off.
Today’s sports blog asks fans to take a moment and appreciate refs, officials and umpires.
That’s right. I am asking you to show some love for the guys wearing the stripes and squatting behind the plate.
After all, it is Labor Day today. We’re all probably resting while the guys and gals in stripes are probably working somewhere in the heat or rain and taking their share of non-stop, unmitigated abuse.
Fans Don’t Appreciate Refs
Sports fans usually don’t appreciate refs. And, that includes me!
Refs normally work every holiday. Not just Labor Day, but Christmas, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Flag Day, ML King Day, National Grandparents Day, Ground Hog Day and every other holiday. In doing so, they allow fans to enjoy their sports while lounging on the sofa in front of a big screen or relaxing at a bar with friends while devouring a basket of chicken wings.
Every sports fan sees refs, officials and umpires at every game in every sport at every level. The guys and gals with the whistles never actually play in a game, but they’re most deserving of our appreciation; otherwise, there wouldn’t be any games at all.
Their presence is absolutely essential. These invaluable people who preside over games, blow the whistles, make the calls, enforce the rules and enact all the penalties.
They work tirelessly both indoors and out, in both good weather and bad, and during all hours of the day.
Refs Get No Rest
They never get to rest, but remain on their feet or skates for the entire length of their respective assignments.
In the blink of an eye, these under-appreciated, but essential participants in every game make critical decisions that can be carefully reviewed and callously criticized countless times on national television – often with the benefit of super slow motion and high definition cameras.
Acting as both judge and jury, they make crucial calls that can effect legacies, decide championships and even determine the future worth of player contracts. Yes, they’re the guys under the hood on NFL sidelines.
Plus, their hazardous professions go completely unnoticed by the average sports fan. When working behind the plate, these non-players take fastballs off their shins. Also, they occasionally get steamrolled on the football field by 300 lb. linemen.
Too often, they find themselves checked into the boards by overly aggressive defense men and struggle to keep up with gazelles on both the basketball court and soccer pitch.
Few ever know their names. They’re mocked, yelled at, glared upon, ridiculed and cursed.
Only referenced at sports events when their judgment is brought into question, these non-athletes never receive the credit they deserve.
Zebras, Blind Mice and Dastardly Devils
Yes, they’re the zebras, the blind mice and the dastardly devils that may – or may not – blow their whistles in your team’s favor.
These officials, umpires or refs, maintain order on the hardwood, the ice, the pitch, the gridiron and the baseball diamond.
Without them, there would be no games at all. Let’s all try appreciating refs, officials and umpires. Go on, sports fans, you can do it, too!
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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!