At some point during our day, we all daydream. Probably more than once but we all do it. I daydream about cool jobs. I have said for years that David Letterman had the coolest job in the world. Now that Letterman is getting ready to call it quits, I think Jimmy Fallon has the best job around. You get to have fun, talk to celebs, influence pop culture, etc.
Then, I wonder, well if that is the best job in the world, what is the worst? One that is just so awful it makes you sick to your stomach. I think I know. It involves getting yelled at, getting threatened, not only with bodily harm, but with death, getting ostracized for generations, having to change your phone number, possibly your house and your kids getting the brunt of it and the really bad part, you signed up for it.
Why, why, why, would anyone want to be a referee or umpire? I don’t understand it. I really don’t. There is no joy in doing that job. And it goes for all sports. All sports. The worst to me, being a home plate umpire in baseball. When I was 16, I was paid 10 bucks to umpire a 8 & 9 year old game. I was yelled at constantly by parents of both teams and one dad called me names that would have made a sailor blush. He would not stop yelling at me. Remember, I was 16 so I was scared of nothing and told the guy to meet me in the parking lot. “Oh, you are a tough guy now,” he screamed at me, “I will be there waiting for you.” Of course, other parents stepped in and my most favorite memory from that, his wife shooting me a bird.
Next has to be the basketball refs. Why, why, why? In the colleges and pros, there are just 3 of them on the court, in front of 18,000. I remember after one Vandy game, a fan yelled at a ref as he was leaving the court, “I hope you die going to the airport, you piece of *^%$!” I asked a basketball ref one time why he did it, why he would want to take all of that abuse. “That is a really good question. I don’t know.” Sounds like the perfect reason for doing anything.
Now comes word that the refs screwed up in the Alabama and Arkansas football game from this past weekend. Good luck showing your face in Arkansas ever again refs. There is almost a penalty of some sort on every play in football, so the refs there, to me, aren’t under that microscope nearly as much as the ones in baseball and basketball. Still, I wouldn’t do it. Imagine screwing up a SEC game between Auburn and Alabama. Or any SEC game for that matter. You would have to move and change your name. 3 times, at least.
Soccer, you don’t escape this either. I have heard parents yell at soccer refs at the holiest of grounds, the YMCA, that would make St.Peter do a facepalm. There is no refuge once you have been berated by a parent, a soccer parent, nonetheless.
And why? Is the pay that great to put you and your family through all of that? I guess it must be. Still, I wouldn’t do it. I often think back to one guy who was calling a baseball game. A parent kept yelling at the ump when his son was at the plate. Kid struck out three times and the parent wouldn’t shut up and confronted the ump after the game. He was in his face yelling and yelling and the ump, removed his gear, took his hat off and with a very calm voice said, “Sir, the problem here is that your son is terrible. Once you realize that, you will yell at him, and not me.”
And he walked off. Pun intended.
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