Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's all in your point of view

So I Tweeted about this over the holiday break ... and on a level this is really quite funny where a University of Arizona fan posed as a referee (specifically the Head Linesman, hence the "H" on his jersey) and after stopping the game on the last play of the first half, proceeded to strip down to a Speedo and ran around inside the field.

Take a look at the video clearly taken from the viewpoint of his compatriots or some incredibly keen eyed fans that should be working for the CIA.

Viewer warning for crude language and nudity.

But dear friends, lets take a look at this clip from the broadcast TV, and folks, these are the same moments in time.

What was the referee (the guy in the white hat) looking at?
You guessed it ... the streaker.

What should have the referee (and for that matter, the whole refereeing team) have been looking at.
You guessed it ... the players.

A question I would have if I was the assessor is why the *BLEEP* in a hotly contested football game are the referees leaving players to their own devices?

In this case the only ones that got it right were the coaches from both teams who got right out there, and the cameraman who was EXCELLENT in showing the spark that caused the whole thing. That cameraman "smelt" what was going on better than the referees.

Shame on the players for causing the incident, and shame on the refereeing team for failing to avoid the incident.

Harsh? Maybe. But at this level and above, there are no excuses for lapses in concentration this poor. Yes even a streaker. You need to be aware all the time.

Let me posit two questions and leave them for thought:

What do YOU as a referee look at when a player is being tended to for an injury (caused by another player)?
Should YOU be looking at something else instead?


  1. The white hat couldn't do anything to stop the fight...also there are 6 other officials looking at things so it makes no difference what the white hat was doing.

    My guess is they all saw what had happened but it doesn't matter, if football players want to fight there's like 80 of them there, they're gonna fight you can't stop them.

    Also this was a part of mechanics...they're all meeting in the middle after the play had been called dead. Otherwise known as "accordioning in". Again there's 7 officials...and even then they can't stop it. So indeed I believe you were harsh...this isn't soccer.

    BTW I've reffed both soccer and football.

  2. Anon,

    Thanks for the comment and reading. I appreciate your input. Thanks also for the football refereeing term, I had no idea.

    I do however, respectfully, disagree.

    There was an opportunity even shown on the 2nd video for at least a shot at stopping it. Take a look at 4:08 to 4:15 of the video. The players who cause the whole thing are coming together, and two referees run by. One actually walks right by the impending fracas.

    I agree with you in the fact that if they are going to go, they are going to go, and there is no stopping them with 7 or 70 referees.

    But, what if that referee that walked by stopped and got between them, or if the referee (the white hat ... sorry was not trying to be derogatory, just correct as I never was a football referee) was not looking at the distraction as the video shows, but saw this as well and got between them, this may (may) have stopped them.

    If a player is willing to take a punch over a referee's shoulder though, you're right, there is no stopping them. Best bet then (especially in football) is to stand back and take notes as this crew did, and to their credit seemed to do well.

    My only point is a referee should he been in the position to be between them, as few players have the gall to take that shot looking at a referee between them.

    Good comment. Thanks again.


  3. Yeah on further review they did have a chance at stopping them. In my experience though in football there's a lot of innocent back and forth (trash talking) especially with those players the receivers and the defensive backs.

    Your point stands especially in soccer...always be scanning, and injury does not need your constant eyes.

  4. Anon,

    Fair point on football v. soccer. That is something I don't have any practical experience with as anytime soccer players square off, it gets my attention.

    Your point is particularly well taken as if a referee reacts to things that don't require a reaction, their actions will lose effect.

    You summarize my intended point nicely (better than me), and exactly what I was after in the first place.

    Please keep checking back as your gridiron experience will come in handy in the upcoming NFL playoff season, and issues I will likely opine on.

    Thanks for reading,