Don't call them 'Replacement' Refs

The following is a nice chat I had with a high school referee

Boy o boy, I have not blogged in almost three months, and I'm pretty sure no one noticed.

But today, I blog.

I was at the Edmonson County-Hart County football game Thursday night (side note: Edmonson County is having a really down year, losing to Hart County was a tad surprising) and I decided to chat it up with a referee.

Usually the extent of my interactions with the refs is as follows

Ref: Hey, how's it goin?

Me: I'm good, how are you?

(Ref doesn't respond as he is focusing on his job)

I felt like I needed to engage more Thursday because the real (I would soon find out one referee wasn't fond of that term) referees were back working the NFL sidelines, and who knows maybe one of these games actually worked an NFL game.

So as one of the referees walked by me, I asked him,"You didn't referee any NFL games did you?"

He paused ever so slightly like a deer in the headlights (which for a quick second made me think he was thinking 'oh man, this guy KNOWS something! He figured me out!') and he responded,"no, I ripped my resume up!"

That was about the extent of it until a little later. As I awaiting a kickoff from Hart County that lasted way longer than any kickoff should, I am not kidding the referee told me he was about to call Hart County for a delay of game, on a kickoff. The kicker was trying to place the ball on the tee sideways. Maybe that's some new cool way to kickoff, if it is, it needs more fine tuning.

Anyway, I asked the ref if he would have even considered working the NFL games if he had been asked. He said no for a number of reasons. First he said he hated the term 'replacement ref' because it was disrespectful. "I'm still a ref," he said. Valid point.

He then went on to say he wouldn't have wanted to do it mainly because he thinks he would have been black listed by the other refs if he ever tried to reach the NFL level in the future.

Also a good point.

I wish I could have asked him more on his thoughts about the replacement refs who worked the NFL games and came under a lot of scrutiny, but he was busy, you know working.

It was an interesting conversation regardless.

And I learned not to use the word replacement.

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