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The Secret Lives of Assistant Referees (OR: The Post Tyrone Marshall Should Have Read BEFORE Last Week's Game)

DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as a cautionary tale for players. It is entirely hypothetical and in no way intended to cast aspersions on the actual team from Saturday night, or any of our genuine, hard-working assistant referees. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, would be...really disturbing.

The scene: Along a hypothetical touchline in a hypothetical soccer game played between two hypothetical professional teams.

The cast: A hypothetical Assistant Referee

[Ball goes out. Flag points right. Ball goes out. Flag points left.]

Assistant Referee: Oh, look! The camera's on me! "HI MO--"

Damn. They're never on me long enough to get in that last "m." Someday, Mom. Someday, you'll get the recognition you deserve.

[Ball goes out. Flag points right.]

Man, that girl at the bar last night was really hot. Brenda. What a great name. And I'm pretty sure that whole mustache thing could be taken care of with just a couple of laser treatments. Plus I know we could work through the issue of the nine cats.

[Ball goes out. Flag points left.]

Although I really don't understand how a girl can not like animals. But it's really cool that I got her number. Although maybe I should warn her that it's not safe to leave her cell on the bar when she goes to the bathroom.

[Ball goes out. Flag points right.]

I wonder if she's really been gone all day. I hate the person who invented Caller ID.

[Offside. Flag goes up.]

Ooh, I love offside. I get to put my flag up so...high. And pointy-uppy. If it weren't for offside, this job would be so boring.


I wish something exciting would happen. Something that would make Brenda take my calls. I wish... I wish I'd get written up in the US Soccer Referee Review. As one of the good ARs who sees things. That would get Brenda's attention. And I'd tell mom, and she'd send the link to Mrs. Crabtree, my second grade teacher. And then she'd print it out and post it on the refrigerator, right next to that picture I painted when I was eight. That would be so awesome.

[Ball goes out. Player rolls on the ground.]

Man, that Nigerian guy is a real piece of work. He's like the love child of Greg Louganis and Didier Drogba. Dude, how about you grow a pair and stay on your feet for five seconds? Whaddaya say?

[Play resumes.]

Okay, he's back on the pitch. What was I thinking about again? Oh, I remember. US Soccer. What was it they were looking for? The red card opportunity of the week? High elbows, right?

[Ball goes out. Flag points right.]

I wonder if I'll see a high elbow. That would be so exciting. Like...that one! Was it? No, too low. Damn.

[Ball goes out. Flag points right.]

Okay, that one? That one for sure, right? No, still too low. Damn again.

[Ball goes out. Flag points to goal kick.]

Crap, we're into stoppage time now. I'm almost out of time. Please let it be today, please, please, please... Wait, was that...? Yes! Yes, it was! A high elbow! Red card! Red card red card red card red card red card!

Into the headset: "Houston, we have a problem." (Oh, I've always wanted to say that!) "Mr. K? Little Mike? We got us a high elbow! Red card for sure! Yes, red! US Soccer ref reviewers are gonna love us!"

Oh! Look! The camera's on me! "HI MOM! HI MOM! HI MOM!"

:::Happy sigh::: Wow. This is, like, the best night of my life.

All's I'm saying, Tyrone, is you never know what's going on in someone else's head. So next time? Think before you thunk.

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