My biggest claim to fame is winning free burritos for a year by being one of the first 10 people in line for a restaurant’s grand opening.
However, there’s more to me than just burritos. By day, I’m just your regular guy who works in an office. But on weekends and the occasional weeknight, I am a soccer referee.
So how does someone become a soccer referee? Well, it starts when somebody is a below-average soccer player in high school and wants to truly know the rules in order to gain an advantage over his or her opponent. Also, you want to make money without getting a real job at the grocery store or the mall. Perhaps this reason applies only to me.
How is someone still a referee nearly 20 years later? Well, you enjoy the game and enjoy teaching the game to kids, and more importantly, you get paid to exercise instead of paying to join a gym.
For soccer parents, players, and fans, here is some advice based on my personal experience on dealing with us:
• If your team is winning by five or more goals, you are not allowed to complain about any calls or non-calls.
• For co-ed adult games, if you are a 6’2”, 200-pound male and get pushed by a 5’0”, 90-pound woman, don’t cry for a foul.
• To the mom yelling at the referee complaining that your 11 year-old son got tripped, he actually fell over the ball. He is not the next Landon Donovan, so calm down.
• We make mistakes. By we, I mean other referees.
• Telling your opponent and the referee to “F” off is a great way to get ejected.
I hope you keep this in mind while watching the World Cup and have a little sympathy for all of soccer refs out there.