Thursday, May 20, 2010

Anyone that knows me knows I'm a bit of a saddo when it comes to things like stas, memorabilia and all the unusual aspects of football!

So imagine my delight when during the Charlton-Swindon game the other night when you got a fascinating (to me!) look inside the referee's notebook when the camera zoomed in for a booking!

Now I'm not saying it was the best thing of the evening, I'm not THAT sad and the game was a cracker. One of the best playoff games in recent years and that in itself is saying something.

To me though, I found it really surprising. I had no idea for example that it was colour coded, with all the players names written in and a red and yellow box beside them for the ref to tick off.

Very organised! That's probably the biggest surprise. What other mysterious aspects of the referee do we not know about?!

The role of the referee still kind of holds that mythical aura about him. I think part of that is because they're not allowed to talk or apparently hold any opinion on the decisions they made during the match. They're like some secret society.

Everyone hates them. They can never do anything to please every fan, every time. Their decisions are constantly scrutinised on television, in newspapers and on countless fan forums up and down the land and across the world. They get abuse sung at them every game by the wags at the game. They seldom get any thanks. Players surround them and question their decisions every single game.

Why on earth would anyone actually want to be a ref? Is it a power trip? Is it because they weren't able to cut it as a player? Why do ex players not want to become refs? Are they just officious little individuals that couldn't get a job as a Council bylaws enforcer? It's certainly a puzzle.

Maybe more little insights, like the one into their mystical black book, will help unlock some of these secrets in a Lost-esque series of events or maybe they'll just never be understood.

We can't let any blog post about referees though go by without featuring this absolute classic from Half Man Half Biscuit. Sheer class!


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