Tuesday, September 25, 2012


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust your call when all fans doubt you,
And make no allowance for their doubting too;
If you can go to the video replay and not be tired by waiting for the video replay,
Or being vilified by television announcers, be oblivious to it,
Or being mocked by players, be oblivious to that, too,
And yet don't look too good, nor look good at all, for that matter:

If you can dream of being a regular official while the play is going on - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think of a regular pay check - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Blown Calls and Ignorance of the Rules
And treat those trivial things just the same;
If you can bear to hear the call you’ve made
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools (or Roger Goodell…same thing),
Or watch the calls you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your rulings
And risk it on one turn of video replay,
And have them reversed, and start again at the last line of scrimmage
And never breathe a word about your embarrassment,
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To watch the play long after the ball is snapped,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Holding…ten yards…still second down!'

If you can walk past angry fans and keep your virtue,
'Or walk with Kings (or team owners…same thing) - nor lose the common touch,
If neither fans nor livid players can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much (well, maybe the home team a little bit more);
If you can fill the unforgiving Sunday afternoon (or Monday night)
With sixty minutes' worth of whistles whistled,
Yours is the Game and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Replacement Referee, my son!

Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

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