I grew up playing football. Played since I was a little kid all the way up to college. I had dreams of playing in the NFL, but.. I wasn't quick enough. Strong enough, but didn't have the quickness to be a professional. With that said, I have to admit that there was a part of the game I definitely took for granted, the referrees.. or officials if you prefer that term. Sometimes they worked in our favor, and sometimes we just looked at them like they were complete nuisances. They were always in the way of a play, or arguing with our coaches. There are teammates I can argue with about certain calls that were made on my team, that may even have cost us certain games in high school and college!!
It was not until I stopped playing and really had the time to become a spectator that I realized the amount of hard work these dudes put in during a full game. They have specific positions, along with certain fouls or infractions EACH Ref may be assigned to! Nope, all these years of playing and I never knew that the Ref that stood right behind the defense (usually right next to the linebackers) were actually called Field Judges!! ( I know I know, I should be embarrassed)
Question: Have you ever seen a Running Back Break away for a really long run, and while that's happening.. while the announcer is screaming "he's at the thirty, he's at the twenty, he's at the ten.... five, TOUCHDOWN!!!" actually LOOK AT THE SIDELINE NEXT TO THE RUNNING BACK?!?!? YES a referee will be right there RUNNING FULL SPEED RIGHT NEXT TO HIM!!.. I never witnessed this until a couple years ago, and secretly whenever a back breaks a run, I always look for the ref sprinting down the field doing his job, looking at him to make sure he's in bounds, etc..
The truth of the matter is about 90% of these guys used to play organized football to a certain degree. And if they are working in the NFL, its more than likely they used to actually play IN the NFL. Most of them are still in shape too. They have full blown work out regiments and everything !! Nonetheless there are still players who take referees for granted, and I remember back in my playing days they used to say "if a ref gets in your way, run him over".. well on the professional level it may be a little bit different. You might actually run into a guy that might've played a little ball... and he might even still have that "Mean Streak" where you automatically put your shoulder into a guy "just because you had the opportunity"...
So, to have made a short story long, Referee Garth DeFelice ANNIHILATED Rams running back Kenneth Darby yesterday during the Rams game!! Google it to find the actual video, I know its on there by now!..