Referees deserve praise for doing difficult job

Bailey Ayres, Sports Editor

The television is turned onto a sporting event – football, hockey, baseball, soccer, or basketball, it’s up to you.

A whistle blows and the whole arena or baseball diamond erupts in boos. Both coaches looks upset or confused. Players crowd around the referees protesting the call.

One coach asks a referee about what just happened, while the opposing coach shouts his displeasure at the call.

While this is going on, all the spectators in the stands are booing because they don’t like anything called against their team.

You are just on the couch just wondering what on earth you just saw, while the commentators are now replaying the play for you and everyone else who is watch it too see. You get opinions about what just happened from the commentators, who are showing the play over and over again to find out why there was a whistle.

When this happens, I often find myself feeling sorry for the referees.

Fans, players, coaches and viewers usually have a team they’re rooting for and no matter what decision referees or officials make, someone is going to be unhappy. Every call is dissected – often by slow-motion replays on television or the jumbotron.

You feel bad for the poor referees for having to have a conference with thousands of people booing at them, watching the screens for any evidence that the call might not have been 100-percent correct.

It seems kind of unfair.  Referees have to make snap judgment calls about plays, then thousands of spectators get to analyze their decisions by viewing multiple slow-motion replays while yelling their displeasure.

Guys, the referees are just doing their job. Just like you and me. But our job is not for all America or the world to see. So we do not have thousands of people watching us in arena and judging us on making that wrong drink if you are a bartender, or buying that wrong printing paper if you are ordering office supplies, choosing the wrong textbook if you are a professor and so forth.

Referees should be treated with the respect. They are doing their job, trying to keep games under control and within the rules. If they were not there, sporting events would become complete chaos.

The referees are humans like you and me. They make mistakes, but more often or not their calls are correct and have little influence on the outcome.

I do not know if I could even last a day in their shoes. Could you?

That is the kind of question you should be asking yourself before you start booing a referee for making a bad call, you do not agree with. These referees will go home after the game to their wife/husband, and children who love them.

Referees are human, too. They deserve respect.