October 27, 2010 § 4 Comments
On any given Saturday, at any given time, the most important person at a game of football is not the badge-kissing mercenary up front. It’s not the sharp-studded midfield enforcer, or the lionhearted adulterer at the back. It’s not even the gruff-voiced man in the sheepskin coat standing by the touchline.
It’s the referee.
Referees, in one form or another, have presided over football matches since at least the 1600s, yet the quiet disappointment that accompanies them is rarely acknowledged. Their presence is a tacit admission that these 22 grown men cannot be trusted to follow a relatively simple set of rules themselves. And rather than undertake some serious self-examination as a species, and attempt to better ourselves, hoping one day to arrive at some eudaimonic plateau of shared respect where a football game needs nothing more than two pairs of eyes for offsides, and a bloke to watch the clock, humanity has decided that its own fundamental inability to play nice requires an arbiter. « Read the rest of this entry »