That Z-Lister feeling is one you just can’t beat, and at the moment, my A Level Computer Science class is as close as I’ll get to ever having a fan base, and frankly it’s one I’d be only too happy to get shift off. They are, however, slowly growing on me, like I’m room temperature roast beef, and they are a colony of E. coli.
I’m not quite sure how this started, but it’s spiralling out of control like a cat being after being hit by a tornado.
This afternoon saw Chuck Pearson* and Charles Maxwell* spend ten minutes scrawling the internet looking desperately for embarrassing pictures of yours truly, only to come across this high-pitched gem:
Until today, I forgot of the embarrassment and torment I had endured owing to this video, and my hormonal, high pitched voice, but once again, Chuck* has opened up an old wound.
Another key player is Charles Maxwell* (again) as he uses the F12 key to destroy any of my remaining e-dignity. He takes unbridled joy as he adds items to my bucket list, which can not be repeated here, in fear of me losing my Google AdSense ‘family friendly website’ rating, and Charles letting one out in laughter of reading his own musing once more. Charles even has a gang that follow – Larry Vandyke*, Justin Bachman* and Darrell Hunt* have also joined the F12 gang, although without as much admiration from Mr. Murphy* as Charles*.
Once lesson from this ongoing ordeal, is that you should NEVER leave a contact form, or an e-mail subscription sign up on a website with Maxwell et al around. Countless spoof e-mails from Mr. Funderburk* and Mr. Murphy* have been flooding through my inbox in the preceding weeks – it’s even more annoying than those discount Viagra e-mails.
The spoof e-mails, the F12 key, and the high-pitched YouTube video have left me feeling like a Z-Lister (you know, like that bloke from the Renault advert).
Please note that all names marked with an asterisk (*) in this post are names that have been changed, in order for the individuals mentioned to be unidentifiable by name.
Every once in a while I have to send someone off, and on almost every occasion, it goes down like a turd in a punch bowl. But one of the fun things about refereeing is that we have to predict what kind of response they are going to show – will it end in me being chased off the pitch like a turkey being chased by Bernard Matthews, or will I find me, my suit and my expense claim form on the first train to Glasshoughton for a tribunal?
Now for the tale of my first ever red card. Picture the scene – a crisp September morning, in my first eleven a side match, for an U13s league cup fixture – five minutes to go, and it’s all even at 1-1, with both sides chasing a last minute winner. As the side in green is through on goal, the defender in red (a rather appropriate colour for their style of play) decides to grab the attacker by the throat and drag them to the floor. Red card any day of the week. Right?
As I walked off the pitch, I was greeted by an elderly woman, who decided to block my pathway with her zimmer frame. “I can’t f***ing believe you ref'” she exclaimed, “you clearly don’t know the rules you stupid b****rd”.
Now at this point, I was as confused as a man watching Loose Women, and my bewildered face made it’s appearance, but she was more than happy to explain that “yellow and red cards aren’t allowed at junior football”. I tried really, really hard to explain how terribly, terribly wrong she was, but honestly, it was like speaking Chinese to a Mexican.
As a colleague later told me once he’d refereed this team, she is clearly a loose chip on the microprocessor.
Last season at junior football, it was a common occurrence for me to spend hours travelling to a match on the bus – or even worse, waiting for hours in the cold at a bus stop, because of timetable restrictions on early Sunday morning buses. This season, now I’m moving up to open age football, and have started studying at college, I made myself a promise to stop agreeing to that crap, and do games within a reasonable distance.
My rule of thumb was going to be as simple as – if I can’t get to it within an hour, I just won’t do it. Yet, this September I have spent seventeen hours on buses – plus another two hundred and thirty minutes at a bus stop or station – just stood there, waiting endlessly whilst cars passed me by. I’ve worked out that I spent just over twelve hours travelling to three matches which were well out of the Wakefield area. Just imagine what I could have done with an extra twelve hours last month. How many formulas could of been learnt, or how many miles ran, or how many articles read in those lost six hundred and five minutes?
Why do I waste this time without question? Because I want to please everyone. The girls league referee secretary who had placed her faith in me during my first season, and even gave me a league cup final centre appointment – I feel somehow forever endeared to her, and took a three and half round trip on the chin. The junior league who gave me a five legged journey when I asked for a fixture – I didn’t dare question it, all because of the odd sense of duty I feel when handed an appointment, especially when I requested one.
I can’t please everyone on the pitch. When you make a decision on the pitch, it will naturally upset someone who it went against, almost all of the time – even that highly contested throw in from the half way line!
Lewis is a student, residing in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
On weekends and some evenings, he is a level seven football referee, who referees in local open age leagues, and his main areas for development are to improve positioning, and man management.
He commutes via bicycle, and aspires to become a primary school teacher.