My new career will be a job as a domineering referee |

My new career will be a job as a domineering referee

Jane Stebbins

When I grow up, I want to be a veterinarian. No, wait! I want to be an architect.

Or a psychologist. Or maybe a rock star. Yeah, that’s it. A rock star.

That’s the dilemma my little brother is going through right now. He turned 23 Sunday, and is dabbling in art. Well, he dabbles in art on Mondays. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, he experiments in marketing.

Thursdays, he works at a bar. Friday, he gets paid to risk his life aboard – or more accurately, in the water under – shark boats.

It just goes to show you: People don’t know what they want to be until they’re, oh, say, 84 years old.

And by then, they’ve retired – or worse.

I fell into journalism quite by chance. I didn’t know what a college “major” was; I didn’t know what journalists did. But my adviser was a journalism teacher and he put me in his classes. I got lucky; I loved it.

But after watching Monday’s Eagles-Dolphins game, I’ve decided it’s time for a career change. Not only do I need more money to support the increasingly extravagant lifestyle I plan to have in the future, I want a job where I say stuff and people cannot argue back.

I want to be a football referee.

Tell me these guys don’t have it easy. Granted, they have to wear funny jail uniforms and learn a weird sort of sign language, but when they talk, everyone listens. Everyone abides. And if they don’t, the referee gets to punish them.

“Five yards for holding!”

“Ten yards! Face mask!”

“Unsportsmanlike conduct! Fifteen! – Oh, you don’t like that call! You’re out of the game!”

Wow. These people wield more power than, well, a lot of people, myself included. I want to be one of them.

I can see it now.

Take Ricky Williams, of the Miami Dolphins. Is that one scary looking man, or what? While armchair reffing from my couch, I backed him up more than 75 yards, just for the ugly looks he shot the camera.

“Wipe that look off your face! No? Ten yards!”

He got another 15 for that horrid hairstyle.

And what kind of a name is Obafemi Ayanbadejo? That name doesn’t even fit on the jersey! Ten yards!

And how about that quarterback, Jay Fiedler. Every time he got a little pressure from the defense, he’d throw the ball like a schoolgirl. Five yards!

I’m an equal opportunity referee, so I doled out more than a fair share of flags to the Eagles, too.

Donovan McNabb. You call that a throw!? Ten yards! Make it 15, for that surly attitude!

Duce Staley! Duce? Whazzup with that?! Got a brother named Ace? Five yards. And don’t even think about kicking the dirt like a little boy in the schoolyard. I’ll make it 10! Don’t tempt me!

That’s a bit more than a slap on the rear! Both of you – to the showers!

Is that a performance-enhancing drug you’re taking? Fifteen yards!

And while I’m at it: Pat Bolen? That full-length minx coat you wear – on the sidelines? A woman in Manhattan wouldn’t wear that! Fifty yards the next time the Broncos play!

Romanowski! What’s that black stuff under your eyes! It’s an interview! Wash up! Ten yards!

The best part of this job is that these 300-pound men, whose careers are centered on flattening other large men, can’t do anything but abide by my ruling.

They don’t like it? Pshaw! You know where the locker room is! You’rrrrrrrroutta here!

It’s the ultimate power. And yes, while sometimes, ultimate power corrupts, it often rocks, as well.

Jane Stebbins can be reached

at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or

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