William Correro column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thinking ahead applies to refs, too

The play I wrote about last week telling how the LSU quarterback was “into the game” and thinking ahead got me to thinking how that applies to what we do on the field.

After a great play and a subsequent head-butt by a teammate that broke his chinstrap, he immediately thought out how to prevent an unnecessary charged time out and/or a penalty. By grabbing his knee as if he was injured he did what he had to do and it was just short of brilliant. It would have worked but his coach decided it was worth using a time out to get everything right.

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The same thing happens more from our perspective when officiating a game. It might be as simple as seeing a player who is guilty of holding but then having the “feel for the game.” if you will, to realize the foul occurred well away from the point of attack and had no affect on the play and pass up dropping a flag.

Just knowing and understanding how much contact to allow and when to draw the line when a receiver and defender are in close contact running down the field takes many years of experience.

All fouls called in college and pro games are based on one of two things: Did someone gain an unfair advantage and/or was a player’s safety at risk? High school football officials should be working the same way but too many times the above referenced philosophy is not properly taught.

The best rating officials can receive is that no one even noticed we were there. That is what we all hope to do in any given game.

A good axiom we use is, “Call only the train wrecks and let the little fender benders go.” I heard a NFL official say that one of theirs is to remember that if it won’t show up on a twenty-five inch TV, it ain’t a foul.

Problem with that one is with all these fifty inch plus plasma screen TV’s in high definition, much more detail is seen these days. And then there’s the Tivo to replay it again and again.

The bottom line is when we are working a game we could care absolutely nothing about who wins any given game. We just have to stay ahead and “be completely into the game.”