As I write this, I’m at Barnes & Noble, a place that was once near and dear to my heart; at one point in time, when I was a young acolyte, I’d be in between books and in between the lines of literature both great and mediocre looking for the shoulders of the great writers before me to stand on. This one, on Long Island, seems to be thriving. However, that might be a veneer; I know I’ve been here almost 20x in the past 2 years, and I’ve barely spent a dime. The world is a digital place. And so, I would analogly find inspiration, and start creating my art by breaking the cycle – it’s 2019 – the only way is to ship it digitally, to the masses.
My focus has changed with how we ship ideas. When I conceived the idea of Referee Rant, someone that was officiating for one of the first times in Flag Football was in awe by the command I had on the field – I thought it was regular. Of course I did, because I have been doing this in perpetuity.
“Yo, you need to write a book on Flag Football.” – Herving Armand
What a great idea, but my attitude towards writing books changed. I read this book called the Icarus Deception where they talk about since the inception of the Industrial Revolution and the advent of Trains and Railroads, how we’ve been a world as artists to fit in. When you are an actor on Broadway, you think you have to meet the certain level and audition for a part. That’s how it’s always be. 2019, and the World Wide Web has given me the ability to not create books, but small morsels of my writs, weekly, so we can get with the times, and show everyone how rewarding officiating is.
And when it comes to that game called officiating , that attitude I speak of is important. Attitude is everything is what they say. When it comes to this industry, it can either make or break you. When you first start we all become enthusiastic when we initially become certified and we are finally on the field or court. Then the real work begins. Now what?
Dreams of becoming an MLB umpire gets dissipated within the first inning of my first game of the season. It’s a middle school game, 3 years ago, and the middle school coach doesn’t agree with my ravine of a strike zone.
FORGET THE MLB. I CAN’T EVEN CRACK JUNIOR VARSITY.
Nobody text me in a crisis
I believed all of your dreams are duration
You took my heart and my keys and my patience – Rihanna
The attitude changed. But then I did it enough times. I’ve seen enough balls and strikes, I’ve called enough outs for my attitude to be self corrective. I’m happy to announce I made the Varsity list, and one of the biggest attributes has been my attitude towards it. Here are the things that make that attitude grade A, no matter which way, or things that we go through on the court and on the field.
OFF THE COURT
COMPETE WITH YOURSELF – I find negative attitudes are attributed by sizing a fellow official with yourself and thinking about how you are better than the next guy, and conversely, feel like you don’t even belong in the conversation. F THAT. FLIP THAT. Instead, NO ONE IS BETTER THAN BEING THAN YOU. Be enthusiastic with what your doing. What your doing that day is unique to you. Don’t let other ideas and negative thoughts consume you, especially when its beyond your control.
SELF REFLECT – Having said that, as the Rant has been chugging along, and nearing it’s 30th episode, I find that each official that I’ve spoken to has said similar things, including make sure you film yourself. You have to be honest with yourself. You have to be enthusiastic with breaking down film, to point out your flaws and all. Yes you can be enthusiastic in showing that their is room for improvement.
“I sold a million record like a million times.” – Jay-Z
ON THE FIELD
USE EVERY REP AND GAME AS AN OPPORTUNITY – Last night I was at the AA Semi Final round where I saw some top notch officials put air in the whistle. I envisioned that it was me. Instead, it was my attitude towards it; instead of letting it fester, being ego driven,, and thinking that I should have been put on that game, I flipped it – I was happy for my fellow officials, and cheered them on to do their best. Because one day, it’ll be me and I hope they exhibit the attitude that I had in the crowd.
CHAMPIONSHIP HABITS – Doesn’t matter if it’s a low level game, or the highest possible. It’s another, like above, opportunity for you to treat your craft with alacrity. Be positive, and show that you get up for a minor game as much as if it were a major one.
“We major? Come on homie, we major.” – Nas
ANOTHER POST. ANOTHER TOMORROW.