Emptiness in Officiating
This summer has been different in more ways than any other summer previously, in my lifetime. These past three months feel like a lifetime, as the sky continues to fall even further from the floor.
June 8, 2020.
I was reluctant to not get a tan, but to get one at the beach, my favorite place in the whole wide world. I wasn’t sure that people would adhere to the social distancing, that there would even be a phase other than 0 that there would be even an opportunity to see the shores of the Atlantic. It was riveting; reassuring that the sun will come up, and this too shall pass.
Here Comes The Sun.
I’m in New York, and that doesn’t sound like the go-to destination for the beach. Basketball, in many ways, is one in the summer. I spent my share at some to best Basketball venues and players NYC had to offer. That offer isn’t afforded to us this time around.
It was 1pm. I looked at my keys, whistle attached to it. I gaped at it in amazement. I thought about blowing the Fox 40, something that I haven’t done in months. Then I looked to the right and realized that the lifeguards wouldn’t appreciate that moment.
I think about officiating, as I get tanner by the minute.
This past winter I never would of thought that both of my loves would be in danger; the beach and officiating. I can’t say that I would appreciate this season even more, had I known there would be a future of it not existing. I think of the weird winter that we had; it snowed only once in NY. There was never the bone-chilling days I normally feel. I took a sabbatical from Flag Football. I love New York, because of the weather changes and the feelings of the extremities of hot and cold. All winter long was a tease – wasn’t cold enough to be the winter I love; and a time when I couldn’t wait for the beach to be back to being a thing.
And as that juxtaposition is perceived, most summers would be filled with beach writing by day, reffing by night, only to think about how I could make what happened that night to art tomorrow. And that doesn’t exist.
However, so many things happened, so many things are constantly in change. Reffing looks like a pipe dream, so we had to wake up a figure out how we can still be involved. Being on the court is only one aspect of being in the official. I’ve been able to check on people and see what they have been doing because of the pandemic, how they have been impassioned, and ignited with all of the injustice and the peaceful rally’s to quell its uncertain tenuous future. And of course, we are together virtually. We see each other as a moving thumbnail and delighted that we made to see another day.
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to
kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” – Carl Jung
You may not be officiating, and you may not be able to blow a whistle. But there’s still a way to keep your mind sharp, to stay connected to those that you love and love the same thing as you. Don’t lose hope. We’ll be on the field soon; and court too.
“Fate is nothing but the deeds committed in a prior state of existence.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
In the meantime, I would encourage officials and non officials alike, to stay engaged; to stay sharp in this time of blurriness. In one way or another, sublimate your love officiating, and find something that you may not see the connection initially, but being productive in the midst of inactivity is still possible. You can count on Referee Rant to be ready and still shipping no matter if the world exists or not.