Playing the Advantage

Nicola Rizzoli, Italy, Serie A

If you love the game of football (“soccer” to you Americans), you either love them or hate them (probably hate them):

Referees.

For a bunch of guys who spend all their time ruining the game – according to whatever fans are on the losing side – they’re probably the most important person on the pitch. And as we gear up for another World Cup year, who the referee is and how good he is at his job becomes vitally important in every match.

Which is a totally good reason to write a blog about them.

But that’s not why I write about refs. I write about them because they’re interesting. They have histories and lives. If a player plays ten years, he’s an old-timer. Most referees have been doing what they do for 20 years or more. They’re police officers and architects and media moguls who don’t referee for the money (there’s not much), but because they love it.

And they’re hot. Yes, hot.

Let’s face it. These guys are more, shall we say, mature than the players they manage, but they have to be just as fit to be able to keep up. And they can’t be the kind of guy who takes a lot of shit. They’re older, they’re in command, they’re smart, and they’re fit.

If you’re sick of the young prima donnas on the pitch, these are your men.

Key word: Men.

So PTA isn’t your typical referring blog. I won’t be analyzing stats or counting up yellow cards (there are some really good blogs for that.)

Playing the Advantage isn’t just your typical referee blog. It’s a tribute to the Man in the Middle.

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