I love football. I mean, I really, really love football. It’s my passion, and it takes up a good portion of both my brainspace and my weekends.
When it comes to the referees, though, it was the 2010 World Cup that did it. I loved everything about that World Cup. I loved the friendly camaraderie in every pub we were in, no matter who was playing, and I loved the excitement and the heartbreak (mostly heartbreak; I support Switzerland).
But mostly, I loved Howard Webb.
Webb was the first referee I ever really noticed and his air of command captivated me. My friends and I followed his every move through the tournament and when he was given the final there was a flurry of proud texts all out of proportion to our connection to him.
What I learned from that World Cup is that referees are interesting people and they really do hold the game in the palm of their hand. They’re human. They make mistakes. But they get it right more often than not. They keep the Beautiful Game beautiful.
Play the Advantage isn’t like other refereeing blogs, and it’s not meant to be. Most blogs in the space are more about the technical aspects of refereeing, written by referees for referees. I am not a referee; I’m just someone who admires the men who are and the job they do. So, expect less rules and tactics, and more news and fun.
If you leave here with a little more respect for the men in the middle, then my job here is done.
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