SIDELINE OBSERVATIONS: Give officials due respect

Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 06:25 PM.

Sometimes, I’ll agree with the call; other times, I won’t. There are times when a photograph I take proves the official was right, despite the howling masses of fans in the stands.

In my younger days, when I was more of a fan and less of a writer, I was a good heckler. I could work an officiating crew or the opposing team, but I would never go after a team that wasn’t at least at the college level.

Once, I singlehandedly won a pizza for being the rowdiest section at a University of Tennessee baseball game, but I did so without profanity and with plenty of humor. Although that poor pitcher from the University of Georgia probably didn’t find my questions about his control and eye sight so funny.

In the end, everyone has a job to do at a game. A coach is there to coach, players to play, officials to call the game, media to cover the game and fans to cheer on their favorite team.

It would be hypocritical of me to say fans shouldn’t give the officials a hard time when they deserve it. But I would encourage fans to think before they yell something stupid.

Anyone who’s called a youth league basketball game or church league softball game will tell you officiating isn’t easy.

I once read that being a sports official was the only job in the world where you had to be perfect the first day and improve from there.

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