Editor’s note: This story appears in our Spring 2020 magazine. You can subscribe to the print edition, or digital, here.
When officials step on the field, we review the players, coaches and fans. What do they want from me today? How do they like the game called? What reaction can I expect from my calls? How should I prepare? Not every coach or player likes every call, but then again who does?
That approach typically boils down to this: I know how coaches and teams want the game called. Prior to each game, I know the standings and what sort of rivalry might exist between the team. One team likes more contact, the other doesn’t. This doesn’t alter my approach.