Posts Tagged "referee"

Another First for Women | Sarah Thomas and the NFL

Dear Kid,

Hopefully, you’ve done a better job of keeping up with the Important News of the Day than I have, but just in case you also missed the announcement, there is BIG NEWS and her name is Sarah Thomas.

The NFL has hired her as its first female full time official.

If you are thinking “Woo Hoo”, you are right.

If you are thinking “It’s about freakin’ time”, you are right.

If you are thinking “It’s too bad this has to be a big deal”, you are right.

If you are thinking “How come this isn’t a bigger deal?”, you are right.

If you are thinking “How does she get all her hair hidden under her cap?”, I have no idea.

If you are thinking “Coffee”, you are right because she drinks a cup of hot coffee before every game no matter what the temperature is.

If you are thinking “I thought the Universe smiled on September 13, 2015”, you’re right because that was the day she made her NFL regular season debut.

If you are thinking “Have I heard her name before?”, the answer is maybe.

Sarah Thomas was the first woman to officiate a major college football game, the first woman to officiate a bowl game, and the first woman to officiate in a Big Ten game. Which makes her a big deal. A bigger deal than the general media (which has largely ignored the story) has led us to believe.

If you are thinking “So the answer is 53?”, you are right because that is her officiating uniform number. Watch for it, because she will doubtless reach other firsts for women.

And I still want to know how she gets all her hair hidden.

Love, Mom

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The One Thing You Have to Know About Soccer

Dear Kid,

Soccer is a ridiculously easy game. (And by “ridiculously easy” I mean more complicated than you might think.)

Because it is easy, I give Pi the same advice before every game: The ball goes in the net.

Sometimes she even takes my advice. Easiest thing ever.

But there are things that make soccer more complicated. And I’m not talking about understanding the plays. (People who know what they’re talking about when it comes to soccer insist that there are plays and set pieces and other preplanned events. The rest of us are pretty sure the ball just gets kicked around a lot.)


Even I can play soccer.

Opponents. Of course, soccer is made slightly more complex by the other team who sees it as their job to keep the ball out of the net. Or at least have it go into the other net.

Teammates. Teammates do not always play perfectly. This can tend to cause inconsistencies on the field. And groaning on the sidelines.

Rules. Then there are the complications because of the rules. (The rules work better when they’re enforced—looking at you, referee who decided that calling fouls was for wimps and he was darn sure not going to be a wimp.)

Traffic. Traffic is another complication, made worse on Tournament weekends when everyone and their brother is going to a soccer field that is just on the wrong side of the field you’re trying to get to.

Do you think medieval tournaments (think jousting and other fun sports) had parking issues?

Kettle corn. Kettle corn really isn’t a complication. At least not until the little boy next to you spills his and sets up a wail suitable for replacing all the emergency sirens in a six mile radius. I’m quite sure knights in shining armor didn’t have to deal with kettle corn spillage. They might have had to deal with loud children.

Port-a-Potties. Complication. And by complication, I mean “ick.” Especially if you’ve been sitting in the sun. And by “sitting in the sun,” I mean drinking a lot of water while sitting in the sun. And the port-a-potties have been sitting in the sun. Double ick.

And yet, with all the complications, soccer is ridiculously easy. The ball goes in the net. The crowd goes wild. The player have fun. And eventually we go home.

Love, Mom

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7 Important Facts About Zebras and 1 Striped Reminder

Dear Kid,

When was the last time you thought about zebras? (Not the referee kind, the related-to-horses kind.) I’m guessing not recently. Zebras are good creatures. (Zebra print is also a great trend, but that’s not what we’re talking about today.)

So, being the kind of mother I am, I thought I’d tell you a little about zebras.Zebra: Seriously Mom, how could you name me Spot?

  1. Zebras don’t make good house pets.

You might think they’d be handy to keep in your room as a friend, but you’d be wrong. Zebras are not tiny animals. They don’t eat tiny amounts. Hence, the other end of the digestive process is neither petite nor perfumed.

  1. Zebras are highly social.

They hang out in groups, like fraternity members only there are more of them. Like fraternity members, they will only go to sleep if there are friends nearby to set up an alarm if a predator is close. Also like fraternity members, they prefer to graze together. No word on whether they like fart jokes, but I’m sure they appreciate a good chemistry joke once in a while.

  1. Zebra stripes are unique.

Zebra stripes (like human fingerprints) are unique to each individual animal. Zebra watchers often identify zebras by the stripes on their tushies. While zebra stripes might to make a person wearing them stand out at a cocktail party, when in a massive herd zebras’ stripes and coloring makes it difficult for lions (and other predators) to tell where one zebra ends and another begins.

  1. Zebras are family-oriented.

Just not your family (because you’re not a zebra). Zebra mamas are very caring and protective of their foals and are known to check on them well after they’ve graduated from college. Zebra kids find this kind and reassuring and do not fuss at their loving parents.

  1. Zebras are zippy.

Zebras can run over 40 miles per hour. They also have excellent stamina and the ability to cut across the field. They are often recruited for football teams.

  1. Zebras are communicative.

They get their point across by sniffing, balking, braying, barking, snorting, changing the position of their tail and ears, and rolling their eyes at their parents.

  1. Zebras are brave.

The head of the herd generally stays at the back to defend against predators. If a zebra is injured, the rest of the herd will circle around it, dancing the hora to keep away the predator and give the injured animal time to rest and recuperate. While there are several high schools with the zebra as their mascot, I am not aware of any zebra college mascots.

Don’t forget to text your sister.

Love, Mom


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