25 – You IN PARTICULAR Don’t Understand the Rules

Dexter O’Connell is a referee who has been yelled at in every language of eastern Europe.

He drops some Globetrotters knowledge, for example, how many times have the Globetrotters lost? Listen to find out! (Or Google it…)

Original McSweeney’s interview here.

Show Notes

:47 Dexter officiates a variety of youth and adult sports.

1:20 Dexter was a ridiculous nerd as a child and was very interested in the person keeping score. He bothered the person running the scoreboard until they agreed to teach him how to operate it.

3:50 Did Dexter ever screw up the scoreboard? Yes. Usually you notice when you do it, but when you’re a kid you can be absentminded about it.

5:40 Even in the NBA the person running the scoreboard is only part-time. The scoreboard is really just for the fans.

6:55 Once in a while the official timer screws up and it can determine the outcome of the game.

8:20 How did Dexter learn how to ref? From a guy who ran group homes, and another guy, Daryl, who was a ref for the Globetrotters, as seen in this video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzC11oNYx64

The Generals beat the Globetrotters three times in their history. When the Generals are playing offense, the game is real. A guy named Red Klotz invented the Generals.

13:30 Dexter learned whereto position himself, what to call…

14:21 The first game he ever reffed, he didn’t call any fouls because he was terrified.

18:33 Suzanne played soccer and noticed herself having anger management issues.

21:08 Dexter has been berated in every language of Eastern Europe. He did girls lacrosse finals and the coach told him, “YOU IN PARTICULAR do not understand this rule.”

29:47 What’s it like to ref little kids? 50-75% instruction, 50-25% officiating.

31:50 Dexter has made kids cry. He felt bad, but he’s made kids cry.

34:15 In soccer when Suzanne blocked her chest, sometimes they called it, sometimes they didn’t. Dexter seems like he would call it. Suzanne says she forgot to mention that she did grab the ball and place it at her feet and kick it. So maybe it was an actual penalty.

35:27 Dexter talks about when he’s screwed up a soccer game, let it get out of hand. He called way too many penalties after a bad day at work. It’s hard to stop “a cycle of badness.”

40:30 Suzanne thinks Dexter could be an NBA ref.

43:20 How much criticism vs thanks? 5% thanks. Criticism every game.

47:00 Even if he’s retired he could maybe run a scoreboard somewhere.

Final thoughts: There is a book called Soccer in Sun and Shadow, which Dexter highly recommends, and which has a chapter about a referee. Link here: http://deadspin.com/the-referee-from-soccer-in-sun-and-shadow-1586700996