Friday, February 26, 2010

The Angry Ref - “Oh Captain My Captain”

Dear Captain,

You are a funny fellow indeed.  You are the only one allowed to talk to the ref though we know that in most cases everyone forgets that at the first breakdown.  You are tasked with keeping your players in line giving me a conduit so that your team receives my instructions from a familiar and respected face.  But oh captain my captain there are some things you should know.

First, even though you are allowed to talk you are not allowed to say just any old thing.  So when you are given a penalty for dissent the retort “But I’m the captain!” doesn’t really hold any water.  As the captain you should lead by example and address the ref the way you expect your team to address the ref even though they should not be addressing the ref at all.

Second, remember that I only want to talk to you during a stop in play.  Not at the ruck, not at the maul, not while chasing a play down the field.  Remember that one time when you were a U19 Eagle playing on a local all star team and I marveled at how you could sprint full speed with me shoulder to shoulder for 30 meters and never stop talking?  I remember it.  It makes my carding hand tingle.

Finally dear captain remember that even though your title is bestowed upon you by your coach or your club it can be taken away from you; by me.  So before you declare that the card I’m giving your player is “bullshit” remember that the next thing you hear may be, “Captain, please send me your replacement.”  Followed by a red card for your very own to keep and treasure for two weeks.

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