so i was the Back Umpire (that would mean i was the deep guy) at a High School Junior Varsity Semi-Final football game last night. i was anxious about the game all day long although normally i wouldn't. i was anxious because my last game had gone poorly after i didn't see 2 calls that i should've seen. so i was nervous and i got to the game with loads of time to spare before kickoff. i was dressed and fully equipped for the game; in order to do this job i would need my uniform, my bean bag for marking punts, my game card, pencil and my whistle on a lanyard around my neck and nestled in my front shirt pocket. there was no way that something stupid would happen to me this game.
or would it?
i lined up for the opening kickoff and my first job is to judge where the kick would come down and signal which referee would signal time in as well as watch the ball carrier or the blocks depending on my assignment. the ball is about to be kicked off and i reached for my whistle ... which wasn't there. wait a second, i distinctly REMEMBER getting my whistle out and putting it around my neck, i checked several times because i'm neurotic like that, but there i was with the ball in the air and no whistle with which to call this play that was about to happen in front of me. thankfully they kicked to the other deep guy so i actually didn't need a whistle on that play but still i was standing there without a whistle and there was a good chance i'd need that over the next 2 hours of football.
so i ran to my Line Judge who had the key to the official's room where all my gear was and i tore apart my own equipment bag looking for my whistle. i couldn't find it. i found my backup whistle so i threw that in my pocket and ran back to the field. thankfully there was an offside on the kicking team so i made it back on the field just in time for the rekick. it was at that moment that i realized where my whistle was.
the whistle is on a lanyard and it normally rests in my shirt pocket. it was still around my neck but somehow it was now sitting between my shoulder blades after it had gotten completely turned around. i had been wearing a couple layers of clothing so i hadn't noticed that it was backwards and of course none of my compatriots bothered to see or point out that i looked like an idiot with a whistle in the middle of my back.
i mentioned to Wendy that this sort of stuff doesn't seem to happen to other guys and she affectionately said "yeah it does, they just hide it and don't talk about it". maybe i should take some consolation that i'm a bit of an open book and just laugh at myself a little more. maybe stuff like this will teach me not to take things so seriously and have a little more fun with life. i'm still chuckling at my own ineptitude sometimes.
tell the truth, this stuff happens to everyone. it does so.