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This Official Is Officially Inattentive

, , , , , | Working | October 11, 2021

In soccer, the officials have the discretion to “card” players for unsportsmanlike conduct or other flagrant rule violations. A yellow card gets a player a temporary suspension from the game; red cards get the player removed from the game altogether.

When I was a kid, my dad played in a recreational soccer league for fun and for exercise. He’s level-headed, calm, and rational… and this is the story of how he got his one and only card in soccer.

Dad played striker, one of the main scoring positions. One game, a teammate passed him the ball and Dad dribbled it down the field to take a shot on goal. One of the other team’s defenders slide-tackled Dad from behind, in blatant violation of both the league’s rules and “just playing for fun” spirit. 

Dad picked himself up off the ground and turned to the official, who had yet to blow his whistle to stop play as he should have.

Dad: “Are you gonna call that?”

The official shook his head.

Official: “I didn’t see anything.”

Dad: *Frustrated* “I had the ball; where were you looking?”

The official silently held up a yellow card and sent Dad to the sidelines.