Sunday, November 19, 2006

I Miss Him

Johnny Grier was my favorite NFL official.

He became the league's first black referee in 1988 and officiated games until his retirement after an injury during a game in 2004. It seems he's now working as an officiating supervisor for the NFL.*

I can't really tell you why I liked him so much, but there is something about this man that radiated confidence and fairness to me. He always seemed like he loved his job; whenever the camera caught him, he'd be hunched over, leaning on his knees, paying very close attention to the game. I saw him talk players off of ledges and save themselves from penalties. I saw him laugh on the field. Grier seemed like the kind of guy who was thrilled to do what he did and never took it for granted.

I'm sorry that he's no longer in front of the camera. While there are a lot of fine, fair, and articulate referees on the field right now, none of them makes me smile the way Johnny did.

* Author's note: I'm disappointed by the lack of information I was able to find on the internet about Grier - there was nothing (that I could find) on or or any other source that I consider reputable. Actually, what I was able to find came from Wikipedia. I distrust Wiki, and I need to make the disclaimer that I can't vouch for the veracity of the information I'm giving you here. I'm just sayin'.


Blogger Kizz said...

What's voracity? You mean veracity? Yes. I'm busting your chops. You know, you're right to distrust Wikipedia but I still totally love it.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Mrs.Chili said...

SHIT! I hate it when I make stupid spelling errors! I wrote this while watching the Patriots beat Green Bay, so I wasn't paying as much attention to my writing as I should have...

I'm going to go fix it now...

9:38 PM  

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