Thursday, November 27, 2008

Last week before

Wrestling season.

Even though I've only had one weekend off completely from officiating, it seems kind of strange to not have to be somewhere.

Last night I did officiate basketball and once again didn't make it through the night without T-ing someone up. It's ridiculous. It's amazing how grown men can get when playing basketball. We try everything we can not to call technical fouls but they end up forcing our hand.

I officiated three games and the last one we had to throw someone out. Oh those crazy men's leagues.

Today happens to be my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving! Why? Oh come now, you know why!

Food, Family, and The Cowboys! That's right, I've watched every Cowboys turkey game since I was 8 years old. I had watched everyone with my parents until I got married. Now every other year we're at my parents and the other years I'm at the in-laws. It's not so bad at the in-laws. When the game comes on they know it's time to focus. Lol!

I have to say that I'm ready for wrestling season to start. My season starts officially next Friday. But however strange it may have seemed last weekend I appreciated the time off and the opportunity to go to soccer with my son. Yeah, I'm a proud papa!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another Weekend Off

It's been kind of nice having this weekend off. I have to take advantage while I can because once December gets here my free weekends are very scarce.

This past Wednesday I officiated some basketball and unfortunately once again I didn't make it through the night without giving a technical foul. However this technical wasn't issued for arguing or fighting but for hanging on the rim forever. I guess you could call it a little taunting since the team won by 40 plus and scored about 115 points. Their team was pretty good.

If you haven't read the posting below, Thursday night was date night and we watched a documentary on the wrestler with no arms and legs, Dustin Carter. Friday night I had a flat tire when I was trying to leave work. Somehow we ended up going out to eat at one of the best Chinese buffet restaurants in the city.

Saturday was an all sports day. My son Kael had his first soccer practice. Yeah! We signed him up for a soccer group called 'Little Dribblers' that is for 2 year olds. Kael won't be 2 for a couple of months but he taught himself how to dribble a basketball. It's amazing how good he is and his hand eye coordination is on point. He seems to be ahead of the game. Football is still his favorite, soccer second, with wrestling and basketball being a tie for third. The boy has picked up the sports all on his own with the exception of wrestling. I started with him on that when he was about nine months.

The only thing about his soccer gig is that he is impatient when it comes to warming up. He just wants to play immediately. He had to have gotten this from mom of course. Lol! Maybe not.

After soccer is over, we got something to eat and headed straight home to watch the Ohio State vs Michigan game. What's funny is I didn't hear a thing about this game all week because of the other big game, Oklahoma vs Texas Tech. We watched that game too, along with the Notre Dame game. Of course the Irish losing was the most disappointing for me. But I was happy for Syracuse's coach Greg Robinson. Hopefully both teams turn it around next year.

On top of watching all of those games, I was keeping up with the high school playoffs on the internet. What is going on here? I need to simma down.

Sunday was get your priorities in order day and we started it off right by going to the house of God for church. It's always nice to be in His house.

After church, since we have the two youngsters, we are officially a Golden Corral family. So we ate and took our sweet time. Then we came home and you guessed it, watched more football. Well I did. My wife hit Wal mart and then came home and started making more diaper cakes. Kael took a nap as well as baby Ava. Ava slept on my chest forever. We're gonna have family night tonight and relax.

Kael likes to play football non-stop in the family room. Of course I'm game. Refs like to be dads too!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dustin Carter Documentary Review

Date night was officially a success!

After leaving work today I had to immediately go to a basketball officials meeting. After the meeting I literally went across the street to Scott's house and picked up the brand new Dustin Carter Documentary.

Called my wife and decided to pick up some food before going home. Then we finally got to sit down and watch the new dvd.

Here is my official breakdown and take on it.

The dvd has four different sections. Documentary, Instructional, Day in the Life, and Scrap Book. I will say up front that I enjoyed the video very much and can't wait to watch it again. Next week we're taking it over the In-laws for Thanksgiving and my wife got all giddy because she knows that her parents will love it!

We plan to take it over my parents for Christmas.

When I picked it up tonight, Scott said my wife will appreciate the Instructional part since she used to be a personal trainer. He was right. She thought it was very important and relevant for the instructional to be on the video and was in awe of how Dustin does things that he does.

I asked her honest opinion of what she thought of it after we were done and she thought that it was really good and for a non-hollywood documentary it was a 10. She could tell that it took a lot of work to make this video. She could also tell that Scott really cares about Dustin.

The Documentary chapter was her favorite part and she almost cried once (she never cries on movies). She loved to see the inside of Dustin's life on a personal level. She thought Dustin interviewed really well and was nails. She said Scott and Dustin were both sincere and that this video served it's purpose. She added that it's worth the price and it's for any athlete, family, workplace, hospital, and sports teams. I know I said 'here's my official breakdown', but she said it all and I concur.

I've been known for being a hard movie critic and for being too honest. That's just how I am so here goes. My wife really did say it all. Wrestling fans live and die by the movie Vision Quest. We love it. However if I really stop and think I would give the movie a 6 out of 10. Documentaries are totally different than movies and I would give this a 8.5 out of 10 hollywood or non-hollywood. It definitely compares to other documentaries. I love to watch inspiring movies or documentaries and I guess this is my newest 'Rudy'.

I don't want to give to much away but it is a tie between my favorite sections, 'Documentary' and 'Day in the Life'.

These guys have definitely inspired me and I have used past videos of them several times at work. Can't wait to show this one. Any of you that decide to purchase this hopefully enjoy it as much as we did and maybe, just maybe it will bring even more fans and participants to this awesome sport.

Who knows maybe some more referees too!

Dustin and Reggie Bush. When the New Orleans Saints came to town to play against the Bengals this preseason, Dustin was asked to come into their locker room and speak to the team.

Once again you can purchase this documentary of Dustin at

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More Offseason Wrestling Talk

I know some people may get tired of hearing about Dustin Carter, but I for one am not.

I can think of several reasons.. He is great kid with an absolute positive attitude and positive outlook on life. When you get to know him, you don't feel sorry for him or pity him. Instead it's a pleasure and a honor to be around such a great individual.

A little after the season ended my good friend and Dustin's trainer Scott Goodpaster called me on a way to speaking engagement and Dustin was with him. Scott and I keep up with each other pretty often. Well he put Dustin on the phone and Dustin says, "What's up Blackness?" Dustin gives a little devious giggle. I answer, "Not a lot, how's it going Dusty?" Of course Scott coerced him into being bold enough to say that. Scott knows me well and we kid around a lot. Dustin must be part of the gang now too.

I guess I'm kind of posting this since Dustin and Scott don't have a blog and in case anyone is interested. Plus if it gives positive pub for wrestling I guess I'm cool with it. As I stated before Scott and I keep in contact consistently and he filled me in on some of the things that he had going on throughout the year.

Scott and Dustin flew out to California and appeared on 'The Best Damn Sports Show' and chatted it up with Chicago Blackhawks legend Jeremy Roenick. Then the next day they headed over to San Diego and hooked up with Drew Brees and LaDanian Tomlinson. That's Dustin and Brees pictured above. Scott said it was a great experience and he got to see one of his mentors in the fitness world.

The two have had a few speaking engagements throughout the year. But this past weekend they got to go to New York for the 'Journeymen Wrestling NY State Clinic'. Scott, Dustin, Coach Tom Ryan of The Ohio State University, and Gold Medalist Henry Cejudo was the speakers. Scott stated that Cejudo's Gold Medal was really sweet and nice to look at. He added that Coach Ryan was genuinely a great guy. He really liked him a lot.

He thought it was an awesome experience and that the kids really loved Dustin.

Now Dustin and Scott put in a lot of hard work on a Special Documentary on Dustin called 'No Arms, No Legs, All Heart!' It has just been released this week. Neither Dustin or Scott asked me to post this by any means but I thought I would because it's not only inspiring for wrestlers and sports fans, but for anyone period. You can check out the video below or go directly to You can also order it there as well.

My wife and I have a date night tonight. Our date is watching this dvd and I'll be sure to come back and give my review either tonight or tomorrow. She is really pumped up to see it.

So as you can tell I'm in high gear wrestling mode! How about you?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wrestling in the Offseason

I just finished up my season officiating high school and college football. I still may end up getting a college playoff game next week.

I had planned on going to a wrestling meeting tonight but my wife really wanted me to come home tonight since we have a pretty busy week ahead of us and she wanted somewhat of a family night. I happily oblige. I still have a lot of dates to get my meetings in.

Now that it is almost officially wrestling season I thought I would talk about the off season a little bit.

Season's Over

When the '07-'08 wrestling season ended I immediately started officiating in the Arena Football 2 league. I consistently kept up with wrestling though. I like to stay in tune to what's going on as far as the rules and wrestlers. All of you that love the sport know how special it is.

In the summer I reffed a wrestling tournament at Mason High School and got some good work. It had been a couple of years since I officiated college guys and there were some good ones going at it. They were displaying some very slick defense. Fun time!

I watched every bit of Olympic wrestling that I could and I kid you not that my favorite moment unbiasly was watching Cejudo celebrate winning the Olympic Gold. Don't get me wrong, I loved watching Michael Phelps do his thing. But Cejudo had an awesome geniune celebration moment too. I have a nice picture of Cejudo with my good buddy Scott Goodpaster and Dustin Carter from this past weekend that I'm going to write about on later post.

David's Workout @ CFF

Speaking of Scott, September my wife, our son, and I went to his facility at Cincinnati Functional Fitness (CFF) as he invited us down to watch him workout David Taylor.

My wife has been a wrestling fan since we started dating almost 3 years ago and she got to watch David wrestle last year when I officiated him against Moeller. So she was kind of pumped to go watch him especially since she used to be a personal trainer. The previous year we went to CFF to watch Scott workout Dustin Carter and that was quite a treat as well.

Dustin and David are both awesome kids! It makes you proud to see good kids that have their heads on straight. I'm not even talk about their dedication to wrestling. Just good human beings!

David remembered that I officiated him the previous year so we talked a little bit in the beginning about the match. I told him at one point in the match I almost nailed him for stalling for playing around in the match. The key word is almost. We then talked a little about Iowa State and he talked about how great of a person Cael Sanderson is. He's really looking forward to going there.

Now this workout that Scott has him going through is no joke. David is working really really hard. The kid is absolutely amazing. Giving everything he's got. My wife couldn't stop talking about how he just has that extra level. She could see and pick up on it right away.

David is about finish but still has to pull the tires. He's taking a very quick short break and my son is getting exciting because he's only 1 but I wrestle around with him all the time. At one point I say to him, "Kael, come here." David alertly hears me and asks, "What's his name?" I stated, "You heard it right, with a K." My son Kael doesn't warm up to a lot of people but he likes Scott and David.

So now we go outside as David goes to town on dragging the tires. Ah man I was getting tired for him. My wife was too. She was very impressed. David just worked it out hardcore over an hour and it looked like he used every bit of ounce of energy he had. But yet he still looked like he could go at it for 6 minutes on the mat anyway. Unreal!

So before he leaves Scott decides to have my son Kael, David and myself take a couple of pictures. Hence the picture in this post. David has a long drive home but feels it's worth it for the workout. I don't know if I would drive that far for someone to bust my tail working out. But that's why I'm not David Taylor. Referee or not, I know Greatness when I see it.

I tell David that when I see him at the Moeller Duals ask his coach to not yell at me to much and don't get mad if I call him for stalling. We share a laugh, wish him a safe trip home, and he's off. Coach Jordan actually was pretty cool to me at last years dual. He questioned me on a couple of things which is expected. Fighting for his kids.

Before we head out, Scott shares with us something special that he is working on. It's the Dustin Carter documentary that is about to be released 'No Arms, No Legs, All Heart'


Just when you think it can't get any better for the sport, it does!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

College Football Saturday-Week 11

In the Morning
Animations - football-04
I have to be on the road by 5:45am for College Football Saturday and I've only had about an hour of sleep.

Since my son who is almost 2 years old has bronchiolitis, he was having a hard time getting to sleep and so was I. My wife wasn't feeling well and she dealt with the baby so I had to tend to him. He's wide awake so we got up and I got him something to eat and chilled with him. It's 2:30am. I'm just wondering how am I going to be able to not only ref but be on my A-game and praying for my family's health at the same time.

Just like that it's time to get ready and meet the guys. I'm out the door at 5:30am and driving to meet the fellas at a Park & Ride. While waiting for them there is another group of guys waiting on people. Next thing I know one of them walk over to me.
I say, "Hey Ralph!" It's a fellow wrestling official. Ralph tells me "We're waiting on a few other guys and then we're taking off. " I reply, "Oh is this where you guys are meeting for the Columbus wrestling clinic?" He says, "Isn't that why you're here?" I explain to him no and that I'm meeting my crew members for our game. Funny how that worked out. Wrestling will come along soon enough.

So the guys pull up a second later, and we're off!

My stomach

Before meeting them I got a chocolate milk and some sunflower seeds to eat on the way up. BIG MISTAKE!

We're headed 3 hours up north to Wooster College as they will do battle with Wittenberg. But first the four of us are meeting the other three guys at a restaurant not to far from there for breakfast.

I should be exhausted but I'm actually doing well with not being tired, but then the sunflower seeds mixed with chocolate milk and me worrying about the family isn't setting well and now my stomach is turning like no other. It's awful. I get to the restaurant and my stomach is throwing a fit. All I can think is you've got to be kidding me.

So I'm praying for my stomach, my family, and my health so I don't get sick. I'm feeling pretty confident that I'll be fine and I very rarely get sick. So I decide to eat a little at the restaurant. This helps slightly.

We then leave and Jonesey has me cracking up! I'm cracking up laughing and this definitely helps the stomach. Jones you funny guy you!

Then we get to the game site have a little pre-game and then I take some alone time and work on the stomach. Next thing you know I get a text from my wife and my son is doing better and his breathing is no longer contracting, but the baby congestion is still there and my wife is ok. It was like spinach! Now I'm ready to rock!


We are all getting ready and are aware that the weather report earlier in the week said it would be raining and possibly snow! Oh how we wished it snowed!

When we arrived at the school before 10:30am it was raining a little but by the time we hit the field an hour before kickoff it was fine. The weather wasn't that bad. Man was this ever a set-up!

You would have thought we were at Lambeau Field in Green Bay it got so cold and wet.

We got the captains, we got the flip, and the best team on the field will stand together for the last time this year. Let's go get'em guys!

Now you may think I'm being over dramatic by writing all this but I want to asure you that it's not the case at all. I have just had a trying few days and a odd past 12 hours, so my competitive juices are flowing! Who am I competing with? MYSELF!

Every game I'm competing and playing a game while officiating! I'm out there to do my thing and give it my best and overcome and do the things I got to do just like the players and coaches do.

It's gametime baby!


These two teams that are doing battle today are having a good season. From what I was told the winner has a chance for the playoffs. So just like that we have the kickoff!

But here comes rain! And the wind! And the tempature drop!

Oh my gosh were we cold. It didn't even matter that I didn't get much sleep because I'm wide awake and on my toes greatful that I'm able to officiate this year after coming back from a bad injury and after my family's health has been restored!

Now this game is like an old-school football game. You know the kind we liked to play in when we were kids. Hard hitting, smash-mouth, and MUDDY!

Yeah, the players and refs are muddy from the start. The players are pumped up and they're getting at it. At the end of the first quarter the score is still 0-0.

The home team started the second quarter with a score going up 7-0 and then add another score after an interception making it 14-0.

I had my first of two penalties for a holding on the kickoff.

Later in the quarter Wittenberg grabs an interception and return it for a touchdown. Missed the extra point and it's 14-6.

Let me tell you we are freezing cold in this game. Right before the half Wooster scores again and it's 21-6 at the half.

Needless to say that at the half we were all changing clothes. What made it so cold was the rain. So I'm out of my drenched clothes and the only thing that I wear in the second half that I had on in the first are my cleats. After halftime one of the players commented on my pants and wanted to know how they were so white and clean.

Thank goodness that it doesn't rain a lick in the second half but it is extremely windy. I'll take it. It was windy enough that it was making my face numb and my mouth was moving like a slow motion movie, but long as the rain stayed away I was cool (No pun intended).

The second half is like the first. Hard hitting and mud slinging. A lot of turnovers in this game and I guess no surprise with the weather the way it was.

In the end the home team won 27-6. Game is over and we are off the field.

End of a Great Season

It felt so good to hit the showers and get that warm water on my body. The school provided a nice lunch afterwards and we took our time eating eat and talking. We had fun this season and created some new memories. Hopefully if any of us get a playoff game we will be officiating together.

We say our goodbyes and head home. The four of us stop and get some hot chocolate. When we get back to the Park & Ride we say our goodbyes as well.

The day isn't over for me yet. My wife had sent me a text message on the way home to pick up a few items. So I hit Wal-mart and pick up some groceries and now I head home.

My boy is doing better and our girl is doing ok and looks adorable. My wife is doing fine and we have ourself some food. You would have thought I had enough of football but that isn't the case.

Two local high school powers in Colerain vs Elder are playing on tv. We start watching the game but a little after halftime we crash and go to bed.

In the morning we watch the rest of the game on DVR and see that it was an awesome instant classic double overtime game. Wow!

Just think, the weekends not over yet. Church and NFL Sunday.

What a week,


I can say that I'm pretty tired after this past week.

Wednesday night I officiated basketball at a Men's recreational league. I was trying to make it my mission in life for the night to not have to give a technical foul to anyone. I didn't even make it out of the first game without it happening. The game was almost over and one of the players wouldn't stop running his mouth at us. They were getting beat by 30+ and he decides to try and take it out on us. Not going to happen.


Our son had been coughing for a few days so we decided to take him to the doctor's office. The doctor gave him a pretty good check-up and said it seemed like he had a common cold. So we went home and called it a day.


When I get up in the morning and start getting ready for work my wife tells me that our baby girl is now congested a little. It was actually starting to make me feel a little down that my kids were going through this. But then my wife started feeling bad as well. So now my whole family is getting ill and I have to leave on Saturday and be gone all day for a college football game.

Later that day I'm at work and my wife informs me that our son is now wheezing when breathing and that his chest is contracting in pretty hard. She had called the doctor and explained to him what was going on and he thought it sounded like bronchitis. He wasn't going to be in that day so we decided on going to Urgent Care when I got home.

I didn't get home as early as I would have liked but finally did make it. So I made it to Urgent Care and they diagnosed him with Bronchiolitis. They said nothign else we could really do but wait it out. So we go home and watch a little tv and try to go to bed. However junior didn't want to cooperate. Into Saturday we go.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Oh So Close

It's so close to that time of the year. You gotta love it!

No I'm not talking about Christmas. I'm talking about College football controversy NFL Playoff talk, College basketball, and WRESTLING!

Wrestling you say, yeah Wrestling!

Last night I watched college basketball and Monday night I went to our local wrestling meeting. I had a long long day at work and it mentally wore me out. Then I had to rush over to our meeting and Thank goodness my fellow official was on point. This reminded me of why we need to get to the event we're officiating in plenty of time and get in game mode ourselves.

Dan and I had to give a presentation on Takedowns and Escapes. Dan is one of the top officials in our association and has worked our illustrious State Tournament. So I was in good hands working with him as he did most of the legwork. Our meetings are great and I continue to learn from them as well.

After the meeting had to rush home and spend time with the family. It's funny that sometimes we can have a bad day and just look at the family and it makes it all better.

Tonight I'll be reffing some basketball for a Men's Recreation League. Oh boy! The only thing more dramatic than officiating this is, well nothing.

We have a cold college football game to officiate Saturday but I'm so looking forward to it! Maybe if eveything flows right I'll be able to head back home in time to attend a mammoth high school playoff game!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

No Reffing This Weekend

It has been a different kind of week for me.

On Monday we had our first local high school wrestling meeting for officials. It will be wrestling in high gear pretty soon.

This is the first weekend I haven't had to referee something since mid-August. Feels strange but yet the high school football season is fast.

Earlier this week I got another call about reffing a wrestling tournament in December, but I'm already booked. This pretty much happens every year in November and December. Schools calling trying to get officials for matches.

Yesterday I was contacted to officiate Flag Football today. But I couldn't make it happen. This morning my wife and I took the kids to the YMCA. We both use to officiate basketball there but haven't for a couple of years. We will start doing it again a little and we plan to spend a lot of time there since we're going to sign our boy up for a few toddler sports. He is 1 year-old and already handles a soccer ball extremely well. He taught hisself. I had no idea.

We messed around for a couple of minutes playing soccer and when one parent found out he was 1, he couldn't believe it. Yeah, I'm a proud papa.

After leaving the Y, my wife had to go and host a baby shower for her sister. So I'm at home with the kids watching the College Football all day playing Mr. Mom.

It's actually kind of nice. But next week I'm at it again. Wrestling meeting, reffing basketball, and one more college football game.

I have an Awesome WIFE eh! You betcha!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

High School Football Playoff- Week 11

What a great night for football it was.

I arrived at the host school at 5p. The officials on my college crew had informed me that the White Hat I was officiating with in this game had been reffing for 40 years and this was his last game.

Once I arrived at the school the five of us talked about it with him before our pregame. Speaking of pregame, it was a good. We thoroughly went over our keys, mechanics, responsibilities and communication with one another. We want to be on our toes every game, but we also appreciate the opportunity, the assignment, and the votes to be doing a playoff game.

We head out to the field and the stands are already full. Check the field, talk to the coaches, coin toss, and then back up to the locker room. Now it's time to bring the teams out. I round up the home team and we hit the field. Places. It's game time.

What an electric atmosphere. Weather is absolutely perfect. The stadium is packed with home and visitor fans and it's loud. Adrenaline flowing. Ala Dick Vitale, 'It's Awesome baby with a capital A.

From the opening kickoff there was some serious hitting going on. Pads popping! It's somewhat of a defensive battle for the whole game. The home team is leading at the half 3-0 and add to the lead in the second half making it 10-0. But just like that the visitors tie it up 10-10.

Next thing you know there is about 5 minutes to go in the game and the visitors have the ball and are driving. They complete a pass and the receiver advances to the 12 yard line, gets hit, and then the defense is running a fumble back the other way for the game deciding touchdown. We get together and speak about the play to see if anyone had the runner down. No one did and there were no whistles on the play. Tough call and we all had the same thing. That ended up being the final score with the home team up 17-10.

What an absolute fun game to officiate and be a part of. We all congratulated our White Hat and talked a little bit after the game in the locker room. All the guys I had the pleasure in working with for this game were very cool and fun to officiate with. Bobby congratulations once again on a long successful career in officiating. You're ready for 'Jet' magazine now.

On a side note, my full time high school crew regulars, White Hat 'Woody' and Umpire 'Chris' had a doozy of a playoff game as well. In their game the home school was winning 19-0 and ended up losing 28-19.

High school playoff football at it's best. Just think this was only Round 1.

Ref at Work

Oh boy. Halloween is not my thing but my co-workers asked if I would wear my ref shirt to work since they were all wearing jerseys.
So of course there were all kinds of pictures taken. Mel with the Browns, Tim wearing the Steelers, Nate sporting 'Ocho Cinco' Bengals, and myself with the stripes.
The only thing we're missing in this picture is a Baltimore Ravens rep.
It was actually kind of funny because other co-workers said my shirt didn't count and it was to easy for me to wear my stripes. They were right.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

College Football-Week 9

This week's match-up featured the home school hosting the #3 nationally ranked team in NAIA.

Pregame went smooth as usual. It was Senior Day for the host school. While waiting for the Seniors to finish getting announced with their family I recognize one of the kids who was a pretty popular local wrestler. Chatted with him for a second and now it's time for the coin flip.

I will say this, the visitors played like they were one of the top teams in the country. They're QB was on point with his passes and was completing bombs. They controlled the game from start to finish.

I had one flag in the game for a defensive hold but the receiver caught the pass anyway. In the end the game was a blowout and we were out of there with a quickness.