A Tough Job Made Harder: Football Officials in an Unforgiving World

A Tough Job Made Harder: Football Officials in an Unforgiving World

by Richard Lister
A Tough Job Made Harder: Football Officials in an Unforgiving World

A Tough Job Made Harder: Football Officials in an Unforgiving World

by Richard Lister

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Overview

With pressure to perform free from error in America's most popular sport—an impossibility—the work done by football officials has become more difficult than ever. A Tough Job Made Harder explores how this has happened and looks at the challenges that lie ahead for the game and its officials.

Cultural imperatives grounded in team allegiance have increased the stresses on football's judges to invariably "get it right." Officials offer a path of low resistance for those channeling ire over a game's untoward outcome. Fans', coaches', and players' investment in their teams' success often leads to anger toward the officials, adding strain to those overseeing and judging the games. Even physical assault on officials is not unheard of in today's football.

The increased demand for perfection has invited technology into officiating. Paradoxically, the tools designed to cure mistakes have led to unintended consequences that have made the job even more daunting. Fans expect officials' eyesight to match the slow-motion, high-definition images television affords.

And with increasing stress on player safety, the burden to make the game safer has been added to those already borne by the profession.

Underappreciated for their skill and dedication, the dynamics impacting the work and perceptions of it are leading to high attrition. This trend is troubling for the game's future.

In A Tough Job Made Harder, Richard Lister, having consulted such preeminent officiating voices as Mike Pereira, Jerry Markbreit, Bill Carollo, Dean Blandino, and Terry McAulay, looks at the demands on football officials as well as what makes the work so rewarding to those who embark on it. Despite the proclivity for fans to criticize and lay blame on officiating, those who undertake it do so with immense pride and professionalism.

In addition to A Tough Job Made Harder, Lister has written The Third Team, NFL Officials: Their Lives, Their Stories, the only third-person perspective on NFL game officials. He also collaborated with renowned NFL offensive line coach Howard Mudd to write The View From the O-Line, an oral history of Mudd's career intertwined with those of twenty NFL offensive linemen whose career arcs led them to play football's most essential and underappreciated position.


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Product Details

BN ID: 2940162566366
Publisher: NYLA
Publication date: 05/11/2021
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
File size: 455 KB

About the Author

As a trial lawyer Richard Lister has spent his career immersed in stories, creating a strong pull to write.

His work as an attorney and a lifelong love for sports piqued his curiosity into those who maintain law and order on football fields. The inquisitiveness moved him to conduct interviews and research into the intriguing lives of National Football League game officials, writing about them in The Third Team. The book is the only third-person account of their work.

From there, he wanted to learn more about another class of largely-overlooked characters in professional athletics, NFL offensive linemen. He teamed with renowned former player and offensive line coach Howard Mudd to write The View From the O-Line.

His third title, to be released in May 2021 is another look into football officials. A Tough Job Made Harder surveys the ever-increasing stresses on football officials in the millennium’s third decade and how they meet the challenges.

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