Posted on: October 8th, 2013 by Jen Mueller

Officials never cost you the game.

It’s something my dad used to tell me when I played sports and it’s something I came to believe even more when I became a football official myself.

Officials can make your life more difficult, but it’s not the reason a team loses. I spent 10 years as a high school official and I’m here to tell you that officials aren’t perfect, but neither are the players and coaches. There is always a play that could have been executed better or a play call that could have been different.

Having said that, it was difficult to watch what unfolded in Indianapolis Sunday.  There were a handful of calls that most Seahawks fans, players, coaches and this sideline reporter thought were poorly made.  It’s not easy when that happens during the game, and it’s not easy to talk about following a loss in the locker room.

Golden Tate was the subject to one of a very questionable (some would say bad) offensive pass interference call and he was one of the first people I talked to following the game.  He was trying to find the right words to express his frustration while maintaining his professionalism and not making excuses.

During one of his answers Golden commented that his feelings about the officiating might change after he watched the game from their point of view because immediately following the game he only talk about his perspective.

I thought it was a great answer in a difficult situation following a tough loss.  And it’s one we can draw on in business.

 

Business Application:

If you want to talk about the Seahawks more this week, try using Golden Tate’s reaction as a starting point for a bigger conversation about accountability and perspective.

How many times do you put on blinders and only see things from your point of view?  It’s easy to do because you’re focused on the goal ahead, or the deadline or the massive amount of work you’re trying to accomplish.  It’s no different than a receiver maintaining his focus while fighting off a defender.

It’s also easy to get defensive or point fingers about an unfavorable outcome when all you see is your point of view.  Taking a step back and looking at situation from someone else’s perspective might not change your frustration or your overall feelings about the outcome, but it can help you understand the result.

I’m not saying that offensive pass interference call on Golden Tate was the right one.  But what I do appreciate is that Golden will go back, look at the tape, and try to see what the official saw.  It doesn’t change the outcome but it helps the overall conversation for the next time.

 

Jen Mueller is the radio sideline reporter for the Seattle Seahawks, as well as, a reporter for ROOT Sports NW out of Seattle.  She is also a professional speaker and the author of Game Time: Learn to Talk Sports in 5 Minutes a Day, the go-to resource for new and novice sports fans.  The book is available on Amazon.