Like it or not, the NFL ruled the last second touchdown by the Seattle Seahawks against the Green Bay Packers to be the correct call. You didn’t see that in the headlines did you? (story link)
For the first three weeks of the NFL season, it seemed that the games were a side note to the officiating. While some despise the mishaps of the replacement referees in the first three weeks of the NFL season others found that they added an entertaining an unpredictable aspect to the games. Either way, they taught me a few things:
1. Do the best you can, we all make mistakes. The regular refs were on strike and the NFL found what they believed to be the most competent replacements. I’m sure being thrust onto the biggest stage in the world was overwhelming, but they found a way to get the job done.
And sometimes we feel the same. Pressures mount and stress is added at every point, but just do the best you can. Take what knowledge you have and apply it. Will you always get it right? No. Learn from the mistakes so you don’t repeat them.
2. Give the other guy the benefit of the doubt. I don’t believe anyone wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror, and says, “I’m going to be a jerk today and tick off as many people as I can.” Likewise the refs didn’t start each game with the mindset of blowing calls. I need to remember that people on the other side of the aisle from me are trying their best to be great at their work, that the customer has a right to be upset if you messed up, that service reps can have bad days too.
When in doubt, just treat the other guy how you would want to be treated if you messed up: with compassion and understanding.
3. Don’t make excuses. The post-game press conferences were full of players and coaches calling out the missed calls (that went the other teams way). They had a right to be upset, but a bad call is rarely the only reason a team loses a game. There are scores of missed opportunities: a pass that was thrown to hard, a hold on a block that calls back a touchdown, and missed tackles.
Bad things happen that are out of our control. In the end we need to take responsibility for our decisions and let the cards fall where they may. The alternative is repeating failures by blaming others for our missed opportunities.
4. Even if the world is against you, show up. I can’t imagine being one of these guys. It seemed every round of games, these they were less popular with the public. Regardless, they showed up. The world rejected them, but they didn’t run, hide, or quit. They clocked in and did what they had to do.
It’s the same for us. Sometimes we aren’t going to win the “Most Popular” award at work or home for the decisions we make, but that doesn’t mean we shrink into a hole. We must stand up and be proud of what we do. Half of the road to success is simply showing up.
What did you learn from the replacement refs?