What the refs say: Steve Brush
Q: What’s the best part of your job?
A:Obviously, just the thrill of still being involved with the game of football, but I also see it as a way to give back to the community, because they certainly can’t play the games without us. I enjoy the competition ... the whole atmosphere. I can’t think of anything about my job on Friday night that isn’t good.
Q: What’s the worst part of your job?
A: I don’t know that there is anything bad about it. We start our study groups the first of May every year to prepare for taking the exam in July. If you don’t pass and aren’t certified, then you aren’t used. We’re used to it. You just have to do it.
Q: What’s the best thing that ever happened to you on the field?
A: The best thing that ever happened to me on the football field was being contacted in 2002 to work the North-South all-star game, and the North Carolina-South Carolina Shrineball game (all seniors).
Q: What’s the worst thing that happened?
A: I’ve never been hurt. I came close one night: I got blind-sided on a punt return by a kid. ... The worst thing an official has to do is enforce some sort of disqualification or ejection. You hate to have that happen, but it does.
Q: Describe your relationship with parents and spectators.
A: I don’t know (if) I have a relationship with spectators or fans. I try not to ever hear anything that doesn’t come from right there on the field. You hear the crowd roar from time to time. But I don’t have any interactions with parents or fans. Generally, people don’t even know who you are. We’re escorted in and out by police, so there is really no way for them to try to have any interaction with you. As a sports official, regardless of your knowledge of rules, ... there’s one argument you’ll never win, and that’s with the parent, so you might as well not get into that.
Q: Describe your relationship with players.
A:I get along with the players. I try to talk to them when I can, both from a preventive officiating point of view and just small talk here and there in order to keep communication open. If they realize you’re not there as an enemy, you get a lot more accomplished.