Hold that thought….I’m not done yet.

Very few things “go as scheduled” in my life.

When my future wife and I decided that we’d get married a year after we first met…I proposed to her thirteen days after we had our first date….it’s a marriage that’s lasted over twenty-five years. I had decided that living apart from her for the next fifty weeks just wasn’t something that I wanted to do (and I’m glad that she felt the same way too!). Then three years ago when we decided to have new windows and siding installed on our home, what we ended up with was new windows, siding, shutters, gutters, new doors, new light fixtures and a new dishwasher, go figure. So yeah…very few things in my life are tied up in neat little gift wrapped packages…as is with most of you too I suppose.

A week ago I wrote of having ended my basketball season. It was over. Fini. Done. What I didn’t know was that my good friend Joel, who also officiates basketball, had hurt his knee and couldn’t finish his games that he had committed to….so I took them. I worked on his crew. They’re great guys and really good officials. Dan’s younger, annoyingly physically fit and a top notch middle school music teacher/music director at his church. Rich Matzen works at a bank. He could own the bank for all I know, he’s so down to earth and fun to be around that his career rarely comes up. When Rich enters the room the energy level enters another, higher, more positive level. Joel…my mentor, is a great guy and official with a killer R-rated sense of humor. I’ve had the chance to work on this crew a couple of different times this year and they’ve been a good deal of fun. So long story short….my school season ends this afternoon around 6…ESPN won’t be there so I thought that I’d just tell you that so that you’d know.

Here are some of the photos that I’ve taken this past season so that you’d have an idea of the fun that I’ve had and a couplea odd things too.

Rich, Dan and I...posing for a selfie before a game with our "game faces" on.

Rich, Dan and I…posing for a selfie before a game with our “game faces” on.

What you hope that your "officials locker room" looks like.  Toilet, sink, shower and a place to sit.  Well lit, warm and clean.

What you hope that your “officials locker room” looks like. Toilet, sink, shower and a place to sit. Well lit, warm and clean.

One of my locker rooms this season.  Creepy clown next to the toilet in a "locker room" that doubled as a storage closet.

One of my locker rooms this season. Creepy clown next to the toilet in a “locker room” that doubled as a storage closet.

Again...this "locker room" was the worst...with a sombrero for a shower cap...if I wanted it....which I didn't.

Again…this “locker room” was the worst…with a sombrero for a shower cap…if I wanted it….which I didn’t.

This is the typical gym that I'd work in.  Not too shabby.

This is the typical gym that I’d work in. Not too shabby.

While Dan judged a show choir contest I filled in and worked with Rich and Joel.

While Dan judged a show choir contest I filled in and worked with Rich and Joel.

The Top Ten Reason’s That
I Enjoy Working With
Joel, Matzen & Dan

1. The pregame center court “group-hug” initiated by Matzen, he smells like a combination of cinnamon, vanilla and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Honestly…I don’t want to let go of him since he smells so good.

2. The cool-ass way Dan finds a volleyball in the locker room then repeatedly dunks it during the halftimes of our games. “Dangerous Dan’s Dunkathon” is what I presently refer to it now. It’s a surefire crowd pleaser!!

3. The way Joel calls a “charge” on an offensive player. It’s a cross between the official NFHS mechanic and someone attempting a Pete Rose head-first slide into a base. He’s the most horizontal dude in the county at that time.

4. The unabashed way Dan flirts with the cheerleaders, the table, the fans…the elderly. It’s funny and awkward at the same time.

5. The “bottomless jar” of pickled eggs that’s always written into every contract that Duffy signs. “We’ll never go hungry if I have anything to do with it!!” is Joel’s favorite saying.

6. The “Kingdom Heirs” CD’s that Matzen’s always humming to…even during live-ball situations. Listen closely and you’ll hear Rich softly singing (to no one in particular) to the soulful Southern Gospel music of Jeff Chapman, Dennis Murphy, Arthur Rice, Jerry Martin, newbie Andy Stringfield & the French brothers. “Oh Lord my God…when I in awesome won…der….STRAIGHT UP WHITE!!…consider all the worlds thy Hands have made…OUTTA THE LANE RED!!”

7. The funny way Dan uses “jazz hands” when signaling to the table. Entertaining and confusing at the same time!!

8. The uncanny way that either Joel or Matzen know someone at every school that we go to. Southeastern Podunk Community High School in Nowheresville? Of course!! Joel’s second cousin (three times removed) on his mother’s side is the science teacher there!! Hayseed High School in the northeastern most county in Iowa? Matzen has family up that way. “Jeez guys! I was just up there for a funeral last month. They got a new water tower put up right next to the VFW!!”

9. The funny way during a 35 point blowout with 2 seconds left in the fourth quarter Joel will approach us and say “…remember guys…we can still screw this up if we don’t officiate to the end.”

10. You don’t need a radio in the car as long as you’ve got Dan Dyrland riding shotgun. The dudes full of Broadway show tunes that he’s just achin’ to belt out!! “Oklahoma” anyone? How ‘bout some “Cats”? HOW ABOUT BOTH!?! YES THANK YOU!!

Have a great week and thanks for reading.


3 thoughts on “Hold that thought….I’m not done yet.

    • The clown…that nights games taught me to always ask questions before committing to a game. I committed to it in October then had to “pass” on a better game night with my buddies since I committed to it and I’m old fashioned and don’t back out of games that I said that I’d work. The teams were lackluster, the building ancient and coaches somewhat overbearing. Always ask questions.
      Rich, Dan and Joel….great guys.

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