Football refereeing is so much more than carrying the whistle/flag on the field of play. Perhaps too many player assume that we think we know the game, come into a few uniforms and show up to a field once in a while hoping a game is going on.
A relative of mine is picking up the whistle to begin refereeing in another sport and has glimpsed the magnitude of work that is done off to make what happens on the fields, courts and pitches a reality.
The education sessions, the assessments, the stress can be immense. Other than for professional referees, every single other referee officiates to make a little money and enjoy the game.
Last but not least, there are always egos at play because every referee believes he is or can be the best. When there is so much abuse, there is little to be positive or happy about so when things go south, ego and confidence keeps us ticking and doing what we do.
There is so much more than running around on the pitch, blowing the whistle and being yelled at in between those four big white lines.