The Read Option: 62 ways to say goodbye
As the sun descends on the APF era of the SFL, there is an often overlooked anti-hero heading for that reddish-orange horizon on his horse.
Come Game Day, he is always there.
Watching. Waiting. Running. Always at the ready.
He is a fixture that has seen the rise of dynasties, walked side by side with those who had their greatest on-field dreams realized and never missed a single championship clincher.
He is omnipotent. He is law. He is R-62.
A target of our collective bile and often derided for the misfortune of a call turning the game on its head, R-62 has guided SFL games from the flip of a virtual coin to the final whistle blow hundreds of times each season. In many ways, he is the maestro of the SFL - never playing, yet always in charge directing everyone around him to and fro.
Nary a defensive lineman jumping offsides was safe from his view - or his yellow-cloth judgment. Blind? Sometimes. But he never failed to show up and dish out righteous justice one holding call at a time.
And isn’t that the person you want in your corner? Steady like the march of a clock towards the hour. Resilient in the face of booing from hostile crowds, he remained impartial towards the emotional toll it surely took.
As the new chapter prepares to be written, another lead official will surely emerge - white hat in tow. This black-and-white striped rogue may even don the familiar R-62 moniker. Who knows? However, no matter what coding is delivered to the next one up, this official will never be the same as the APF version.
Let them come and try to replicate what R-62 brought. It won’t be the same. How could it?
So, goodnight to that steady SFL rock under the hood reviewing the challenged play. Goodnight, target of our anger on borderline pass interference calls.
Goodnight, maestro. May virtual retirement find you well.