FBF Glossary: The Whistlemen

They go by a variety of names in a variety of settings. Referees. Umpires. Officials. Judges. Call them what you will, but here on the Fullback Files, the preferred usage for the men who make the calls is Whistlemen. Granted, the linesmen (sorry, "assistant referees"...) and fourth official don't actually get issued whistles, but the Whisteorflagorelectronicsignboardmen is an exercise in compound linguistics that only a German could love.

Besides, Whistlemen carries both the romantically sinister ("Beware, lest the Whistlemen get ye!") and Golden Age comic book villain ("But will our hero escape the clutches of...the Whistlemen?!?") feel that I find entirely appropriate given the amount of blame, bile, invective, et cetera directed at them. And with champions the likes of Graham Poll, Wolfgang Stark, and, closer to home, Jair Marrufo, it's hard to muster anything resembling sympathy for the Cabal with the Cards.

Still, let's raise a glass to the men and women who voluntarily (some would say masochistically) shoulder this burden, often with frustrating and comical results. Let us salute...the Whistlemen!

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