I knew the sound the moment I heard it. Unfortunately, I have experience in this area and started to think about the potential fallout.
The problem was, this all happened while I was in the midst of officiating a youth wrestling event, and I really had no chance to react or even fully assess the situation for a while. Finally, one of the young wrestlers watching the action from the sidelines alerted me to my plight.
“Hey, ref. You have a hole in your pants.”
From the mouths of babes. He was right. As I squatted down to start two little guys for one period, I heard the unmistakable sound of fabric ripping. I hoped I had not ripped too big a hole and pretty much put the problem out of my mind until the kid brought it to my attention.
During my next break, I scooted into the official’s locker room and surveyed the damage. The hole was bigger than I thought (bad news) but right along the seam (good news), meaning my wife could come to the rescue and fix it later in the week. Well, once she finished laughing at me.
Luckily, I wear dark-colored athletic shorts under my pants when I ref. Too much information, I know, but it spared me even further embarrassment. I still didn’t feel 100 percent comfortable sticking with the ripped pants for the rest of the day.
Saying I should just lose weight is easier said than done. I think we all know that. Even though I don’t have a big butt, it can still do some damage on pants when I bend over or squat down a little too quickly.
I did not have any sort of repair kit in my gym bag for this kind of situation. When I started reffing, I made sure to get a pair of pants which not only fit comfortably, but had an expandable waist to try and avoid this kind of situation. I didn’t have a spare pair because I had to officiate again that evening and left all my backup equipment at home for that event.
The school had its training room open, but I couldn’t find any safety pins or anything like that. No one I asked had any, but a woman selling decals and other items to the wrestlers had some black acrylic tape.
She apologized profusely as I stood with my backside facing her so she could se ejust how long of a piece of tape she needed for me. I put the black tape on the inside of the pants along the seam and reinforced it with some duck tape one of my colleagues had in his bag.
I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to not reach back and see if the seam had split again. I already had one father jokingly tell me how I was driving the ladies crazy with the split pants so I managed to keep my sense of humor about the whole affair.
I just hoped my entire paycheck from the day doesn’t end up paying for extra pants as well as duck tape, safety pins and anything else I could think of to avoid this situation again.