The life of an official is one under the radar.
You don’t know their names.
You don’t know their faces.
Well, until you do.
But the point is they aren’t there to be noticed.
“My big theory is to get out on the field and be a ghost.”
Which is what makes it the perfect job for Mary Driscoll.
“Work and life balance is crucial. Mine’s just a little crazier than probably some people’s,” says Driscoll.
Crazy is underselling it.
The personal trainer, business owner, and full-time parent decided to throw on one more hat while she was at it.
“Nobody ever dreams of being a ref. As a player, you think ‘oh one day I’m going to be a ref.’ I got a call and I had to make a decision within a couple of days. Do you want to go 20 days outside the country? And I had three little babies and I remember just thinking if I make this decision, then I’m gonna keep going,” says Driscoll.
The Hershey High graduate has done just that.
She has gone full circle from her field hockey playing days at Penn State to reffing the National Championship.
“I have the same butterflies going on that field. I got to play in the Final Four and then I got to umpire the Final Four which is an incredible feeling to do both,” says Driscoll.
But juggling all that life throws at her isn’t always incredible.
Evident on the day of the National Championship.
“We had things happening in the studio that I had to still manage. Like the air conditioning froze, things like that, and one of my kids…her tooth fell out. So you are just balancing and I’m like ‘don’t forget to put it under your pillow,” says Driscoll.
However, in a roundabout way – the madness is perfect.
“For me, having those different things going on actually is better for me because you can’t be so stressed about your game because you had other things,” says Driscoll.
It’s no secret that referees aren’t exactly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work.
Boos raining down comes with the job.
A stigman that Driscoll says might not exist if fans knew the person behind the call.
“Sometimes I want to yell from the field ‘it’s not a foul!’ Yeah they take it out on you. They take it out if you call it against their kid. I’ve been followed to parking lots after games. You know you get harassed, bottles thrown at you in other countries. It gets a little crazy, but if they really knew that I had to go home and make a Sunday supper after the game…I think maybe they’d treat me different maybe I don’t know,” says Driscoll.
Respect is not to be confused with recognition.
Something Driscoll has no problem staying away from.
“I don’t want to be recognized! I don’t want to be recognized after a big game! Which is great so I can just go in and get my gas after my game and nobody even knows what I’ve been through,” says Driscoll.