“You just can’t pay me enough to work overtime”

Joe Conte, the San Gabriel Valley Football Officials Association liaison to the CIF-Southern Section, met Tuesday night with the officiating crew working last week’s Temple City-Arcadia game. I’ll have a much more detailed story in Thursday’s paper, but here’s the gist and some noteworthy quotes.

Conte said he asked each official if they made a comment about overtime pay. The first four officials asked answered “no” and the fifth official (the fellow working the Temple City sidelines) got up and said: Yes, I did say that. The exact quote was “You just can’t pay me enough to work overtime.” That quote was relayed to someone who asked about overtime.

“The officials just made a bad decision,” Conte said. “There was a miscommunication between the schools and officials. The school should have told them (the officials) before the game, halftime, or in the third quarter and it was never asked.

“It was their (the officials’) impression we don’t do overtime. But it was a mistake on the officials part. They should have asked about overtime. They could have said, ‘Hey, it’s 14-14, at halftime. Are we going to have overtime?’ What’s the situation? None of that was done. The officials just made a bad decision. That’s all I can say. They were not informed properly. I don’t know where they got that we don’t do overtimes because there must have been six overtimes this weekend.”

Conte said a board meeting next Tuesday will decide if the officiating crew will be reprimanded even further.

As of now, the five officials will not work any Temple City or Arcadia games the rest of the year and possibly into next year. Conte said the officials association will send a letter of apology to both schools.

“I don’t know what what I can tell you,” Conte said. “It’s going to take us a long time to live through this. I was in disbelief. I could not believed it happened.

“It’ll take years to get over this. This will hang with our unit for years and years and years.”

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MaxPreps.com weighs in on Temple City-Arcadia tie

Former USA Today writer Dave Krider weighs in on the Temple City-Arcadia tie from last weekend. Krider, a senior writer at MaxPreps, caught up with Joe Conte, the San Gabriel Valley Football Officials Association liaison to the CIF-Southern Section, who met with the crew Tuesday night. Yours truly makes a cameo in the story as well.

“I was almost in tears facing those guys,” Conte said. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it – our officials should have done a better job asking about overtime. They probably won’t sleep tonight. I can’t tell you how bad they feel. This has affected 85 of us.”

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I definitely feel a year older, but not a year wiser

Above: Villa Sorriso, my favorite hangout spot in SoCal.

Today I turn 26. I not only look older than 26 I also feel older. The look on my face is evidence of that. After knocking out two stories later today I’ll head over to my momma’s house and have some of her famous spaghetti. I’ll let tonight be the cheat night. Starting on Thursday night I’ll be all over Pasadena painting the town with my boys. Birthdays are always fun, aren’t they …

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Star-News Editorial: There’s no tying in football


There were no cascading lateral plays. No running back with the ball knocking over the other team’s tuba player. No field goal splitting the uprights.

Instead of a memorable finish, the Arcadia Apaches vs. Temple City Rams high school football game ended in a tie Friday night, after a mid-field meeting of the referees at the end of regulation resulted in the officials walking off unceremoniously and saying they don’t work overtime, according to a coach who was there.

Even after both football coaches agreed to play an overtime period to break the tie, the referees said they wouldn’t work anymore, according to Temple City High coach Anthony White. So that was that. The game ended in a tie. A tie is not satisfying to players and fans; in fact, in football lore, a tie is described as like “kissing your sister.”

The players left the field shaking their heads. The fans – stunned – booed the decision and eventually filed out of the stadium disappointed, the score knotted after regulation, Arcadia 28, Temple City 28.

A tie.

Though ties were common enough years ago, this is unheard of in contemporary American football, where the two teams, 11 on each side of the pigskin, play hard until the best team wins. This isn’t soccer, where draws happen all the time. This is the gridiron, where the victors get carried away on their teammates’ shoulders and the losing team comes back to try again another day.

This is Friday-night lights, where boys prepared by practicing in triple-digit Valley heat, where fans – proud moms and dads, aunts, uncles, grandpas and grandmas, sisters and brothers – pay to watch the two squads play their butts off until the cheerleaders’ final back flip.

This isn’t a politically correct version of duck-duck-goose where everyone who plays “wins.” These are young men who train to play hard, play fair and try to win. When they don’t, they accept defeat as a tool to make them stronger and with a sportsmanship tip of the helmet to the opposing team.

But the referees took those lessons away from these boys from Arcadia and Temple City, neighboring rivals. And for what? For not wanting to work another half hour?

We thought the CIF, the organization that oversees high school sports in California, was better than that. We used to think San Gabriel Valley football was better than what happened Friday night between two rival teams. In fact, it is, judging by the way these teams played – competitively, excitingly and with heart.

But like the infamous Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2002 that was allowed to end in a tie because no one cared enough to play to the end, this one left a bad taste. This Arcadia-Temple City tie could leave a not-so-flattering mark on San Gabriel Valley football like that All-Star game left on professional baseball. That’s no reflection on the Arcadia and Temple City players and coaches who wanted to finish the game.

The only way to make it right at least for them is to allow them to play the overtime period at a later date. That way, the teams can get out what they put into their efforts. That would be doing the right thing.

Are the CIF and the officials game?

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Officials association to meet over tie game snafu

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

The San Gabriel Valley Football Officials Association will gather tonight in a special meeting in the aftermath of last week’s game between Temple City and Arcadia high schools which ended in a 28-28 tie because game officials refused to stay for an overtime period.

Temple City coach Anthony White and Arcadia’s Jon Dimalante met at midfield after regulation was over and agreed to play overtime. The players wanted it and so did the crowd, which had been treated to an exciting game.

Officials, however, informed both coaches they were not going to preside over the extra period. They then jogged off the field, much to the dismay of a disappointed crowd which booed the officiating crew.

“We don’t get paid overtime, so we’re not going to play overtime,” White said when asked what reason officials gave for not continuing the game. “Our kids are learning to fight through, and I guess we just have to take this one.

“I don’t know what to tell my team.”

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