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perament and also finds ways to disarm the critics. He might even suggest they have a beer after the game.

Umpiring is a greater challenge, in Randy’s view, than refereeing football. Let him explain. “Baseball is much tougher because in baseball you are on an island by yourself. Every call that you make, the camera is on you. The average number of pitches that you see in a college baseball game is about 320 pitches. Out of those 320 pitches, half the time, you’ve got to make a decision on whether it is a ball or a strike.

“In football you get a break sometimes. For example, if the backside tackle holds a little bit, you can choose not to fool with that. It has nothing to do with the play, but you don’t have similar situations in baseball.”

One thing is certain, he says, is that you never let things get out of hand. “You have to ignore the conversation around you. You have to chuckle at some of he things that are said, but as long as it is not personal, you need to let it go over your head.”

Randy Watkins is an everyday guy who most people never get to meet. If they do, they will find that he is a family man, making a living in a college community while being fulfilled by his avocation. He is a goodneighbor type, always extending a helping hand.

Until a football or a baseball coach gets out of line.

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