March 11, 2004

What's black and white...

...and often wrong all over? A referee! Ever wonder, as I have, why they dress the way they do? Well, the answer lies here and I must say I feel terribly edified after reading it. I still don't really get why baseball officials don't wear the zebra stripes (or why they're "umpires" instead of "referees," for that matter) but at least I now know who gets the credit for the look.

If Mr. Olds had come up with the idea in the 80s instead of the 20s, he'd have trademarked the look, made a fortune, retired from officiating, bought a football team, lost all his money through high living and bad player deals, sold the team to pay off his debts and would now be a TV spokesman for Foot Locker. Or working in their store in Bayonne.