By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine
Matt Moore is an NCAA SEC football official. He officiates as the referee, the one that can be seen in a white hat and an R on his back standing some distance behind the quarterback. Matt is one of the best, if not the best, officials in the business. He has the respect of his peers and has served as the President of the Southeastern Conference Football Officials Association.
Matt and other officials are under intense scrutiny and graded by a committee on their weekly performances. Their grades determine post season assignments like playoffs and bowl games. Matt has scored the highest in the past and has had this honor and officiating the 2010 SEC Championship Game and the 2013 Orange Bowl among others.
As a referee his job is to make calls based on an unbiased decision and if well done his performance will be forgettable to the average fan. As you can see from his photographs not everyone is always happy with his decision nor do some feel it to be unbiased. There are critics and conflict but that is expected, that is part of the job.
As writers we should seek out critics, editors and the like in order to hone our skills. When we do, it may not always be pleasant for us. When our critic does a good job it may not be forgettable. But unlike the referee’s call, though it can be challenged, the critics call is not the last word. It is an offering and should be considered as such.
You have to make the decision to follow it or not and when you do be ready to face that decision.
To increase your odds of getting good advice I would follow those qualities we see in Matt Moore. Look for one of the best. Look for someone that is respected by their peers; someone that has past success and has been recognized for it; someone that is unbiased. Like the referee’s calls not all are easy to swallow but they do tell you a lot about the way the game is being played. Give consideration to the calls you get and be open minded. It may truly change your game as a writer.