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Flat White

American Diary: love of the game

21 January 2023

6:00 AM

21 January 2023

6:00 AM

Cramming recently into a freezing New York Jets game, I was surprised to learn that, despite the National Football League (NFL) being a $US 3 billion industry, the job of an NFL umpire is only part-time. The pay can be good, and most umpires aren’t going hungry. But the gig, and the associated glitz and glamour of packed stadiums, serves for many umpires in between their lives as teachers and even dairy farmers.

Our natural impulse here is to decry the situation – football players on multimillion-dollar packages – as its officials are reduced to meagre common servitudes of having a...

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