Smith: UGA fans happy with national relevance

Dukes & Bell
Monday, April 22nd
ESPN’s Marty Smith joined Dukes & Bell to talk about his experience of getting to referee some of the UGA spring game and more.

Smith talked about getting a chance to be on the field.

“A chance to be, yes.” Smith said “I learned a lot, I declined a couple of times because of the anxiety of doing it, but when I went thru that ref school, I learned I don’t know a lot about football. They have to handle a lot while managing the game, I was the center judge and teeing off on the left tackle to make sure he does his job without cheating and then you watch the backfield to make sure the quarterback doesn’t get hit illegally. I never considered all the team work that goes on with the officiating crews, I have a new respect for them, and the biggest anxiety I had going in was positioning the football and low and behold I had to position the football.”

Marty told us what UGA player critiqued his officiating.

  “At the beginning of the second half I was waiting for the kicker to spot the ball, and Jake Fromm walks up and says man you’re really not very good at this.” Smith said “I said I know man, I’m learning cut me some slack, I showed up late to ref school and we went until almost 10 o’clock that night, had a big group meeting then individual meetings with real refs mentoring us.”

Smith talked about his first screw up refereeing the game.

 “To start the game they let the professional’s ref the first drive to let us get the speed down.” Smith said “The fourth play there is a pick six, and it’s the center judges job to sprint down to give the touchdown signal, so I’m sprinting down with him and Steve Shaw says to him what’s the call, he says touchdown, the head ref says well what’s the penalty flag for? Fellows my flag had fallen out of my pocket, I had already screwed the game up.”

When asked about his relationship with Kirby Smart.

“It goes back to Bama and his time there.” Smith said “We had a lot of fun picking on each other, especially Saturday, I admire him so much, I had a lot of expectations for him at Georgia and he exceeded them already. I have to ask him how he uses this as a lesson what happened to Alabama, I know for Georgia bulldog fans those are gutting loses but I do know this, know Dawg fans are thrilled to be this relevant, they’re thrilled that they are always in the conversation, not just in the conference elite but in the national elite.”