The Search

John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

As I was leaving the game last night, I saw a strange sight. There, standing outside one of the closed concession stands was a ghostly figure dressed in a Greek toga. I was a bit concerned because as I looked around to see if anyone else saw this strange sight, I realized we were the only two in this section of the concourse. Somewhat tentatively, I approached the figure.

"Um, hello?"

"Oh, you can see me? Most people just dismiss me as a figment of their imagination."

"Would you happen to be, Diogenes?" I asked hesitantly.

"Wow, most people don’t study the classics anymore." Said the spirit, looking impressed.

"Well, I did have to google it." I confessed. "But aren’t you supposed to holding a lantern to look for an honest man, not a card?" I asked, somewhat transfixed by the glowing card in his hand.

"Oh, I finished that job a while ago. It became easier once I included women and stayed away from financial centers and capital cities."

"So what’s with the card?" I asked intrigued.

"Well, after I found my honest person I decided to retire. I did some gardening, joined a bowling league, but I found myself getting bored. So I decided to look for something even more elusive than an honest person – a competent MLS referee!" He announced, puffing out his ghostly chest.

"Whoa, how is that going?" I asked.

"Not too well. I’ve been looking for a couple of decades now and haven’t found one yet. I may have set the bar too high." Diogenes sighed.

"What defines a competent MLS referee?"

"I’m looking for a person that keeps control of a match without resorting to throwing cards every minute. A person that is consistent in their calls and even admits when they get something wrong. And does that throughout an entire season."

"In MLS?!" I asked, laughing out loud.

"When I first came up with the conditions, I didn’t think it would be too hard. I reduced it down to a single game this year and got rid of the admitting they were wrong part, figuring I could find my referee this season and get back to my gardening. But no luck so far." Diogenes said sadly.

"There’s still a bit of the season left, maybe you’ll get lucky." I tried to cheer him up.

"From what I’ve seen so far, I’m not hopeful." He said with a frown. "But it’s time to move on, DC I think." He said, pulling out a ragged MLS schedule.

And then he was gone, just as mysteriously as he appeared.

If you happen to see this lonely ghost wandering the concourse of your stadium, stop and give him some words of encouragement – if he could find an honest person, maybe he can find a competent MLS referee.

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