www.baltimoresun.com/explore/harford/sports/ph-ag-randy-column-0912-20120911,0,871447.story

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Commentary: Havre de Grace native officiates NFL game

BY RANDY McROBERTS, rmcroberts@theaegis.com

2:04 PM EDT, September 11, 2012

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Well, alrighty then. While we enjoyed what Week 2 had to offer on the courts, greens and fields last week, we also were brought back to football, NFL style.

Now, I know many of you are bubbling over with excitement because of the Ravens' fine start, and you should be. Many of us who root for the enemies (that's any other team, but especially the Steelers) aren't so happy. But that's football.

Week 1 offered a look or two at many things. Some good and some not.

Here's a little note, though.

For those who watched Sunday's late afternoon game between San Francisco and Green Bay, you may have seen a local connection. Yes, a local connection.

Pete Shafer, a fellow Havre de Grace native and 1982 HHS graduate, was officiating the game. Shafer, who has been officiating college games for many years, called games in the preseason and now the first of the season in Green Bay.

We had plans to do a nice story about it, but a text from Pete last week notified me that the head of NFL Public Relations said an interview couldn't be done. Not sure I totally understand, but it is what it is.

Pete, who lives in Baltimore County, will be back in action this Sunday. He'll be working a game in Florida. I'll let you figure that out as it shouldn't be all that hard.

In Sunday's game, Pete got a real closeup with Randy Moss after a touchdown catch by the probable future Hall of Famer.

Anyway, congrats to Pete for getting this chance. Good luck in the weeks to come.

OK, I have to take a little part of the message I heard in church Sunday. Our pastor Norman Obenshain talked about encouraging and who can we encourage and for what reasons.

I'm not sure he meant what I'm talking about, but it's encouragement just the same.

The NFL season has just begun and we have 10 weeks before the Ravens and Steelers meet for the first time this season. The teams will play twice in a three-week span. I thought that was crazy when it was announced and I think it's crazy now, but as I said earlier, it is what it is.

In just this first week I had double middle fingers displayed toward me on my own street by someone who clearly had too much to drink. I also had a few positive comments from a couple passersby. If you're not familiar, I wear black and yellow, so I become a target for the good and the bad.

Anyway, here's the point. I'd like to encourage fans of all teams, be respectful to others. Everyone is entitled to their own likes and dislikes. And, it's just football.

Nobody cares which color ice cream you eat, but man, don't wear the wrong color while eating it.

OK, get out and enjoy some local sports at the high school or rec levels, especially while the weather is so nice.