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WEST VALLEY CITY - Growing up, my brothers and I always played sports, practicing what it would be like to have thrown a bullet over the middle in a football game as John Elway, or emulating John Stockton's shot over Charles Barkley to send the Utah Jazz to the NBA finals. When we were really young, it was former Utes Mitch Smith, Jimmy Madison, Manny Hendrix and Josh Grant. We dreamed of being on the highest stages at the most critical times. I think many sports fans can identify with that.
While I was working late one night putting together some stuff for SportsBeat, there was an NHL game on. I was casually watching, here a little, there a little - I can't even remember who was playing. What I do remember is one sequence where the puck had been dumped down into the corner; the defender beat his man to the puck and slapped it around the boards at a million miles an hour. What happened next got me thinking. Somehow one of the referees dodged the puck on the boards, stayed on his skates and continued on like nothing had happened. While this most certainly happens a hundred times in a single game, I thought to myself, "Wow that ref can skate!" I wondered what it would be like to be a hockey referee.
What came out of that night is the video that you will hopefully watch. With the help of Adrian Denny of the Utah Grizzlies, the ECHL, and referee Tom Chmielewski of Denver, Colorado, we were able to hook Tom with a camera and a microphone to take in a hockey game from his point of view.
I would like to thank KSL photographer Jay Dortzbach for helping me with this project and Matthew L. Glade for editing it together. This is one of the neatest projects I have worked on.
KSL Sports Producer