Dan Capron Scores a Touchdown in the Chicago Tribune
What an epic job of storytelling by Dan Capron!
In the February 8 online edition of the Chicago Tribune, Dan gives a wide-ranging interview about his career as an on-field official for the Big Ten Conference. (He recently retired after 20 years of service). In a hard-hitting conversation, Dan shares some memorable nuggets about the high-pressure job of being an official, which has some parallels to his career as an attorney. In the interview we learn:
- What it’s been like to work with incredibly different coaches, ranging from the stone-faced Urban Meyer to the temper-tantrum throwing, clipboard-flinging Jim Harbaugh. (In Dan’s words: “You throw something out on the field, I can understand that . . . if you’re a fourth-grader. If you’re an adult that’s paid (more than) $5 million a year to coach a major college football team, I would expect more.”)
- How Dan has managed through some high-pressure, high-visibility football games, including dealing with the wrath of vitriolic fans as he officiated the Alabama-Georgia national championship.
- How he has handled uncertainty on the field, and how many mistakes he and officiating teams probably make per game. (We won’t tell you the answer. You’ll have to read the article, here.)
And the best part? Dan tells a powerful story about what it means to stand up for what is right. He describes how many decades ago, two courageous officials – one black, the other white — helped desegregate the Central Officials Association. Dan shares how even though friendships were lost over an official’s insistence that a black man be given the chance to succeed, personal bravery prevailed. The story takes some unexpected turns that ultimately have a major impact on Dan’s own life. We won’t spoil it for you. Check out the article, QA with Dan Capron. Thank you, Dan Capron, for your inspiring words — and for the passion you bring to work each day defending people who need someone to stand up for them.
For a quick overview of Dan’s life as a Big Ten official, watch this video: