THIS is why I’ve always wanted a ref in the studio!

The Calvin Johnson call today was so close that I could live with either call being made (although it’d have been better for my fantasy team if he’d scored…).  There was some lively discussion among friends and family, but to me, the most important part of the day was Mike Pereira’s debut as commentator on officiating matters.

He was in Los Angeles in a room with every game playing, and during official Gene Steratore’s review, he came on the screen to explain the rule.  People are going to be angry in one city or the other on that call, but the point here is that actual, real-live referee knowledge was being imparted to the people at an important moment.  Not stupid guesses by rule-knowledge-impaired sportscasters.  An actual ref was giving actual knowledge, and–this is the critical part, and a pleasant surprise–doing it before the call was made. The same commentary after the play would have sounded like an apologist, but doing it beforehand was brilliant.

Like the call or not–and like the rule or not–this might be the best development for public perception of referees in many, many years.

I’ve been begging for this for years.  This is why.

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About Paul Hamann
I am a basketball referee in Washington State, working mostly high school games.

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