Sometimes I like to rag on the Wall Street Journal (recent examples here and here), but when their lead sportswriter comes out in agreement with an expressed opinion of mine, for the same reason, no less, you can be sure I’ll link to the article. From their NCAA tournament championship preview article today:
You will watch Monday night’s final even though there were some dodgy calls at the end of those Saturday games. Syracuse got hit with an offensive foul call in the final minute, down just two points. Now there are people who believe it was an honest-to-goodness charge and people who believe it was not a charge, arguing that the Michigan defender was not set, and the proper call would have been a block, sending the Orange to the line with a chance to tie. It was not the worst whistle or the best whistle ever—it was simply not clear. What is clear is that referees truly enjoy calling the offensive foul—it’s a showy call, with a flashy arm maneuver that looks like a dinner theater actor pointing the way to the restroom. Perhaps the solution to the pervasiveness of offensive foul calls is to make it less exciting to call. If a referee only got to slightly rub his or her temples, would ringing up a charge lose its appeal?