If you have a bang-bang play and there's no clear picture of what happened, you have to take charge. If you're nonchalant and unemotional in your call, guys on the floor and the folks in the stands are going to think you're not really working at it, not really in control. You have to jump in there and show 'em you've got it totally in command. You saw it all, you've got your call, and there's no discussion, gentlemen. That's the only way you can stand in there against all the opinions and challenges. The players and coaches sense how you're coming at the game. If you approach it like some mad engineer dissecting it into all these little parts, they'll question you and they'll keep testing you. Your lack of confidence will carry through and the game will never really hit its full potential.
I alway tried to give it that extra boost, a little schmaltz, a little colorful treatment when I had a call that needed to be sold. I don't think I tried to be the center of attention on every play, but there were times when I had to get my point home.
You don't have to go flying through the air. Sometimes it's just getting everyone focused on your call that sells it. An example of this was noted in a newspaper account of a game I had in Seattle a dozen years ago: " Milwaukee's Alton Lister had tipped in what appeared to be a game-tying shot at the end of regulation play last night in the Kingdome. But as hoarse throats were giving way to upset stomachs in a gallery of 23,062, Strom calmly pivoted from his midcourt position and strolled toward the official scorekeeper. He shook his head from side to side, then waved his arms slowly in front of him, signaling 'no shot.' " What's wrong with a little drama? After all, pro basketball is billed as part of the entertainment business. And a referee can take his role very seriously and still have some fun. It's all part of the pro call.