Poor Jones was assailed from all sides. Former ref Jeff Winter lambasted him for apparently not knowing the basic FIFA rule that "the referee stops, suspends or abandons the match because of outside interference of any kind." Meanwhile, Sunderland manager Steve Bruce said that anyone who knew the rule about soccer balls hitting beach balls was "a saddo." This was only a couple of weeks after Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said that some referees are "as fit as butcher's dogs." (Colorful phrasing.)
So to sum up: Officials are either incompetent losers or fat geeks who need to get lives.
But the NBA refs came back anyway. True, they do make good money—senior officials earn around $500,000 with good benefits—but how much money is enough to deal with America's disgust? After all, college officials make a lot less, and high school officials make a lot less than that.
So what's to keep people out there making the calls? "In my heart, I thought he left too soon," umpire Tim McClelland said after calling the Yankees' Nick Swisher out for leaving the bag early on a sac fly. Replays showed McClelland was wrong, but he did not want to believe the videotape or the nation's boos. He wanted to believe his own heart. In today's angry world, who could blame him?
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