The Whistleblower: Rooting for the Ref in the High-Stakes World of College Basketball
Bob KatzE-book: $19.99
Katz claims that by the time he’d seen enough college basketball games to finish The Whistleblower, he’d trained himself to watch the ref and pay no attention to the players or the score of the game. None of his readers will take it that far, but they’ll certainly have a greater appreciation for the work the officials do after reading the book.
—Bill Littlefield, Boston Globe
Given the American sporting culture that universally vilifies officials, the book is a worthwhile reminder that the refs are real people, too. And not as corrupt and inept and biased against your team as you think.
Katz is a talented writer who provides a vivid account of a world not seen by college basketball fans. He shows the referees’ complete dedication to the art of working a game.
This book provides a rare, intimate glimpse into the lives, thoughts, and actions of referees: how they see the game and why they make or do not make a call. The author finds that a superlative referee is impartial, decisive, and most of all must possess an "x-factor" that is almost impossible to describe. . . . Recommended for college basketball fans and sports fan in general.
Katz put readers right inside Hightower's head. Feeling all the pressure, totally changing my view on refs in general. The writing was phenomenal, and there were times when I was like WE ARE STILL TALKING ABOUT BASKETBALL, RIGHT? It was that interesting.
—Kick Ass Book Reviews
BOB KATZ has written on sports and culture for the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and other publications. His previous books include Third and Long, a Sports Illustrated “summer reads” pick, and Elaine’s Circle.