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papasmurfbell

Info from Tim Donaghy's book

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http://deadspin.com/5392067/excerpts-from-the-book%20-the-nba-doesnt-want-you-to-read

 

To have a little fun at the expense of the worst troublemakers, the referees working the game would sometimes make a modest friendly wager amongst themselves: first ref to give one of the bad boys a technical foul wouldn't have to tip the ball boy that night. In the NBA, ball boys set up the referees' locker room and keep it stocked with food and beer for the postgame meal. We usually ran the kid ragged with a variety of personal requests and then slipped him a $20 bill. Technically, the winner of the bet won twice — he didn't have to pay the kid and he got to call a T on Mr. Foul-Mouthed Big-Shot Du Jour.

 

After the opening tip, it was hilarious as the three of us immediately focused our full attention on the intended victim, waiting for something, anything, to justify a technical foul. If the guy so much as looked at one of us and mumbled, we rang him up. Later in the referees' locker room, we would down a couple of brews, eat some chicken wings, and laugh like hell.

 

We had another variation of this gag simply referred to as the "first foul of the game" bet. While still in the locker room before tip-off, we would make a wager on which of us would call the game's first foul. That referee would either have to pay the ball boy or pick up the dinner tab for the other two referees. Sometimes, the ante would be $50 a guy. Like the technical foul bet, it was hilarious — only this time we were testing each other's nerves to see who had the guts to hold out the longest before calling a personal foul. There were occasions when we would hold back for two or three minutes — an eternity in an NBA game — before blowing the whistle. It didn't matter if bodies were flying all over the place; no fouls were called because no one wanted to lose the bet.

 

We played this little game during the regular season and summer league. After a game, all three refs would gather around the VCR and watch a replay of the game. Early in the contest, the announcers would say, "Holy cow! They're really letting them play tonight!" If they only knew...

 

During one particular summer game, Duke Callahan, Mark Wunderlich, and I made it to the three-minute mark in the first quarter without calling a foul. We were running up and down the court, laughing our asses off as the players got hammered with no whistles. The players were exhausted from the nonstop running when Callahan finally called the first foul because Mikki Moore of the New Jersey Nets literally tackled an opposing player right in front of him. Too bad for Callahan — he lost the bet.

 

I became so good at this game that if an obvious foul was committed right in front of me, I would call a travel or a three-second violation instead. Those violations are not personal fouls, so I was still in the running to win the bet. The players would look at me with disbelief on their faces as if to say, "What the hell was that?"

 

 

 

I will not believe that the NFL is not manipulated like this as well. It is very easy to screw a team if you want to. He brought up situations I thought were bogus 7-8 yrs ago.

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Exactly. Everybody is claiming that Donaghy was the bad egg...I hardly believe it. And I certainly believe it happens in other sports.

 

Especially in baseball and football... baseball where a crew of umpires works together all season, they get to know each other, and have to fill the time somehow. And football where the crews are together all year AND part-time... aka, the cash is just extra on the side for most of them anyway. Who cares if you gamble it away?

 

I wouldn't doubt that in baseball there are "how many k's can you get for ____?" ... $50 to call a balk.

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