During a season on the road with college basketball referees, Bob Katz watched the games they officiated, listened in on their candid conversations in locker rooms and hotel lobbies, and explored the intense challenges they regularly confront. Alone among thousands in the stadium and millions watching at home, the ref does not care who wins or loses. His only goal is fairness and neutrality. His passion to ensure the playing field stays level is shaped by character, training, and a rare--and rarely appreciated--kind of honor. In this vivid portrait of one consummate professional at the top of his game, Katz pulls off an unbelievable feat in The Whistleblower--readers actually come to root for the ref.
In a new afterword Katz reflects on the misunderstood and often denigrated role of the referee in sports and the looming implications for our increasingly partisan society.
"If you love sports, pick up this book. It will take you into a new dimension when you watch your next game."--Juan Williams, Fox News
"The Whistleblower is as great a tour guide to the game of basketball--and thus the game of life--as any that I've ever come across. Katz performs the difficult task of simultaneously entertaining and deeply informing, and he does it primarily through, of all figures, a referee, the intriguing and astute Ed Hightower."--Ira Berkow, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times sportswriter
"A different kind of sports book--intellectually different."--Armen Keteyian, Emmy-winning sports journalist