Being a referee has got to be the worst job ever in the world, next to being one of Hugh Hefner's girlfriends or an Olympic drug tester (which actually is number 8 on the list, I Googled it). I mean, what an emotional rollercoaster. And the verbal abuse. No thank you! I come from a basketball playing family, and my late grandfather was escorted out by many the referee in his day. Gosh he made me proud. But anyways, referees are always going to be needed, it is America after all. So if you're going to do it, you might as well be Ed Hightower, elite NCAA referee who came from nothing and has now refereed some pretty intense games throughout the years during this tournament.
The Whistleblower by Bob Katz, who has always been intrigued by referees, is Hightower's story. Growing up in poverty. Landing the gig as a big time official. 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.