Which Referees Should Get a Documentary Like Tim Donaghy?
It was announced on Sunday that former NBA referee Tim Donaghy would be getting a documentary made about his controversial career. Donaghy rose to prominence after an FBI investigation found that he had been fixing and betting on NBA games. In the aftermath, he was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Now with Netflix, his story will be told in full. This had me thinking about which referees in other sports are deserving of having a documentary about their careers.
Wes McCauley – NHL
Wes McCauley has become one of the most entertaining referees in the NHL with his suspenseful penalty announcements. But McCauley is also an extremely accomplished referee on the ice and has one of the most prolific careers as an NHL ref. The former minor league player has been a part of the officiating team for seven of the last nine Stanley Cups. McCauley was born into a reffing family and has now amassed 1,000 games as an NHL referee.
He deserves a documentary about him because he is one of the more colorful and expressive referees in the NHL while also being great at his job. Every time McCauley refs a game it is worth watching because he brings the calls to life with his hand actions and suspense-filled calls.
Ángel Hernández – MLB
While McCauley deserves to have a documentary for being a good referee, Ángel Hernández needs a documentary because of how bad and controversial he is. A recent example was with Kyle Schwarber this past weekend. In this instinct, Schwarber was called out on a strike three-pitch that was not exactly close to the strike zone and then threw his bat and helmet irately while yelling at Hernández. This is just one example of players criticizing Hernández for making terrible calls. There are numerous incidents where Hernández has clearly made the wrong call on a play that had an impact on the outcome of the game.
It would be interesting to see what goes through his mind during games and get his perspective of the hatred towards him. A documentary about him would also be able to shed more light on his lawsuit in 2017 against the MLB for racial discrimination. Also despite all the controversy that surrounds him, he has still umpired two World Series, three MLB All-Star Games, and at least one playoff series almost every year since 2000.
Sarah Thomas – NFL
Sarah Thomas was the first woman to be hired as a full-time referee in the NFL. Thomas also broke barriers by becoming the first woman to referee an NFL playoff game and a Super Bowl. This choice is pretty self-explanatory as Thomas has broken many barriers for female referees in the NFL and NCAA as she became the first female to referee a major college football game when she did a game between Memphis and Jacksonville State in 2007. Her story would be very interesting to hear about as I am sure there were some difficulties in her journey that she overcame to get to where she is now.
Pierluigi Collina- Soccer
There are a few soccer referees that could have a documentary made about them, but Italian Pierluigi Collina is probably the most deserving. He was one of the most accomplished referees by winning FIFA’s Best Referee of the Year six times in a row from 1998 until 2003 and is still the only referee to grace the cover of a video game when he was the cover star of Pro Evolution Soccer 3. Collina ruled with an iron fist and took nothing from any player who crossed him. The bald head and glaring eyes became iconic in the soccer world and earned Collina the respect of every player, coach, and fan. Collina had the honor of being the referee of the 2002 World Cup Final between Brazil and Germany as well as the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final between Bayern Munich and Manchester United and the 1996 Olympic Final between Nigeria and Argentina. Because of all that he has achieved Collina should be the soccer referee that gets a documentary made about him.
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