Word on the Street

Make-up Call (mak’-up kahl) noun. The act of compensating for a bad call against one team by making an even worse call against the other team, usually in an immediate and obvious manner.

Usage example:The referee called a travelling violation on Tim Duncan right after Allen Iverson got called for palming the ball. That was such a make-up call.

Word usage: If you watch any basketball game, especially one in which there are superstars involved, you’ll see at least two or three make-up calls. The make-up call is almost always an equal and opposite exchange in relation to the original call. In other words, the two calls must offset each other without giving an advantage to either team. If the original call is, say, travelling, the make-up call will only result in a change of possession. If the original call awarded freethrows to one team, the make-up call should yield offsetting freethrows for the other team. In many cases, the same violation is called in back-to-back possessions (i.e., one team gets called for travelling, thereby turning the ball over, and then the other team gets called for travelling on the very next possession). Make-up calls usually occur because referees seldom, if ever, reverse a call, no matter how obviously bad it is. They also are used to appease a superstar who is upset that a particular call went against him or his team.

Joey Crawford is the master of the make-up call, especially with his “pet project” Kobe.

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Labels: Kobe Bryant / Tim Duncan / Allen Iverson / Word on the Street

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