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Big call

March 14, 2015

I’m watching Match of the Day and in the Burnley/Man City match, the referee has just declined to give a penalty; and the commentator shouted out “Oh, that’s a big call!” Although I hadn’t been consciously aware of this phrase, I understood it immediately: it means the commentator thinks the ref got it wrong. And I realised I’ve heard it a few times from different commentators. It’s a strange euphemism, which credits the referee with having the guts to make a big decision, rather than focusing on the fact that he got it wrong (while allowing that to be inferred). I wonder if it’s the result of a BBC guideline, to take the heat off referees?

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