Like everything else in our busy lives, fashions change in refereeing. Twenty-five years ago, no self-respecting referee would walk around with a whistle dangling from her mouth. (Fix it to your wrist and you can't lose it.) And no one would have two whistles on the same cord. (This is the silliest fashion of them all, since if you lose one you lose the other.) But I have given up trying to convince referees that they can't talk with an Acme Thunderer clamped between their teeth, and that if they hold a whistle in their right hand, they can't write with the same hand, can they?
I suppose your fashion is determined by the style of those you choose to emulate. I was reminded of this recently when I received an email from Tim Barnes, Jr., of north Texas, where I spent more than twenty-five years after I left graduate school in 1969. Tim had recently taken up refereeing again after an absence of fifteen years, but encountered some problems when he chose to use the techniques he had learned as a teenaged referee. Learned, I should add, from people like Ed Bellion, Manuel Ortiz (Sr.), John Pozadzides, and yours truly (all NASL officials). Here are his own words, from a couple of emails we exchanged . . . . (with my comments in red.)