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Q&A Mike Pereira


A


fter every questionable call each NFL Sun- day, fans have grown accustomed to wait- ing for MIKE PEREIRA to weigh in. The former vice president of officiating now spends his Sunday as FOX’s go-to rules expert, adding an addicting dimension to the football- watching experience that fans can’t live without. But before his unexpected television fame and two years as an NFL game official, Pereira was a Santa Clara student refereeing Pop Warner mara- thons on Saturdays. His insatiable desire to de- vour rule books has led him to turn his attention to golf. As you might be aware, FOX will broad- cast all USGA events beginning in 2015. Who will FOX turn to for rules explanations then? Pereira, a 7 handicap at North Ridge CC, hopes he’s up to the task.


–Kevin Merfeld 40 / NCGA.ORG / SUMMER 2014


You were an NFL side judge for two years. How did you work your way up the NFL ladder? Before I even got into the NFL, I officiated for 25 years. When I was a student at Santa Clara, with not much money, someone ap- proached me about doing Pop Warner games for $10 in East Palo Alto on Satur- days. My dad had officiated before, but I never had much of a desire until then. The very first time I got


hooked. It was like someone injected me with adrenaline. Being in that position with kids to make sure that the


game was played fairly was fascinating, and I loved it.


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It seems like you need to have some thick skin to be a ref. Did you develop it, or already have it? You develop it. It bothers you at first. It’s interesting because the lowest levels are the hardest. The Pop Warner parents were standing right on the sidelines and they’re yelling at you because their kid got hit. As you get to high school and junior col- lege it’s bad, but when you get to Division I, it starts getting better. Players get more respectful.


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