Turns out I was right, but I had to wait two hours before he got to me. He took one call and then had a succession of guests during which they took no calls. After I'd waited for a while, I figured it would be a while longer before they got to me, so I headed off to the post office (with my hands-free phone device plugged in, thank you). During the first guest, a chance reference to Match Game came up, with Tolbert and his guest trying to figure out who wrote the theme. I knew the answer to that one, so I had something to open with.
I dropped my parcel at the post office, drove back to my office, and walked back to my desk, and still the wait continued. I got back to work and tried to anticipate when they might be back with me. I confirmed that I get 400 mobile phone minutes per month, an amount I've never come close to using before. On the bright side, I had time to write my points down so that I could get to them without (I hope) sounding like some of the doofuses that get on the air. I also resolved not to complain about the hold time, because every caller I've ever heard who does that sounds like such a whiner that I can't pay attention to anything else they have to say.
Two hours later, at 5 PM, Mr. T announced that after the break they'd be going back to the phones, so I found a quiet room. Sure enough, I was the next caller: "Kevin in San Mateo."
I started out by saying, "By the way, the Match Game theme was written by Robert Israel and Score Productions." Tolbert liked that bit of trivia; he likes game shows. I thought of mentioning that I do game show re-creations, but figured that would be pushing my luck since it had nothing to do with what I'd told the show producer. I explained that I'd refereed youth and city-league soccer about twenty-five years ago, and made these points about the World Cup and soccer, particularly in the big leagues:
- Compliments to that refereeing crew in the final for not calling an offsides on that Spanish goal. Watching it at full speed, I was sure it was offsides, but the officials got it right: the player had been in an offside position, but then retreated and when the ball came forward, he was in a legal position.
- The referee was being relatively lenient. Netherlands were lucky they weren't down to nine or even eight men by the end. That boot-to-the-chest early on should have been a direct red card; you could kill somebody with a "tackle" like that. The most charitable thing to say was that maybe the ref was screened from seeing just how vicious that boot was.
- I think soccer should adopt ice hockey's officiating system: 2 on-field referees, 2 line judges, 2 goal judges, and have replay review available for goals.
Tom let me make my points and dropped me just after I finished my last one, so I didn't hear his response on account of I (not being clueless about how the system works) had turned off my radio when I was put on hold (you hear what's on the air while you're waiting) and didn't have it handy when the call ended.
Ordinarily I wouldn't have waited that long, but since I could move around with my mobile phone while I waited and could get other things done, it wasn't so bad. It could have been embarrassing if they'd come to me at an unexpected time, however. And it was a pretty slow day at the office, too.