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Tough call

[ 2011-01-27 16:00]     字号 [] [] []  
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Tough call

Reader's question:  

A tough call against Charlotte gave the Bulls a chance for the win in the final seconds.

Could you explain "tough call"?

My comments:

This is NBA hoop-speak.

A call refers to a judgment call, a decision made by a referee for or against a certain player, team in a basketball game. Refs make calls by blowing a whistle to interrupt play if they see a foul play.

"Tough call" is what the disbelieving commentator usually says when he disagrees with a ref's judgment. By "tough call", he means only to say that the "call" is "tough" (difficult) to swallow (accept).

In the above example, apparently a referee made a call against Charlotte (Bobcats), which gave the (Chicago) Bulls a chance to win in the final seconds, that is, close to the very end of the game.

Whether the Bulls won or not we don't know. But we may infer that if the Bulls blew the chance and Charlotte eventually prevailed, then that "tough call" would become easier to accept by Charlotte fans because it proved inconsequential. In other words, it did not affect the outcome of the game.

If, however, the Bulls took the chance to score and win the game on that last-second controversial call by a referee, well, many Charlotte fans would find it, to again use that word, tough fall asleep that night.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.