The suspension of common sense in SI

When I was a sophomore in high school, I developed what many people would consider a bad habit: I started skipping school. Not just the occasional fake illness; once I got revved up I was skipping once or twice a week, writing fake excuse notes and forging my mom’s signature. We lived out in the middle of nowhere, and my mom went to work at 5:30 in the morning, so I would just stay home until around noon, then go for a walk in the farm fields around our house until I saw the bus drop off the neighbor kids. I would saunter home as if I, too, had just gotten off the bus. And I would have gotten away with it indefinitely if I hadn’t made the mistake of leaving my books in the machine shed of a conscientious farmer who found them and called the school, sure that the girl who had left them there was frantic with worry over their disappearance. Since said girl had not been in school at all that week, Principal VanKirk smelled a rat, a truant rat. My mom was called in, there was a melodramatic conference with the principal and all my teachers, and I ended up getting suspended for the last three days of 10th grade. (Digression: Why is suspension the punishment for truancy? “You don’t wanna come to school? Fine! You have to stay home for three days! That’ll teach ya!”) I was allowed to return at the start of school in August. I didn’t stop cutting classes that year, but I did get better at hiding my books.

Which brings us (and not a moment too soon) to this: the headline of a Sports Illustrated story, which turned up Monday in my Google Reader feedlot:

NBA reinstates ref Crawford after 5-month ban

The story in a nutshell: NBA referee Jerry Crawford got suspended back in April, basically for getting all up in the grill of San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan and ejecting him for laughing at a bad officiating call while he was sitting on the bench.

Now, I’m the first to admit that math is not my strongest subject. I went straight from leaving a 10% tip to a 20% tip years ago because trying to figure out 15% was too exhausting. But if he was suspended in April 2007, and reinstated in September 2007, that is definitely 5 months. I had to count it out on my fingers to be sure, but it is.

YEAH, BUT … The NBA season ended in June. There have been no NBA games played since June 21 in which Crawford could have conceivably refereed. So isn’t that a 3-month suspension (April, May, June)? I mean, can you be suspended during the offseason? Principal VanKirk didn’t tell me I was suspended for 2 months, 3 weeks and 3 days; he told me I was suspended for three days.

Like I said, math is not my strongest suit. There may be some really obvious logic that I am missing here, so feel free to enlighten me in the comments.

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