For Mike Pereira, less is more.
"I would be in takeaway mode," the NFL's former head of officiating said of replays. "I don't want to add anything more. There are enough stops in the game to ruin the flow of the game. If you're sitting in Buffalo in the middle of December in the stands and you get five stops in the game, you get frostbite."
In his new book, "After Further Review" – which he says is a one-and-done – Pereira didn't make too many friends, but then, that was never his plan. After guiding readers through his journey from small-town California through a bout with testicular cancer, a divorce, a run as an official in the now defunct Big West and Western Athletic conferences and finally to his 12-year tenure at the NFL's New York headquarters, Pereira walked away from the game with no regrets.
Now Fox Sports' NFL rules expert, Pereira never seriously considered writing a book until reading ex-NFL executive Bill Polian's "The Game Plan."
"It seemed like it would be so difficult and so time-consuming and what am I going to do, throw people under the bus?" he said from his home in Northern California.
"(Writing a book) never had any appeal to me and then one day, literally sitting in the same chair I am sitting in now, I got a piece of mail, and I got a book by Bill Polian and I read his first three chapters and said, 'If he can do this, I can do this.'
"So, I called my agent and I think my agent went into a state of shock. But I thought if I could write some kind of book that would give people a little bit of insight, even if they thought the book was trash, if there was one thing they could learn … then it would be worth it."
For Pereira, whose officiating career spanned parts of three decades, officiating is a passion. He put in two years on the field in the NFL before moving to the Park Avenue office. But even seven years removed from being the NFL's rules czar, he is as passionate about how the game is played as he ever was.
Besides speeding up the game, Pereira has a few pet peeves. No. 1 on the list is eliminating the pass-interference rule. He believes the penalty for interference is too severe – and often game-changing – and that pro football would do well to follow the college model (a 15-yard penalty instead of on the spot of the foul).
There appears to be some possibility that Pereira may get his wish. The NFL has often followed rule changes made by the NCAA and the Canadian Football League, including changing the facemask penalty. Pereira says the CFL recently made the pass-interference rule reviewable, and he feels the NFL should consider its own review of the rule.
While properly implementing the rules was certainly a key part of Pereira's job with the NFL, he was also fiercely loyal to his fellow officials and was more than willing to take a hit – literally (in the book, he claims that now-NFL commissioner Roger Goodell shoved him once during a heated argument over how to handle discipline of an official) – to defend the game.
But while football and officiating are, admittedly, Pereira's passion, after 14 years with the league, most of it spent living apart from his family, enough was enough.
"There's really a 10-year shelf life for the administrative position for officials in the NFL because you don't make friends in that job," he said. "I could see myself beginning to slow down in terms of knowledge of the rules and I wanted to come home."
Pereira doesn't miss the 80-hour workweeks, but other than that, he truly enjoyed the job and his time in New York. His position with Fox Sports keeps him engaged with the game, but allows him more time with his wife in his hometown of Sacramento, where he used to co-own a silk-screening shop with his parents. The business provided an income stream that allowed him to pursue officiating, which isn't even a full-time job in the NFL (though it does pay well enough, provides insurance and a pension).
He's also been able to invest his time in affecting change. This year, Pereira started "Battlefields to Ballfields," a foundation that helps military veterans get started on a second career in officiating.
"Lots of these vets don't want to be thanked (for their service), they just want to be on another team," Pereira said. "We've started a pilot program in Los Angeles this fall."
At 66 years old, Pereira is still having a ball. Though he commutes to L.A. for his Fox Sports gig and has started the foundation, he now has time for a life – including golf, fishing and travel.
"Basically for Fox, I work weekends and one other day doing stats stuff, after that I get six-and-a-half months off," he said. "That's the beautiful part. It's hard to beat my life at this point."
-- After Further Review: My Life Including the Infamous, Controversial, and Unforgettable Calls That Changed the NFL by Mike Pereira With Rick Jaffe is published by Triumph Books. Available for purchase from the publisher, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. Follow Mike Pereira on Twitter @MikePereira. Follow Rick Jaffe on Twitter @rjaffe1.