This is one of my pet peeves, so excuse me if I come across somewhat strong.
A reference is not a pointer. Conceptually, there are many similarities, but the basic use of a pointer (at least in C and assembly) is that the pointer itself can be manipulated. As far as I know, you can't manipulate references without Deep Magic. Discussions of pointer concepts are worth very little to non-C/ASM newbies learning references, and can confuse C/ASM people even more. There is nothing to be gained by bringing pointers into a discussion of references.
Now of course, I realize you weren't trying to bring pointers into a reference discussion, you just used a similar term because you're familiar with it, so I'm not attacking you for that. (I'm attacking you for saying "aren't they really the same thing" :) )