News

Players are adapting to the taunting point of emphasis faster than expected

For 2021, the NFL Competition Committee issued a point of emphasis directing the officials to strictly flag a player for unsportsmanlike conduct if they taunt an opponent, through words and actions that disrespect or demean. At the time I predicted that players and coaches would adapt to the new emphasis point after a few bumps in the early weeks. https://streamable.com/jpeqql After Week 2, in which there were 8 taunting flags thrown, fans screamed, and we had competing "truths" between the Competition Committee and the NFL Players Association. At the time I said that the players have to adapt to the new emphasis. Since the second

London games will feature first-ever regular season alternate officials

Embed from Getty Images They have been a fixture on the sidelines of postseason games for decades. However, for the first time on record, there will be alternate officials for regular season games in the 2021 season. The two International Series games, both being played this season at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, will feature one alternate official to accompany the on-field crew of seven. Seemingly enacted in the event of a covid-related emergency, this alternate official will be on hand in case one of the assigned officials becomes unable to officiate before or following the overseas travel. Down judge Ed Camp

#NFL100

NFL100: When John McDonough called The Longest Game on Christmas Day

It's always hard for officials to be away from home on a special holiday. So it was for referee John McDonough and his officiating crew, scheduled to work the Christmas Day divisional playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the visiting Miami Dolphins. McDonough, who officiated Super Bowl IV, and was a AFL and NFL referee from 1960 to 1973, lead a veteran crew that included umpire Frank Sinkovitz, head linesman Leo Miles, line judge Bill Swanson, field judge Bob Baur and back judge Adrian Burk.  The NFL had never scheduled a postseason game on Christmas. A few years before the

Mechanics

For NFL officials, thankfully it is not 2020 anymore

When I wrote a recap of the 2020 season, I closed my column by saying "may we never again have another like it." This season, covid-19 is still with us, but for the officials, it will not be a repeat of 2020. Vaccines The NFL reported that 99% of its employees have been vaccinated. Getting the vaccine is a condition of employment. Hopefully, this vaccine will help prevent officials from getting sick, and we won't see a repeat of the frantic Week 17 massive substitutions from last year. More crowded sideline During a game, media members, photographers, cheerleaders, support staff and other sideline guests, have

Alternate officials will keep their eye out for simulated substitutions, after the Packers attempted it twice

Embed from Getty Images Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers loves to move his offense to the line of scrimmage quickly and snap the ball in an attempt to catch the defense off-guard, and perhaps with too many men on the field. Even the late great Alex Trebek knew this. However, in last weekend's Divisional Playoff between Rodgers' Packers and the Los Angeles Rams, the crew was able to stop the tactic by holding up play to allow for equal substitution. Early in the first quarter of the game, the Rams were penalized for too many men on the field, as their

Top