How the AAF’s strict “no souvenirs” rule claimed its first victim

Embed from Getty Images A common NFL touchdown celebration is to heave the football into the stands, particularly on a score late in the game. This is not a foul in the NFL, but it is subject to a $6,684 fine due to violating the league's conduct policy, as it poses a safety threat to fans. In the new AAF, however, it is a violation of the playing rules and a 15-yard penalty for a player who throws a football into the stands. In the rules documentation that explains the NFL vs. AAF rule differences, it states: Throwing the football in the

Red Cashion, 2-time Super Bowl referee, dies at age 87

Mason L. "Red" Cashion Jr., 1931-2019 Red Cashion, perhaps one of the most recognizable NFL referees in the 1980s and '90s and who delighted millions with his enthusiastic "First dowwwwn" call, passed away Sunday at the age of 87, according to a report from The Eagle of Bryan, Texas. Cashion worked 25 seasons in the NFL, from 1972-1996 and wore number 43 for most of his career. He worked 19 playoff games on the field in his career -- 10 divisional playoffs, 7 wild card games, and Super Bowls XX and XXX. He received the league's highest officiating honor, the Art McNally Award,

2018 rule changes

NFL adds approved ruling on fumble/safety reviews to casebook for playoffs

The NFL officiating department took the unusual, but not unprecedented, step of adding an approved ruling to the current casebook, effective for the postseason. Small tweaks have been made in the past entering the postseason, which is deemed to be equitable when everyone's record resets to 0-0. Last season, we noted that the replay standards that were heavy-handed in the regular season showed signs of aligning closer to the expected standard in the Wild Card round. This was even more apparent when a catch was upheld in the Super Bowl that might have been incomplete in the regular season. Last season,


Keeping up with the downs: Referee John Parry uses an old-school method for game administration Officials from pee-wee games to the Super Bowl all use a very simple piece of equipment to keep track of the downs. All officials wear an elastic band around their wrist and a loop attached to the band. The officials move the loop over their finger or fingers to show the down (for instance, according to the photo above, it is second down). Before the elastic band, officials tied two rubber bands together and that acted as a down indicator. Officials had to carry a few spares on the field, because the rubber bands would eventually break due to wear and exposure

Officials used to use a gunshot to signal the end to a quarter or half

It seems strange today, but NFL officials used to fire a starter's pistol to end each quarter. It's a mechanic that dated back to the start of pro football up until the NFL discontinued the practice starting in 1994. When the NFL was in its infancy and up through the 1960s, stadium clocks were not the official time and officials kept time on the field. It used to fall to the back judge to keep time. When the NFL expanded to six-man crews in 1965, the line judge took over timing duties. A member of the chain crew would normally carry