Oct. 5, 1986: Bills at Jets
Rarely does the referee make the highlight reel for anything positive. But, 25 years ago Ben Dreith made the call that turned quite a few heads. While calling Jets defensive lineman Marty Lyons for unnecessary roughness on Bills quarterback Jim Kelly — well, I will let Dreith explain:
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Dreith had other calls through his career that made him one of the first household names in the officiating circuits. In 1990, he was asked to work as a replay official. He declined, and the league reassigned him as a line judge. After being fired in the ensuing offseason, Dreith sued the NFL for age discrimination and won a settlement from the league in 1993.
In 2007, ACC referee Ron Cherry paid homage to Dreith’s call when a lineman took a shot to the — uhhh, cherries. It was the fourth quarter of a blowout by Maryland over North Carolina State, and Cherry kept it interesting.