Football Zebras exclusive
The NFL will audition three officials at the referee position this week. Three current NFL officials will don the white hat for at least one preseason game where the NFL will scout them as potential future referees. Last year, the NFL auditioned three potential officials and John Hussey was promoted to referee this season to replace the retiring Bill Leavy.
It is not clear if the tryouts will be for an entire game or for only the first or second half.
Given the dearth of opportunities for NFL officials to prove themselves as potential referees, these auditions are important both for the NFL officiating office and for the official who hopes to be made a crew chief.
Barry Anderson has been a side judge and a field judge since joining the NFL in 2007. He has collegiate experience at the referee position. Outside of the NFL, Anderson is a builder and developer. He was seen and heard in the NFL Network’s SoundFX in 2013 when he issued a sideline warning on the Raiders bench when they encroached onto the sideline border during the game. Anderson also worked the referee position last preseason.
Anderson is scheduled to work with his regular season crew, headed by Gene Steratore, for the Patriots-Saints game on Saturday night.
Fred Bryan is an umpire on Brad Allen’s crew and is a 7-year veteran of the NFL. Interestingly, Bryan’s last season in the NCAA in 2006 was at the umpire position, so there are no records of him working as a white hat. (Presumably, he did so at a lower collegiate division. We are checking on that.)
Bryan is the superintendent of a juvenile corrections facility near Minneapolis.
Bryan will have Allen’s crew in the Jaguars-Giants game on Saturday night.
Alex Kemp has been a side judge since joining the NFL in 2014. Kemp cut his teeth in the Big Ten conference for several seasons as a side judge and referee. Kemp worked several post-season games as a Big Ten side judge, including the 2011 BCS National Championship Game. Alex is the son of the late NFL side judge and referee, Stan Kemp.
Alex Kemp worked with his 2015 crew chief, Jeff Triplette, in Friday’s Seahawks-Chiefs game.
Images: NFL Films, LinkedIn, Lincoln Journal Star