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We pause today to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of NFL referee Tommy Bell. He was born July 2, 1922, and died February 20, 1986, after a long illness.
Bell worked in the NFL in 1961 and retired after the 1976 AFC Championship Game. In an
Editors Note: We originally reported two officials had left the field. It is very unusual to have conflicting information at this late stage. According to a source deemed more reliable than others, we have corrected our story to report that one official has left the field.
Football Zebras relied on
Back in 1966, NFL Films was still young. There was a new technology that allowed audio engineers to pick up sounds from the football field, with the subject wearing a wireless microphone.
NFL Films had mic'd up players, and they wanted to try putting a microphone on a referee. Norm Schachter
Football Zebras research can debunk a popular myth. After referee Ben Dreith's controversial roughing the passer in the 1976 playoffs -- a penalty against Patriots defensive tackle Ray "Sugar Bear" Hamilton that kept the Oakland Raiders' game-winning drive alive -- the myth is Dreith never worked another Patriots game the
The Big Ten Conference held a clinic in April and invited women and people of color to learn more about being an official in one of college football's biggest conferences. The focus of the clinic was to highlight efforts of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Former NFL referee and current Big Ten
Football Zebras was first to report the news on May 3 that the NFL hired 10 new officials.
As we digest the news, here are a few things that I have noticed.
Commitment to diversity
The NFL continues to hire minority and female officials. Down judge Robin DeLorenzo (pictured) becomes the third woman
The NFL added two late retirements recently as veteran deep wing Gary Cavaletto and umpire Rich Hall have left the league. As of this writing, a total of nine on-field officials have retired. The NFL needs to fill two replay official positions with the retirement of John McGrath and the
Johnny Grier, the NFL's first Black referee and field judge for Super Bowl XXII, has passed away at the age of 74. Grier worked in the NFL from 1981 to 2004. He wore number 23 for most of his career. According to the Washington Post and the New York Times,
The 2021 NFL season has come to an always abrupt halt. The confetti is swept off the Sofi Stadium floor and we now prepare for the 2022 season. But, before the NFL kicks off its 103rd season with the Hall of Fame Game in August, the officiating office has some
We bring the 2021 photo album series to a conclusion with the Super Bowl LVI photo album. Thanks to team photographers and Getty Images.
Click on a photo to begin the gallery:
From Getty Images: