Commentary by Mark Schultz Here are the things I am pondering as I "zebra watch" this year. 1. Will some high-profile officials make a playoff comeback? Gene Steratore, Ed Hochuli, John Parry, Tom Stabile, John McGrath, Rob Vernatchi, and Walt Anderson missed out on an on-field playoff assignment in 2012. Will they
As Labor Day weekend approaches, the developmental officials that comprised the NFL's "taxi squad" are headed back to their college conferences for the start of the college football season. It is officially known as the advanced training program, the NFL initiative that brought 21 officials from the major college conferences to
Pete Morelli, shown here in last year's playoffs, will have the duties on the ESPN game Thursday night. Unfortunately, our ability to report the officiating assignments has run up against a buzzsaw. Despite a redundant system of sources, Football Zebras has only been able to confirm a small number of assignments
You may have noticed some officials wearing rock-star like microphones and ear pieces during some preseason games. The NFL has confirmed that it is having its officials experiment with wireless official-to-official communication gear during selected games this August. Vice president of football communications, Michael Signora, says, "We have consistently used
Back judge Steve Freeman got a rare opportunity on Friday night, and even though it was a meaningless, forgettable preseason game, it is likely an experience he will remember as a highlight of his career. Freeman's son Brad, a field judge in the Southeastern Conference, has been actively scouted by the
NFL trying out potential replacements for retiring head referees The NFL is preparing for the inevitable retirement of officiating crew chiefs by conducting trial runs for some promotions in the second preseason weekend. An officiating source said that at least one head referee will retire at the end of the season.
The conspiracy machine got some gas in preseason with the suggestion that officials are given the authority to limit offensive schemes through controlling the pace of the game. In a Wall Street Journal article, a connection was drawn between a new point of emphasis and the offense employed by incoming