Commentary by Ben Austro The transition was expected to be bumpy. Before owners convened in Orlando in March, there wasn't even a proposal on the table for one of the game's monumental shifts toward player safety. The Competition Committee called an audible, and what became this year's "use of the helmet"
Commentary and analysis by Ben Austro Al Riveron has opened the annual officiating clinic in Plano, Texas, with an extraordinarily busy agenda to complete. It is not hyperbole to say the success of the season depends on what is accomplished at the clinic. There is also ample evidence that Riveron is in
The countdown clocks have been reset from zero and are now running. Atlanta is already in preparation mode to host Super Bowl LIII. The offseason has begun, and there are several items on the agenda for the officiating department, both in terms of rules and personnel. Additionally, there are 21 experimental
There are plaques that adorn the walls of Cooperstown honoring 10 umpires. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Hockey Hall of Fame both have 16 officials enshrined. The number of busts in Canton representing football officials is a bust. Zero. Zilch. Nil. "I have always wondered why there are
Commentary by Mark Schultz The NFL needs to stop worrying about reputation and P.R. and assign its officials without past games in mind. Specifically, the NFL needs to have referee Walt Coleman call an Oakland Raiders game. Coleman's last Raiders game was January 19, 2002, a divisional playoff in New England against
One of the consistent qualities for top-notch officials is that they are coachable. Coaches love it when one of their star players is coachable, and officials need that same quality. A master learns an early lesson Midway through his Big 10 officiating career, referee Jerry Markbreit learned a lesson. A deep pass
Commentary by Mark Schultz This past season, line judge Sarah Thomas, the first permanent female official in the NFL, was a spokesperson for Activia yogurt. The commercials told the inspiring story of her journey to the NFL and how she broke the glass ceiling for women to officiate in the pros. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLcrFzI0vlw Thomas
Football Zebras analysis As we approach the beginning of the NFL officiating season (the NFL can communicate with officials starting in May), there's widespread speculation about who will be the next senior vice president of officiating. The NFL posted the job description and is taking applicants. The position reports to Troy