Making the impossible call

Embed from Getty Images   Nothing compares to the speed of a NFL game. While I've never been on the field for one, I worked on the chain gang at a Division I NCAA game one level down from the pros. The speed at that level was dizzying. I can only imagine

Alternate officials, like playoffs, have expanded over time

They're happy but not satisfied. They'd rather be on the field, but don't want the circumstances happen that put them on the field. Who are they? The alternates. They are the three to five people assigned, ready to go into a playoff game should an on-field official get hurt or

Concentration is key to avoiding wrong-way flags and other errors

Detroit Lions fans were aghast and pundits hooted at Jeff Triplette's crew during Week 14 as umpire Shawn Smith called an illegal hands to the face foul. The foul was there, but Smith called it on the wrong team. The Bears were guilty of the infraction, but Smith called it

Calm signals: the sign of under-control officiating

Embed from Getty Images   You've seen it. A touchdown bomb. A diving catch. A toe-tapper on the sideline. A fumble and defensive recovery. These are big moments in a football game. These moments are usually surprising and exciting. But the next time you see such a play, watch the official. They are

What has 7 people and 30 feet? The football chain crew

Embed from Getty Images   They never make a big call. The camera never focuses on them unless they get hurt. They constantly have to work around players and coaches. If danger comes their way, they are expected to drop their equipment and run. Many time they are pinned between players on