50 Super Bowl calls, Part 1: L to XLI

The Football Zebras staff -- with the assistance of our affiliated forum, Behind the Football Stripes -- has examined the Super Bowls of years past for the work of the officials who, in a given year, attain the honor of the best of the best. While every team competes for

The coin toss: What could go wrong?

It is a simple procedure. The game can't begin without it. Before any football game starts the referee has to decide who gets the ball first. For generations, that question has been decided by the coin toss. The procedure is the same from pee-wee games to the NFL.First of all,

6 observations from Super Bowl XLVIII

McAulay crew handles first dud Super Bowl in 10 years Well, this year's Super Bowl will not go down as a classic in terms of excitement, but the Seahawks' defensive performance will be talked about for a long time.  Peyton Manning's future and legacy (rightly or wrongly) will be hot topics

After Further Review: Safety is number 1 priority

Some of the officiating news items from Sunday: A couple of puzzling replay reviews: Mike Carey allowed a catch to stand, despite clear evidence the pass was incomplete, according to our Roundtable experts [Ben Austro, Football Zebras]. Bill Vinovich ruled a player touched a loose ball with his foot while out

Microphone is ref’s friend for no-sense rules

It elicits snickers from football fans when it happens, and it sometimes trends on Twitter. Referee Ed Hochuli turns on his microphone to explain a ruling, and some fans joke that it is NFL open mic night. An example from 2009: We reviewed whether the ball was fumbled down near the

Phil Luckett was right

Rulebook, enhanced audio vindicate controversial referee In the last 14 years, former NFL referee Phil Luckett was been mocked at best for the coin toss controversy on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit.  In the 1998 Thanksgiving Day game, the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers ended regulation in a tie, and Luckett called