NFL takes a hit after four referee retirements

Embed from Getty Images Every generation of NFL officiating gives way to the next. This past offseason, we saw, very quickly and dramatically, one generation give way to the next. Referees Ed Hochuli, Gene Steratore, Terry McAulay and Jeff Triplette represent 88-years of experience at the referee position. That is 88-years

NCAA referee with the announcement of the year

Big 10 referee and Officiating Development Program official Don Willard made a mistake Saturday.  He faced the wrong way when announcing a foul. It can happen. It has happened to the best, many times. But, the way he handled himself with a live microphone places him into nomination for referee announcement of

Should NFL officials be allowed to make commercials?

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

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

Umpire Chad Brown has died at age 69

Embed from Getty Images   Chadwick Brown 1947-2016 Football Zebras has learned that former umpire Chad Brown died Friday morning after battling a long illness. The 23-year veteran wore number 31, and was assigned to Super Bowl XXXV and XLV. Our sources say he died on his 69th birthday. Brown retired in the middle

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,

Happy birthday Jerry Markbreit

View image | gettyimages.com Most famous referee of the 1980s and 1990s turns 80 years old Before there was Ed Hochuli, there was Jerry Markbreit.  The former NFL referee from 1976 to 1998 turned 80 years old today. Markbreit got his start officiating while a college student at the University of Illinois.  He

‘Double-rookie’ ref Allen impresses in debut

Brad Allen works his first-ever NFL game as a referee Referee Brad Allen (number 122) made history this past Sunday as he worked his first-ever game in the NFL at the referee position.  His first game was at Soldier Field in Chicago, as the Bears hosted the Buffalo Bills. He's jokingly referred to as