Zebras out of uniform

This past weekend, NCAA referee Mike Defee and his crew worked in miserable conditions as The Air Force Academy hosted San Diego State (photo of crew in the downpour). Lightning halted the game for 88-minutes, then resumed with a near empty stadium. Defee's crew started in their regular uniform. But after

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

An expert working the finger whistle tonight

Embed from Getty Images     If you get the chance, watch umpire Jeff Rice (number 44) work the Monday Night Football game tonight. Rice uses a finger whistle and he is a maestro using the piece of equipment. Officials working with a finger whistle have to blow their whistle and then signal. Fellow

Golden anniversary of the gold penalty flag

The most controversial piece of cloth in all of sports wasn't always yellow It won't get a cake or open house. It won't get cheered. In fact it's mere presence will illicit foul language and boos. Be that as it may, the gold penalty flag celebrates a big milestone this season.

6 keys for the 2014 season

It is time. Clinic attended, check.  Rules test taken, check. Camps visited, check. Preseason games officiated, check. It is time for the 2014 NFL season.  Just as officials have keys to read on every play, I'm going to be keying in on five things as I zebra-watch from now until