NFL100: Before they were zebras, they were … candy canes?

#NFL100: A Football Zebras feature series NFL officials didn't always wear black and white striped shirts. To commemorate the 100th NFL season, Football Zebras takes a look back at how the third team dressed for a game.  No stripes to be found (1920-40) At the league's founding, the NFL required its officials to

Wires and gadgets are part of the NFL official’s uniform

NFL officials wear several pieces of equipment out on the field, draped around their neck, wrapped around their wrists and fingers and hooked on their belt. In the last 10 years, NFL officials are hooked up to several wireless devices to help them do their jobs. Every NFL official takes the

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