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Field judge Duke Carroll retires



The Elmira (N.Y.) Star-Gazette ran an profile on the career of  the recently retired NFL field judge Duke Carroll. [Link unfortunately goes behind a paywall on the newspaper’s site after Feb. 21.] He served as an NFL official for 14 seasons.

Plenty of attention is placed on the punishing physical abuse on the players’ bodies. Although NFL officials don’t get knocked around to often, they must be in top physical shape to keep up with players younger than their children.

Unfortunately for Carroll, his knees told him at the beginning of the season that 2008 would be his last. He officiated his last game in the Colts–Chargers overtime Wild Card game under referee Ron Winter. Carroll, in fact, called one of the two defensive holding penalties on the Colts in the extra session.

He worked on Jeff Triplette’s crew for seven years.

“Some guys like to be rock stars, some guys like to grab headlines,” Triplette said. “Duke was one of those guys who went out and did his job day in and day out.

“If I was his dad, I’d be proud to call him my son. He just makes you so proud.”

Carroll started in the NFL in 1995, the year that the expansion Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars joined the league, necessitating more officials.

Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)