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5-time Super Bowl line judge Beeks dies



Bob Beeks 1927–2012

Bob_BeeksBob Beeks died on December 26, 2012, as reported by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  He died on his 85th birthday.  According to his family, he suffered an apparent heart attack.  Beeks was a NFL line judge from 1968 to 1989.  He wore uniform number 59 for most of his career.  When he wasn’t catching rule-breakers on the football field he was catching law-breakers as a St. Louis police officer.

Beeks worked with several excellent referees over the years.  In the 1970s he worked on crews lead by Pat Haggerty and Cal Lepore.  Beeks was on Lepore’s crew in 1978 when he was witness to the first “Miracle at the Meadowlands.”  In the 1980s Beeks worked on crews lead by Bob Fredric, Jim Tunney, and Jerry Markbreit.  Beeks was line judge on Markbreit’s crew as Markbreit rose in prominence and he worked many high-profile games with the talented referee. 

The last 10 years of his career were Beeks’ best.  From 1979 to 1989 Beeks worked a record-tying five Super Bowls (XIV, XVI, XVIII, XXI, XXIII).  Officials were not (and are still not) permitted to work back-to-back Super Bowls so his achievement is all the more remarkable.  If you were a NFL line judge in the 1980s and your name wasn’t Bob Beeks, you had stiff competition to be assigned to a Super Bowl.
Joining Beeks in the record books as five-time Super Bowl officials are Tom Kelleher, Al Jury, Ron Botchan, and Jack Fette.  Of those officials, only Botchan and Jury survive. 

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"