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Former NFL official Sid Semon passes away



Sid Semon, 1935 – 2014

Former NFL head linesman Sid Semon has died.  According to his obituary, Mr. Semon died this past July 15 at the age of 78.

Semon attended USC and played baseball for the school.  After college, he taught high school science in the Los Angeles area for 35-years and coached baseball, football and golf.

Semon wore uniform number 109 and was a head linesman for his entire career.  Before joining the NFL, he worked in the Pac-8 (now Pac-12) conference from 1972 until 1977.  For 1978 he joined the NFL, and officiated pro football for the next 22-years.

Once joining the NFL, Semon worked with some top-flight referees including Jim Tunney, Pat Haggerty, Dale Hamer, Red Cashion, and Mike Carey.  He worked several high-profile playoff games, including the 1995 NFC Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers.  During that game, Semon called an unsportsmanlike conduct foul on Cowboys’ coach Barry Switzer after Switzer ran out on the field to protest a pass interference non-call.  He was several yards on the field and hip checked Semon to show him the action he thought deserved to be flagged.  Instead, Semon flagged Switzer for running onto the field, arguing with him and making contact with him.

The NFL awarded Semon the ultimate prize twice; assigning him to officiate Super Bowl XXV and Super Bowl XXVII.  In a NFL Films production, Semon recalled the electric and patriotic atmosphere at Super Bowl XXV, held during Operation Desert Storm.

After retiring as an on-field official, Semon stayed active in officiating by being a position trainer in the NFL.  This position allowed him to mentor active NFL officials, observe their games, offer tips and offer critique.  He was a position trainer at the time of his death.  In 2012, Semon and his fellow position trainers were briefly suspended by the NFL for refusing to work with the replacement officials hired during the lockout.

Mr. Semon is survived by his wife of 54-years, Duana, his daughter Sheri, and twin grandsons.  His son Steve preceded him in death.

NFL officials this pre-season are honoring Mr. Semon’s memory by wearing a “SS” commemorative patch on their hats.


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?"