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NFL officials honor late colleague with patch on hats

NFL officials honor Wayne Mackie with a commemorative patch on their caps.



NFL officials are honoring former colleague and officiating vice president Wayne Mackie with a commemorative “WM” patch, shown here at the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony on the hat of Carl Cheffers.

Mackie passed away suddenly in March at the age of 62. Al Riveron, former senior vice president of officiating, remembered Mackie in an email to Football Zebras in March. He commented, “We lost a great father, husband and a dear friend. Wayne’s huge smile, contagious laughter and ability to walk into a room and pick us up emotionally will be missed dearly. Compassion, loyalty, and an endless amount of faith are just some of the many outstanding qualities that he possessed.”

Before joining the front office, Mackie was a head linesman in the NFL for 10 seasons and worked Super Bowl 50. He wore number 106 his entire career.

After retiring from the field, Mackie became vice president of officiating evaluation and development, which involved coordinating the pool of officials for potential hires and additional supplemental training.

Last month, the NFL renamed the Officiating Development Program for prospective pro officials the Mackie Development Program.

Photo: Ben Austro/Football Zebras

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?"