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Back surgery sidelines Fox’s Pereira

Back surgery keeps Mike Periera off of Fox football telecasts.

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Mike Pereira, former NFL official and officiating supervisor, who blazed the trail for in-game officiating experts during NFL broadcasts, will not be on Fox for part (and maybe all) of this season due to back surgery.

Pereira got his start in officiating in the 1970s, and worked college football (including the Western Athletic Conference) from 1982 – 1995. His last college football game was as the referee for the 1996 Cotton Bowl.

Pereira was a NFL side judge (number 77) from 1996-97. He then joined the NFL as an assistant supervisor in 1998. He succeeded Jerry Seeman as director of officiating in 2001 and held that post until 2009. He joined Fox Sports in 2010 as an officiating expert, joining a game from Fox studios to give his take on a call on the field or answer a mechanics or rules question. During his initial season, he impressed the audience by correctly guessing every replay review result. Sometimes the announcers would disagree with Pereira’s prediction, only to have egg on their face when the referee stepped out and confirmed Periera’s judgement.

Dean Blandino joined Pereira at Fox in 2017, after serving a stint as director of officiating in the NFL. Blandino will now handle all officiating analysis during Fox games. Periera will remain active on social media to discuss officiating, but he doesn’t have a timeline to return to in-game analysis on Fox.

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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?"

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