New book shows officiating is ‘A Tough Job Made Harder’

Review by Mark Schultz If you've followed Football Zebras for any length of time, you know that we break down football officiating and (hopefully) show you how difficult calling a football game is. Between interpreting complicated rules, avoiding getting run over by people twice their size, tuning out 50,000 people chanting

Throwback to the finest officiating sequence I’ve ever seen

I remember several post-season classic games and the officiating that goes with such games. It is hard after a year or two for me to remember a classic regular-season game where the officiating actually enhanced the quality of the contest. But, there is one regular-season game that I remember almost 26-years

Throwback to 1986 – Jerry Markbreit’s only NFL ejection

While many television networks are continuing to re-air feature games with memorable performances, Football Zebras is going behind the stripes to highlight some throwback moments from NFL officials. Let's go back to November of 1986. Jerry Markbreit's crew was assigned a Bears-Packers game at Soldier Field in Chicago. The season before, the

NFL takes a hit after four referee retirements

Embed from Getty Images Every generation of NFL officiating gives way to the next. This past offseason, we saw, very quickly and dramatically, one generation give way to the next. Referees Ed Hochuli, Gene Steratore, Terry McAulay and Jeff Triplette represent 88-years of experience at the referee position. That is 88-years

NCAA referee with the announcement of the year

Big 10 referee and Officiating Development Program official Don Willard made a mistake Saturday.  He faced the wrong way when announcing a foul. It can happen. It has happened to the best, many times. But, the way he handled himself with a live microphone places him into nomination for referee announcement of

Should NFL officials be allowed to make commercials?

Commentary by Mark Schultz This past season, line judge Sarah Thomas, the first permanent female official in the NFL, was a spokesperson for Activia yogurt. The commercials told the inspiring story of her journey to the NFL and how she broke the glass ceiling for women to officiate in the pros. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLcrFzI0vlw Thomas