Let them talk! We need detailed referee announcements

Over the years, we've chronicled the evolution of the referee microphone, from it's humble beginnings to it being used as a valuable teaching and explaining tool. While some people might have snickered or rolled their eyes at long-winded announcements, they could not deny they knew what happened and why the officials

Wires and gadgets are part of the NFL official’s uniform

NFL officials wear several pieces of equipment out on the field, draped around their neck, wrapped around their wrists and fingers and hooked on their belt. In the last 10 years, NFL officials are hooked up to several wireless devices to help them do their jobs. Every NFL official takes the

Referee announcements have come a long way in 38 years

In 1975, the NFL decided to put a wireless microphone on the referee for penalty announcements.  Officiating boss Art McNally, wanted the officials to use this new technology very sparingly.  In those intervening 38 years, the microphone has evolved into a critical communication and teaching tool, as shown by Gene

Microphone is ref’s friend for no-sense rules

It elicits snickers from football fans when it happens, and it sometimes trends on Twitter. Referee Ed Hochuli turns on his microphone to explain a ruling, and some fans joke that it is NFL open mic night. An example from 2009: We reviewed whether the ball was fumbled down near the