Officiating in History

Tales of big games, big calls and the officials that worked them.

Officiating in History

Officiating in History
Tales of big games, big calls and the officials that worked them.

Mayhem in Cleveland: Browns vs. Jaguars Dec. 16, 2001

It started out as a feel-good day that would eventually take a serious turn for the worse. There was no way of telling that...

DQ’d: Tyson vs. Holyfield June 28, 1997

Five days after ending the notorious Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield fight with a Tyson disqualification, Mills Lane is holed up in his Nevada District Court...

The ‘Stuff’ Dreams Are Made Of: NC State vs. Houston – April 4, 1983

Time was ticking down to a precious few seconds in the 1983 NCAA men’s basketball tournament championship game between Houston and North Carolina State.. Underdog...

Bobby Knight Throws A Chair

Bobby Knight’s molten rage briefly bubbled beneath the surface until, like Vesuvius, he erupted in a pyrotechnic fury. The Indiana basketball coach blew his top...

The Pine Tar Incident: Brett v. McClelland – July 24, 1983

As Tim McClelland walked toward his gate at New York’s LaGuardia International Airport the evening of July 24, 1983, the first-year AL umpire had to pass...

Hip, Hip No Way: Yankees vs. Dodgers 1978 World Series

Reggie Jackson earned the nickname Mr. October because of his bat. But a baserunning play swung the 1978 World Series in favor of Jackson’s...

You Are There: UCLA Streak Snapped

There are only three “streaks” in sports that matter: DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive game “iron man” streak and UCLA’s 88-game winning...

MLB umpire Steve Rippley ejects 17 during one ’84 game

It may happen that an umpire can go through an entire career without a “hat trick.” That’s baseball parlance for ejecting three participants in...

Locked Out

Late on the evening of Sept. 24, 2012, three men enjoy a nightcap at a New York City hotel. On the TV, the Seattle...

Behind the Scenes on the Legendary Woodson Interception

On Oct. 25, 1997, Michigan State’s Todd Schultz took the third-and-long snap in Spartan Stadium with a little more than two minutes left in...

Nolan Ryan’s Final Hit Batter: August 4, 1993

In his illustrious 27-year career, Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan hit 158 batters. “He did not have a reputation as a headhunter,” said retired...

“I’ll Never Forget”: Officiating Legends Recall Their Most Memorable Game

  It is June 14, 1998, at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City. The Chicago Bulls are playing the Utah Jazz in Game 6...

One Second Left: Celtics vs. Suns 1976 NBA Finals

Richie Powers recalls that the biggest call he had to make in his nearly 25-year NBA officiating career came at the Boston Garden on...

Our Founding Story – How Referee Magazine Came To Be

It’s often been said that if one has a problem, one has three choices: whine about it, ignore it or do something about it. Lucky for the world of sports officiating, Barry Mano...

You Are There: Cal vs. the Stanford Band (November 20, 1982)

By Leon Davis No, the Pac-10 title was not on the line, but when Stanford's Cardinal traveled to Berkeley to take on California's Bears it...

The Immaculate Reception: Pittsburgh vs. Oakland Dec. 23, 1972

Fred Swearingen's world had slowed down by 1998 and he was into a peaceful life in Carlsbad, Calif. His serene existence when we interviewed him...

Umpire George Magerkurth Ruled With An Iron Fist

S Umpire George Magerkurth ruled with an iron fist, which he wasn’t above wielding when challenged on a baseball diamond. Magerkurth worked 2,808 regular-season games and...

College Football Officiating at 150

DYK? Referees did not make all rulings in college football games until 1876. As college football marks its 150th anniversary this season, it is only...

The Shot

As an exhausted Tom Clark settled back into the aisle seat of his Delta Airlines flight the morning of March 29, 1992, a slight...

John Hirschbeck Reminisces on MLB Playoff No-Hitter

It is Oct. 6, 2010, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The Phillies are facing the Cincinnati Reds in the first game of a...

The Eras of Our Ways

Ron Luciano, who died in 1995, was one of the classic arbiters and characters of the 1970s in professional sports. An AL umpire for...

Emmett Ashford – a rare personality

From the minors to the majors, Emmett Ashford was an umpire who had style. His career was typified by an incident in his first...

You Are There: Trumbull Upsets Taiwan in 1989 LLWS Final

If it’s David versus Goliath stories you are looking for, you need to go no further than the 1989 Little League World Series championship game between Taiwan and Trumbull, Conn. And...

US vs. USSR 1972 Olympic Men’s Basketball Final  

Peter Rodgers never figured that by opening a gift, he’d close the book on a lingering controversy. The birthday present Rodgers received should, at the very least,...

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