Table of Contents

PART ONE: A HARDER JOB THAN IT LOOKS

Pursuing Perfection–Chasing the Impossible        

The Immaculate Reception; A Difficult Call–What Really Happened?

Judging Chaos–Much Faster Than the Fastest College Game

Nobody’s Perfect, But You’d Better Not Screw Up–Mistakes and Recoveries

Shooting the Messenger–Make the Right Call, Get a Death Threat

An Unusually Hostile Work Environment–Abuse From Coaches, Players, and Fans

Self Defense–Taking Abuse When You Can’t Give it Back

With Friends Like These–Practical Jokes to Loosen the Tension

Climbing the Learning Curve–A Rookie’s Education

Not Your Typical Part-Time Job–Six Miles on the Field; Hours and Hours to Prepare

Challenging Even for a Philadelphia Lawyer–NFL Rules are Complicated

PART TWO: WHO WOULD WANT THIS JOB?

Working Two Games–They Don’t Quit their Day Jobs

Humble Origins–Working to the Top

Joining the Elite–Invited Into the NFL

Balancing on the High Wire–At Work in Parallel Worlds

PART THREE: BECOMING THE THIRD TEAM AND MORE

The Third Team on the Field–A Team Game, Even for the Officials

Who’s Watching Whom–Job Descriptions

The White Hat–The Referee Wears Several Hats

Instant Replay–Getting it Right

The Fraternity–A Brotherhood

Standing at the Top–Among the Finest

Driven to be the Best–The NFL Official’s Heart and Passion