A conversation with the NFL's VP of Officiating about his odd career path, the stat that proves Cam's complaints are unfounded, and inside the role of NFL officials

By Peter King
November 06, 2016

In this episode of The MMQB Podcast with Peter King, I sat down for a conversation with Dean Blandino, the VP of Officiating for the NFL. And for my first non-football interview, I talked to Chuck Todd, moderator of Meet The Press, and political director for NBC.

Blandino discusses Cam Newton's recent complaints and offers an explanation for Vernon Davis' free throw celebration penalty. I asked Blandino if penalties being called in too ticky-tack a manner and if the NFL will ever see a female referee hit the field.

Chuck Todd talks about what it's like to cover Trump and Clinton and why America has fallen for an alternative candidate like Donald Trump. He also details his love for the Packers.


2:00: Blandino on his odd career path to VP of Officiating

3:50: How Blandino developed a passion for officiating.

4:18: What Blandino learned from Mike Pereira.

6:10: Blandino details what it is like to get angry phone calls and emails from teams on Monday mornings during the season.

7:35: Blandino on the few positive comments he receives.

8:00: Blandino responds to Cam Newton’s complaints.

9:30: What Walt Coleman saw from his perspective when he missed the roughing the passer call on Calais Campbell’s hit to Cam.

10:25: Why are there more flags being thrown than there were a few years ago?

15:00: Blandino explains excessive celebration penalties, and why the Vernon Davis free throw celebration was flagged.

18:20: Blandino explains how the farm system scouts future NFL officials.

20:15: Blandino on how he watches college games specifically to scout future NFL officials. How he watches the game with a completely different lens than the average fan.

21:45: On Sarah Thomas, the first female official.

22:25: Is it possible there will be a female referee in the NFL? If so, when?

25:50: Blandino’s stance on full-time officials.

29:30: Has an officiating crew ever called a perfect game?


31:50: Todd on his Packers and Dodgers fandom despite being from Miami.

35:40: On Vince Lombardi’s progressiveness

38:00: Todd on the Lambeau experience.

39:00: On the NFL game experience, the league fears that fans don't want to go to games anymore.

39:50: Election talk. How did Trump get to this place? This is the election of two extremes.

41:15: On the identity crisis of Republican Party.

42:45: Todd on his most overwhelming impression of Trump on the campaign trail.

43:45: Todd on what will make this election historical in twenty years. It may be the last election where the red blue map is based on social issues.

45:25: If Mitt Romney had the guts to go third party, he would look like a safe vote for a lot of people.

47:15: Todd on what it is like to cover this election. Trump is a very accessible candidate, Hillary, not so much.
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