Side judge Mike Weatherford checks his watch pregame. (John DePetro/The MMQB)
In November The MMQB was granted unprecedented access to an NFL officiating crew during the week of the Nov. 17 Ravens-Bears game in Chicago. My video partner, John DePetro, and I were able to go where the officials went; we focused on four members of the seven-man crew in the week leading up to the game and then covered the officials’ Saturday rules meeting at a Chicago airport hotel, their group dinner that night, their pre- and post-game locker-room rituals and a breakdown of their game at Soldier Field. The videos below will take you somewhere you’ve never been before: into the homes and the jobs and the locker room—into the lives—of an NFL officiating crew.
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Part I—agonizing with the boss, Gene Steratore, over a missed call and, potentially, a missed Super Bowl assignment
Part II—Three days with crew members who moonlight, respectively, as an officiating supervisor, a high school AP History teacher and a New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development executive
Part III—a Saturday meeting in advance of Ravens-Bears, the crew’s weekly dinner, and, finally, Game Day