Tommy Bell (July 2, 1922 – February 20, 1986) was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) and was regarded as "one of the NFL's most respected referees".When he joined the NFL as an official in 1962 from the Southeastern Conference, he was given the referee position, and stayed at that spot until his retirement in 1976. He officiated Super Bowl III in 1969 and Super Bowl VII in 1973. He is also the only official in history to referee in both a Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four (1959). He retired from the NFL following the 1976 AFC Championship Game between the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers, played December 26, 1976, to conclude a fifteen-year career in the league.
Bell was given a choice of officiating the AFC Championship game or Super Bowl XI as his final NFL game by then-Director of Officiating Art McNally. When Bell chose the former, Jim Tunney was selected as the referee for his second Super Bowl.
His successor as a referee, Jerry Markbreit, was the line judge on Bell's crew in 1976, Markbreit's rookie year in the NFL.
Bell wore uniform number 7 throughout his NFL career. The number was not used during the 1977 and 1978 NFL seasons; fellow referee Fred Silva took the number in 1979 and wore it through his retirement in 1988. Ron Blum, who wore number 83 as a line judge from 1985 through 1992, changed to No. 7 upon his promotion to referee in 1993 and wore it through his retirement in 2007, even though he returned to his original position for his final four NFL seasons. Side judge Keith Washington currently wears No. 7.
Unlike nearly all other professional football officials, Bell did not have to serve an apprenticeship at another position before becoming a referee. He was the last official to be a referee in his rookie season until Brad Allen was hired in 2014.
In addition to NFL officiating, Bell was an attorney in Lexington, Kentucky, and provided color commentary on Kentucky Wildcats football broadcasts on radio and television following his retirement.He died of chronic leukemia, aged 63, on February 20, 1986.
Super Bowl X was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1975 season. The Steelers defeated the Cowboys by the score of 21–17 to win their second consecutive Super Bowl. They were the third team to win back-to-back Super Bowls. It was also the first Super Bowl in which both participating teams had previously won a Super Bowl, as the Steelers were the defending champions and the Cowboys had won Super Bowl VI.
The 1979 NFL season was the 60th regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XIV when the Pittsburgh Steelers repeated as champions by defeating the Los Angeles Rams 31–19 at the Rose Bowl. The Steelers became the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls twice. It was also the 20th anniversary of the American Football League.
The 1976 NFL season was the 57th regular season of the National Football League. The year 1976 was also the Bicentennial of the United States although the NFL did not issue its own Bicentennial patch. The Dallas Cowboys did modify their helmet to honor the year, and were the only NFL team to recognize the Bicentennial.
Edward G. Hochuli is an American attorney and retired American football official. He has served as an attorney at Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C. since 1983, and was an official in the National Football League (NFL) from 1990 to 2017; his uniform number was 85. Prior to his officiating career, he played college football for four seasons at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
Jerry Markbreit is a former American football referee in the National Football League (NFL) for 23 seasons and became one of the most recognizable referees in the game. Markbreit officiated football games for 43 seasons. From 1965 to 1975, Markbreit officiated college football games in the Big Ten Conference. He then joined the NFL in 1976 as a line judge on the crew of Tommy Bell before being promoted to the head referee position in just his second year. His uniform number in the league was 9, which is now worn by Mark Perlman. In his 23 seasons in the NFL, Markbreit had 25 postseason assignments: two wild card games, 10 divisional games, eight conference championships, one Pro Bowl (1978), and four Super Bowls: Super Bowl XVII, Super Bowl XXI, Super Bowl XXVI, and Super Bowl XXIX and was an alternate in Super Bowl XIX, Super Bowl XXII, and Super Bowl XXVIII. To date, he is the only NFL head referee to officiate four Super Bowl games.
Jim Tunney is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL) from 1960 to 1990. In his 31 years as an NFL official, Tunney received a record 29 post-season assignments, including ten Championship games and Super Bowls VI, XI, and XII and named as an alternate in Super Bowl XVIII. He is still the only referee who has worked consecutive Super Bowls, and likely will be the only one to do so.
Anthony Joseph Corrente is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1995 NFL season. He wears uniform number 99. He was the referee of Super Bowl XLI. He has also served as the Coordinator of Football Officiating for the Pac-12 Conference since June 2011. He resigned this position in October 2014.
Dr. Gerald "Gerry" Austin is a retired American football official, who worked in the National Football League (NFL) from the 1982 season through the 2007 season. He wore uniform number 34, which is now worn by Clete Blakeman. Austin has officiated in three Super Bowls, one as a side judge and two as a referee. He was also notable being the referee in the 1993 AFC Wild Card playoff game between the Houston Oilers and Buffalo Bills, which would later become known in NFL lore as "The Comeback" for being the greatest comeback by a team in league history. Austin's 2007 NFL officiating crew consisted of Ruben Fowler, Ed Camp, Carl Johnson, Scott Edwards, Alberto Riveron and Bob Lawing.
William F. Carollo is a retired American football official who officiated National Football League (NFL) games from 1989 through 2008. He wore uniform number 63. Carollo officiated in two Super Bowls and eight conference championship games. After the 2008 season, he became the Director of Officiating for the Big Ten Conference.
Ron Blum is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL), having served in that role from the 1985 NFL season through the 2007 NFL season. He joined the league as a line judge, officiating Super Bowl XXIV in 1990 and Super Bowl XXVI in 1992 and later became a referee for the start of the 1993 NFL season, replacing retired legend Pat Haggerty. Blum moved back to line judge beginning with the 2004 NFL season, and worked his last four seasons on the crew of referee Tony Corrente.
Robert T. "Bob" McElwee is a former American football official, who served for 42 years, with 27 of those years in the National Football League (NFL) from 1976 to 2003. In the NFL, he wore the uniform number 95 for most of his career.
Walter John Anderson is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL) from the 1996 NFL season to the 2019 NFL season. He wore uniform number 66. Anderson spent his first seven seasons in the NFL as a line judge before being promoted to referee for the start of the 2003 NFL season after Dick Hantak and Bob McElwee announced their retirements. He is notable for officiating Super Bowl XXXV. Anderson was also named as referee for Super Bowl XLV which was played on February 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas, at Cowboys Stadium.
Bill Vinovich III is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) from 2001 to 2006 and since 2012, as well as a college basketball official.
Eugene Joseph Steratore is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since 2003. He announced his retirement from the NFL in June 2018. He also worked as a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men's basketball referee from 1997 to 2018. Since the fall of 2018, Steratore has served as a rules analyst for CBS Sports, including the NFL on CBS, SEC on CBS, College Basketball on CBS, and CBS/Turner NCAA March Madness.
Fred Silva was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) for 21 seasons from 1968 to 1988. Silva was widely known for his coolness under fire on the football field and clapping his hand together when signaling a first down. The pinnacle of Silva's officiating career in the NFL was being assigned to Super Bowl XIV in 1980. On the field, Silva wore three different uniform numbers. In the 1968 and 1969, seasons, Silva wore uniform number 49, but changed to number 81 in 1970, which he wore until 1978. Finally, from 1979 until the end of his career in 1988, he wore the number 7.
John Parry is a retired American football official who worked in the National Football League (NFL) from 2000 through the 2018 season. He wore uniform number 132, and was the referee for two Super Bowls.
Cletus W. Blakeman is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Outside of his work as an NFL official, he is a partner in the law firm of Carlson & Burnett in Omaha, Nebraska. His uniform number is 34.
Thomas "Tom" Kelleher was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) for 28 years, from 1960 until the conclusion of the 1987 NFL season. Working as a back judge, Kelleher was assigned five Super Bowls; Super Bowl IV, Super Bowl VII, Super Bowl XI, Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XIX; one of five officials to reach such an achievement. He wore number 25 for all but two years of his career. For 1979 and 1980, Kelleher wore the number 7 when officials were numbered separately by position. He was born in Philadelphia, and died in Miami.
Frederick "Fritz" Graf, was a National Football League official. He officiated for twenty three years including four Super Bowls. He was involved in playoff games in 21 out of 23 years as an official. The most memorable game that he officiated was the "Ice Bowl" in 1967, which was the championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys to determine who was going to the Super Bowl. The weather was so cold that Fritz's whistle froze to his lips. The whistle can now be found in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. He wore the uniform number 34.
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