50’s the Mike: A method of calling out protection assignments for the offensive players by pointing out “the Mike” on defense. Usually the Mike is the middle linebacker, but during these calls the Mike is the player on defense who the offense identifies as key to their protection assignments. (From Tuesday’s post.)
Referee (or Head Official): The referee signals and announces penalties and has the final say on all rulings on the field, what the down and distance is, and how the rules are interpreted in any given situation. He’s also the guy who will go under the hood to watch replays to confirm rulings on the field, and also watches the quarterback to monitor any illegal activity by/to the quarterback. He is easily identified as the official wearing the white hat. (From Wednesday’s post.)
Umpire: The umpire monitors the offensive and defensive lineman at the line of scrimmage. The umpire also records the score, winner of the coin toss, and keeps track of timeouts, and is in charge of making sure the players are dressed according to league rules. (From Wednesday’s post.)
Head Linesman: The head linesman is the official who watches the neutral zone for false start or offsides penalties. He also rules on all out of bounds plays on his side of the field, and has the task of placing his foot wherever forward progress ended after the play is whistled dead. (From Wednesday’s post.)
Line Judge: The line judge’s most important job is supervising the timing of the game. He also assists the head linesman in several rulings and is positioned on the opposite side of the field, but along with all of those duties, he is also responsible for being the right hand man of pretty much every other official on the field. (From Wednesday’s post.)
Field Judge: The field judge stays on the same side as the line judge, but 20 yards deeper. He keeps an eye on the wide receivers on his side of the field and monitors illegal activity by/to them and also rules on whether or not catches are made or interfered with. He is also charged with determining whether or not a player is in or out of bounds during plays occurring in his section of the field. (From Wednesday’s post.)
Side Judge: The side judge is the field judge, but on the head linesman’s side (with a few slight variations). (From Wednesday’s post.)
Back Judge: The back judge and the field judge are most famous for their work at the field goal posts; they are the two officials who stand on either side of the field goal post and rule whether the kick is good or no good. The back judge also takes a position 25 yards downfield, usually on the tight end’s side, and keeps an eye on all deep mid-field action on both sides of the ball. He’s also in charge of keeping track of the time on the play clock and the time elapsed over halftime. (From Wednesday’s post.)
Ashley’s Rookie Season: A new feature for all you Normal Girls out there! Over the course of this season, Ashley will be asking any question that comes to mind while watching a football game and I’ll be answering them here on a weekly/biweekly basis. (From Thursday’s post.)
Normal Girl Game of the Week
Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday at 8:25pm EST on the NFL Network
Andy Reid will be returning to Philly for the first time on Thursday night after having spent the past 13 years as the Eagles head coach. It’s a big night for Reid and Eagles fans everywhere, as former Eagles’ QB Donovan McNabb’s jersey will be retired at halftime. It’ll be one big Eagles love fest regardless, but Eagles fans will be most pleased if the night results in a win under new Eagles head coach, Chip Kelly.
Also on the radar:
1. The 0-2 Giants need a win. So do the 0-2 Panthers. They play each other in Carolina on Sunday afternoon.
2. Two perennial AFC powerhouses, the Ravens and the Texans, have looked a little less-than-powerful so far this season. They’ll meet in Baltimore on Sunday in what could be a playoff preview.
3. Keep a close eye on RGIII in the Lions at Redskins game on Sunday. He’s had a rough start thus far and it isn’t looking to get any easier against a (very) physical Detroit defense.