It’s a little slow tonight, but since I always need to be working on something when the TV is on (it’s part of the whole ADD/OCD thing), let’s take a look at Paul King, who completed in 2009 his first year as an NFL umpire, working on referee Terry McAulay’s crew.
Paul Jarvey of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette profiles the 47-year-old King, who has been officiating football games for 30 years and counting.
King was flattened twice in his first preseason game, and took a shoulder pad to the eye on December 19 during the Saturday night game between the Cowboys and the Saints.
King also works as a teacher, and this quote makes us even more convinced that, at some point, the NFL needs to commandeer the total and complete attention of the game officials: “During the fall, it was two full-time jobs,” King said. “On Jan. 9, my alarm went
off, and I got up and said, ‘OK, where do I have to go?’ It was the
first day I didn’t have to either go to school, to the airport or to a
Given that the profession places a significant amount of pressure and stress on its members, it would make a lot of sense to ensure that the officials aren’t running ragged all week, and that they’re rested and ready for each and every Sunday.
King also shared with Jarvey some inside info regarding the way certain teams try to use the presence of an official to their advantage, even if it means putting the official in harm’s way.
“The Patriots do it all the time with [Wes] Welker,” King said. “They
like to use [the umpire] as a pick. My job is to get to the line of
scrimmage on a pass play to get out of the way, but sometimes you have
to wait for them to clear. Otherwise, there’s another collision waiting
And so for fun King works as a high school basketball official in the offseason, where the players aren’t as big — and none of them wear shoulder pads.