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Dean Blandino says more female officials are on the way


Sarah Thomas got through her rookie season as an NFL official without all that much notice, which is a good thing in her line of work.

Perhaps as a result, she may not be a trailblazer for long.

NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on SiriusXM NFL Radio that more female officials are “in the pipeline.”

“I’m not sure what 2016 looks like,” Blandino said. “We’re still in that evaluation phase. But I think we’re going to see female officials down the line — 2016 and beyond — because we have several coming up through the ranks. Sarah did a tremendous job.”

Other than having Patriots coach Bill Belichick paw at her on the sidelines while debating a call, there was very little notice of her.

“No one was talking about her,” Blandino said. “That’s what you strive for in officiating.”

And apparently, it’s something they’ll take more of, as they continue to freshen up the pool of candidates, which can only strengthen the product on the field.

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50 Responses to “Dean Blandino says more female officials are on the way”
  1. ravensfan56 says: Feb 4, 2016 12:00 PM

    Keep the NFL in America, fire Blandino and Goodell, and fix the rulebook!

  2. RavenzGunnerz says: Feb 4, 2016 12:02 PM

    I don’t think Chris Paul is thrilled about this development.

  3. dreemeagle says: Feb 4, 2016 12:05 PM

    maybe, just maybe the women are better at this, too;

    if so, they will inject a most desperately needed shot of integrity back into the game and elevate it from the roller derby-WWE diva depths to which it has presently sunk;

    maybe they’ll come save the NFL from its 32 billionaires self…

  4. olskool711 says: Feb 4, 2016 12:08 PM


    Mary Kay Cabot says that if any of you don’t like it you better keep your mouth shut or she will demand that your boss suspend you, discipline you, or take away your ability to earn a living.

    Hope and change baby — hope and change.

  5. buckethead1 says: Feb 4, 2016 12:09 PM

    Drives me nuts that Blandino is a household name…

  6. tvguy22 says: Feb 4, 2016 12:09 PM

    “…paw at her on the sideline…”? Give me a break.

  7. steelcurtainn says: Feb 4, 2016 12:11 PM

    lol. Great! Why don’t they just add flags too.

  8. icebergsimpson says: Feb 4, 2016 12:13 PM

    Anyone has to be better than the refs that cant even speak properly

  9. Deelron says: Feb 4, 2016 12:13 PM

    Now if only they (and the current) officials had a reasonable rule book to officiate they’d be on to something.

  10. liondriven says: Feb 4, 2016 12:15 PM

    im growing tired of the nfl’s blandino, goodell, the owners, london, hot dog qbacks.
    they will ruin it all before long

  11. Mo Pro Babble says: Feb 4, 2016 12:17 PM

    Wasn’t she the ref who blew here first call when she missed the ball hitting the leg of a player on a punt and screwed up a turnover in the process? I remember the tv crew mentioning it and when they were informed it was her they dropped it like a hot potato.

  12. senatorblutarsky says: Feb 4, 2016 12:17 PM

    Good. Women are a previously untapped source of talent. It’s time to ease out some of these current inept officials and women will expand the universe of potential replacement candidates.

  13. Kelly's Chronicles says: Feb 4, 2016 12:17 PM

    Well the more we get the less we will need instant replay. Because as you all know women are always right….

  14. rr2000k says: Feb 4, 2016 12:22 PM

    How about hiring whoever is best qualified, be it male, or female?

  15. senatorblutarsky says: Feb 4, 2016 12:22 PM

    Perhaps as a result, she may not be a trailblazer for long.

    She’ll always be a trailblazer since she was the first.

  16. dreadnok89 says: Feb 4, 2016 12:26 PM

    Atleast with male refs you can yell at them

  17. tommykramer9 says: Feb 4, 2016 12:27 PM

    Does what does Tom Brady’s dad think about that?

  18. staff2cj says: Feb 4, 2016 12:32 PM

    Where are they getting the officials from? I rarely see any in the college game… Must be off the street.

  19. senatorblutarsky says: Feb 4, 2016 12:35 PM

    Other than having Patriots coach Bill Belichick paw at her on the sidelines while debating a call, there was very little notice of her.

    I watched the video.

    Firstly, when Thomas very closely approached Belichick, he moved away, putting more space between them.

    Secondly, I could just as easily see Belichick demonstrating with his arms in the manner he did with a male official as well.

    Thirdly, he was careful enough to assure that he didn’t actually touch her.

    Nothing untoward occurred. Much ado about nothing.

  20. riffrafflaff says: Feb 4, 2016 12:37 PM

    Hopefully they’re better than the male refs.

  21. imsorryyoufeelthatway7 says: Feb 4, 2016 12:38 PM

    As long as they’re good officials (we could certainly use a few), then I don’t really care what gender they are.

  22. ariani1985 says: Feb 4, 2016 12:40 PM

    Will drew brees get an explanation?

  23. ctiggs says: Feb 4, 2016 12:43 PM

    can they not take other jobs?

  24. senatorblutarsky says: Feb 4, 2016 12:43 PM

    rr2000k says:
    Feb 4, 2016 12:22 PM

    How about hiring whoever is best qualified, be it male, or female?

    That’s the intention. You need female candidates for that to happen and Sarah Thomas is the beginning.

  25. staffordsyear says: Feb 4, 2016 12:43 PM


  26. ctiggs says: Feb 4, 2016 12:44 PM

    women players on their way soon …. smh

  27. ajgreenhof says: Feb 4, 2016 12:44 PM

    Don’t care. Just get the calls right.

  28. upperdecker19 says: Feb 4, 2016 12:45 PM

    It’s simple math. You need to expand the search pool to find competent refs these days. I mean, do you think Jeff Triplettes, Jerome Bogars and Ed Hochulis grow on trees???

  29. ctiggs says: Feb 4, 2016 12:45 PM

    mark Cuban was spot on

  30. steelerben says: Feb 4, 2016 12:45 PM

    The only thing about a ref that matters is their ability to get the call right. I don’t want to notice the refs in any game.

  31. armchairqb says: Feb 4, 2016 12:50 PM

    Great. Because that should clearly be the top priority for the League’s officiating office.

    Diversity is far more important than worrying about tiny details like what exactly is or is not a catch.

    That’s just piddling little minutiae.

  32. fwippel says: Feb 4, 2016 12:54 PM

    As long as the refs are good, it doesn’t matter.

  33. ebdug says: Feb 4, 2016 12:58 PM

    Women can’t be officials. They think six yards is ten yards.

  34. thermanmerman99 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:03 PM

    So what happens when an NFL player bangs one of these female officials which will 100% happen eventually, then the game will be even more corrupt with the female refs giving the player she’s bangings team every call. It will turn into one if those femal prison guard with a male inmate situation helping them escape. This will be a disaster

  35. bostonisthebestandyouallsukk says: Feb 4, 2016 1:09 PM

    We in Boston love this idea as the most progressive city in the world by far.

  36. blackula72 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:16 PM

    I don’t know about most women. I know my wife sees every damn thing even when I think she’s not looking. They might as well get rid of instant replay because once a woman has given their opinion there is no changing it lol.

  37. 6250claimer says: Feb 4, 2016 1:18 PM

    I don’t care if the officials or head coaches are men or women; black, white, green, red, yellow, plaid.. color is of no concern either. All that matters is that the chosen candidates are competent to handle the position in question. All of this “affirmative action” type of nonsense is nothing more than reverse discrimination, intended to inject more “diversity” into the workforce. This will result in “diverse” applicants receiving jobs they aren’t actually qualified for, and qualified candidates being rejected. None of that is good for anyone. Welcome to PC America in the 21st century.

  38. dreemeagle says: Feb 4, 2016 1:19 PM

    maybe so, but they surely know what a good catch is;

  39. paulrevereshorse1775 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:19 PM

    How long until one of them replaces Blandino?

    Please…..2016 would be good.

  40. frankfortschooldropout says: Feb 4, 2016 1:23 PM

    If they are competent then it’s fine. If it’s for some kind of ‘affirmative action’ then it’s total BS. Further, they had better be totally prepared for the criticism, and the journalists better leave the overplayed misogyny card in the drawer when (not if) the criticism comes.

    All officials make mistakes-the criticism will come, and it’s based on perception of the fan rooting for a specific team-remember that progressive sportswriters.

  41. weepingjebus says: Feb 4, 2016 1:25 PM

    Can we also get some old, fat male cheerleaders? I’ve been practicing my spin kicks all morning, and I look good.

  42. bleck5 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:38 PM

    I dont care if it is a male or female just make sure they know what they are doing and change the rule book because right now no one seems to understand it even the ones enforcing the rules!

  43. skittlesareyum says: Feb 4, 2016 1:51 PM

    Given the horrible refs they have when hiring only males, I don’t see much of a downside to this.

  44. purplekoolaid1 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:59 PM

    I’m neither a Mark Cuban fan or hater, but that dude looks like Nostradamus right now. He completely nailed it about the league. This WWE-NFL that we are experiencing right now is easily the worst I have seen this league since I’ve been alive.

    Ever since he made those comments, I have seen this league take a complete nosedive. The fact that we even know Dean Blandino exists is a prime example of what this league has become. Most of the news that I’ve seen the past few years has been 80% off-field and 20% on-field. The game isn’t even primary anymore it seems. Looking at how the halftime show for the Super Bowl is being advertised more than the game itself pretty much confirms those fears.

    If women can inject some integrity and consistency into this game, I’m all for it. But at the end of the day, they just need to hire whoever is most qualified for the position. Who cares about gender, race, etc.

  45. dreemeagle says: Feb 4, 2016 2:01 PM

    in any field of endeavour where one class of people is so far out ahead of all others by having so completely unfair advantage in opportunities and/or resources, how besides some form of affirmative action would you suggest to level the playing field for all other groups of people, sir?

    by the ridiculous fiction of the trickle-down effect, perhaps?

    tying up one’s bootstraps?

    separate but equal?

  46. samadams14 says: Feb 4, 2016 2:04 PM

    Pretty sure she was the SJ that missed the Jacksonville Illegal Formation that extended the game in Bmore.

    To someone else’s point above- when referee hottie blew a call, TV quickly looked the other way.

  47. Entertainment Vault says: Feb 4, 2016 2:14 PM


  48. schmitty2 says: Feb 4, 2016 2:43 PM

    Women can be highly frustrating because they can’t make up their minds, and sometimes can’t properly convey their thoughts…. oh wait that’s Jeff Triplette.

  49. JSpicoli says: Feb 4, 2016 2:47 PM

    We need a new league

  50. ebdug says: Apr 10, 2016 6:22 PM

    Too cool, dreemeagle

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