The 5280 Football Preview

Our rip-roarin’, QB-battlin’, coach-firin’, trash-talkin’ look at the upcoming season on Colorado’s most-storied gridirons

August 2010

Flag Football

How NFL officials look at the field of play.

There are seven officials on the field during an NFL game: the referee, the line judge, the umpire, the head linesman, the field judge, the side judge, and the back judge. During any given play, each judge has specific “keys” that he must home in on; some things you, as a fan, probably never even notice—unless, of course, a yellow flag goes a-flying. With the help of Tom Fincken, Denver resident and longtime NFL side judge with three Super Bowls to his credit, we break down one of the more difficult formations (no running back, four wide receivers lined up on one side) for even the most experienced crew to get right. So, in the interest of lowering your blood pressure—and saving those officials from your (potentially unwarranted) wrath—we present the Empty Backfield. —Daliah Singer

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