Over on the main site, we’ll be spotlighting new or lesser-known players for the next few weeks in our Getting to Know … series of profiles. But with some of the players, I learned of a storyline or two that I couldn’t cram into the day’s story. So for the next few weeks, while I take some vacation, I’ll be posting some of the extra tidbits on these young Broncos over here.
Without further ado …
Steve Cargile’s NFL journey has only now begun to launch. Someday, his playing career will end. His football career, however, might not.
Two offseasons ago, Cargile interned in the league office, working in the officiating department, watching tape and learning the nuances of the on-field arbiters’ work.
While his post-football future is still to be determined — law school is among the paths Cargile may take, he said — working towards Sunday afternoon duty is a possibility.
“That might be something I look into,” he siad. “As a former player, they put you on an accelerated program, so instead of going to high school for 10 years and then college for another 10 years, you’re up in the pro ranks after 10 or 15 years.”
Many former college players are officials, including referees Jerome Boger and Mike Carey. But the most notable NFL player-turned-official was the late Gary Lane, who played three seasons in the 1960s and then donned the vertical stripes for 18 years, including several years as a referee.
The NFL has also developed internship programs at NFL Europa training camp for players interested in someday becoming officials.
For players with such close exposure to the officials’ work — whether it’s on a field in Florida or in the league office — the experience comes with an ancillary benefit: a new-found but deep respect for the officials’ task.
“They have to know so much stuff out on the field and they have to look at something specific and sometimes it’s tough to get a good angle on certain things, but I think they do a good job,” Cargile said. “I can appreciate the referees now.”