Over the past 43 seasons, Jerry Markbreit of Skokie, Illinois, became the best-known and most accomplished football referee in history. Last Call, his wide-ranging memoir of an uncommonly devoted life, is the most intimately revealing and engaging portrait of the sport he helped define. A rare amalgam of wit, wisdom, skill, and grace, Markbreit paints a canvas of finely-textured memories as richly-felt as his distinctive refereeing style.
Last Call is the first comprehensive look at football through the official's point of view. Markbreit takes us among the behemoths on the field as he captains his crew, makes nearly impossible split-second calls, and battles mistakes, bone-jarring pain, and relentless abuse. We relive his reluctant initiation into officiating; his most memorable high school and Big Ten games, including two of the most controversial ever: the 1971 Michigan-Ohio State game when Woody Hayes unloaded his wild tirade against Markbreit on national television, and the legendary 1966 "Game of the Century" between top-ranked Notre Dame and Michigan State. There's hilarious and often touching stories about his 23-year NFL career, including an unprecedented four Super Bowls, and his most embarrassing bloopers, like the infamous "Immaculate Deception" call at the end of a 1978 Raiders-Chargers game when Kenny "The Snake" Stabler "intentionally" fumbled for the winning touchdown, as well as the mortifying coin toss humiliation in his very first Super Bowl.
Goal line to goal line, Jerry Markbreit takes us inside the real action to reveal the players, the play, and some of the best and worst calls of all time on a football field.