Answering a call from the sidelines in the early 1900s, legendary football referee Jack Miller was a first-rate call-maker and a consummate professional.
Now, Miller is among the best-known names in professional officiating, and he’s a regular on ESPN’s The Undisputed Truth.
His expertise is being showcased on the ESPN documentary The Undiscounted.
He’s the man who brought down the hammer on the league in the 1950s.
But he was also a pioneer of the modern game of football.
Miller’s groundbreaking work helped usher in the modern era of professional football officiating.
His career spans more than 60 years, from the early 1930s to the present.
He’s also a world-renowned referee and one of the most recognized figures in sports.
We spoke with Miller about how he’s shaped the game, his life, and his new book, The Undonted Truth.1.
What was your first call in the NFL?
My first call was a hit.
I was in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles in 1949.
I hit one of their players.
It was one of those plays, like, a little pass to the corner.
I called it an illegal pass and got a penalty.
I got the penalty for a play that had nothing to do with the play.
I was in the middle of the field, so I think I was right on top of him.
I thought he had a helmet, but I didn’t know if he had.
So I think he was trying to hit me, but then I hit him.
It’s just something that I didn and didn’t see.
I think it was a mistake, I’m not sure.2.
How did you get into professional football?
I was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1928.
My father was a railroad worker, and my mother was a seamstress.
My grandfather was a blacksmith and he worked for the railroads.
My mother was the first of three children.
She got a job as a seamstress at a textile mill, but she got pregnant when I was about nine years old.
My dad was a coal miner.
He used to work in the mines, and I got a coal truck when I got here.
I never saw a kid my age with a coal car, but it was all right because it was so nice to see a kid and go with him.
When I was eight, he died.
It just broke my heart.3.
What made you decide to pursue a career in the game?
I just had this dream of working in the coal mines.
It wasn’t something I ever dreamed of doing.
But I just wanted to be a miner.
I would go down to the mines to get coal, and it was like a part-time job.
I liked to watch the coal trucks.
It helped me to understand how important the coal industry was.
So when I started my career, I knew I wanted to do something that was a part of the community.
I wanted something to be good for the community and the environment.
I worked for a long time in the mining industry, and that was when I saw how important coal mining was in America.
And I was thinking, “How can I get involved in something that’s going to be as big as this?”4.
How much do you get paid for each call?
Every call you make is very valuable.
It can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 per call.
We call a lot of people, and some people get paid very well.
I don’t have to go to the referee’s office to make a call.
But we get a percentage of the revenue, and the money goes to the school that the kid is going to get from the referee.
If the kid plays in a high school game, he or she would get paid $5,000 for each game.
But it’s not like that.
They could earn $5 a game.
It depends on the school.
I mean, if the kid goes to a school where the school is a charter school, they would get a bigger share of the money.5.
What are some of the more important calls you make?
I’ll say this: If you’re going to make an illegal hit, the first call you need to make is the one that puts the safety of the football player in jeopardy.
And the only safety in jeopardy is the safety in the field.
So you have to make sure you’re not going to hit a guy.
The last thing you want to do is put the safety for the field at risk.6.
What kind of players do you see calling illegal passes in the league?
I think most of them are pretty good.
But the players who are really good, you have two things.
First, they’re good at football.
They know what they’re doing.
The other thing is, they know how to make calls.
And so they’re able to make better calls than most referees