|Local man worked as NFL replacement official|
|Thursday, September 27, 2012|
By PATRICK HALL
Before the National Football League reached a tentative agreement with its locked-out regular officials Wednesday night, replacement officials for the NFL have been all over the news lately, and one of Wilson County’s own has served in that difficult position.
Matthew Nicks has worked as the head referee in several NFL contests through the first few weeks of the season, including some nationally-televised primetime games.The NFL and the NFL Referees Association reached a tentative agreement Wednesday night that would bring the regular officials back to work for this weekend’s games.
So far, Nicks has reportedly worked as referee in the Sept. 10 Monday Night Football game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals, the Sept. 16 Sunday Night Football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions and the Sunday, Sept. 23 contest between the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals.
During a professional game, seven officials monitor the game, with the referee being known as the head official. The referee has final say on rulings and is distinguished from other officials by wearing a white baseball cap.
Nicks is reportedly one of the few referees to be assigned a game during all four weeks of the preseason and has officiated high profile games, which could be a sign to his skill as an official and the faith the NFL has in that skill.
Here at home, Nicks has worked as an official for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, or NAIA, in the Mid-South Conference. Cumberland University football is a member of that conference.
Nicks is a principal in the Paratus Group, LLC, an environmental consulting and remediation firm located in Lebanon.
Requests to interview Nicks have gone unanswered by the NFL and Nicks said that according to the league’s policy, he’s unable to give interviews without NFL approval.