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By Steve Overmyer
/ CBS New York
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — If you watch any NFL game this season, New Jersey football fans might see a familiar face.
Garden State native Robin DeLorenzo became just the third female official to join the NFL ranks this year. She recently made her NFL debut in the Giants-Patriots pre-season game.
She’s the focus of this week’s Snapshot New York with Steve Overmyer.
Robin DeLorenzo, along with her fiancé, Tom, and her father, Rich, spend most of their free time absorbing football.
“I’ve always loved the actual game of football since I was little,” Robin said. “I gotta be honest, though. My father being an official it never dawned on me, because there were no women doing this.”
But Robin followed her passion for the sport and went from cheerleader to ref, even working alongside her father.
“I certainly gave her an opportunity to follow through with her desire to even try this,” Rich said.
Now, she’s getting the call to the NFL.
“Glad to see you’ve moved up. You’re making everybody proud,” Rich told Robin.
“I never realized how important it was for, you know, young girls to see representation everywhere in life,” Robin said.
The NFL’s officiating roster is the most diverse in history. Robin is the third woman to become a full-time official.
“Line of scrimmage officials are the kings and queens of multi-tasking. We have to see a million different little things and assess them,” she said.
For 20 years, Robin has been an official — from high school to the pros. She’s seen approximately 100,000 plays on the field, and even more in her living room.
“It’s all about seeing snaps, isn’t it?” Rich said.
“Seeing snaps,” Robin said.
“Seeing as many snaps as you can possibly see,” Rich said.
“For sure. Live and on television,” Robin said.
Robin is a down judge. She makes sure everyone is lined up correctly, watches for holding, is responsible for marking the ball and about 10 other things on every single play. Oh, and they’re the ones closest to the coaches.
“I am the communication from the crew to the coach and from the coach to the crew. For the most part, it will come through me,” Robin said.
And we’ve all seen how some coaches treat refs.
“Perhaps it’s a North Jersey situation? I have very thick skin. I come from a long line of extremely strong women,” Robin said.
She’s found her footing in a male-dominated profession. Sarah Thomas was the first, and Robin DeLorenzo certainly won’t be the last.
“It’s one thing to tell them you can do anything, but it’s a completely different thing to actually show them, and it’s only recently I’ve realized that, how important it is to show kids that, just keep working at something. Keep trying,” she said. “If you love something that much, it’s worth it. It’s nice to be able to show them.”
Steve Overmyer joined CBS 2 in February of 2011 as a sports anchor and reporter. He hosts Sports Update every weekend on CBS 2 and WLNY 10/55.
First published on August 19, 2022 / 6:58 PM
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©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
New Jersey native Robin DeLorenzo makes NFL debut as league's third female official – CBS News
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