Dick Hantak (born c. 1938) was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) for 25 years between 1978 and 2003. He began his NFL officiating career as a back judge and became a referee eight years later. During his career, he officiated in two Super Bowls, Super Bowl XVII in 1983 as a back judge and later as a referee in Super Bowl XXVII in 1993, both at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California and selected as an alternate for Super Bowl XXXII in 1998. He was one of the first officials to wear a three-digit uniform number, wearing number 105 except for 1979-81, when officials were numbered separately by position.
Hantak was most notable for being involved in a game that would result in the elimination of the excessive crowd noise rule from the NFL because of the actions during an exhibition game preceding the 1989 NFL season between the Cincinnati Bengals and New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome. Prior to the snap to begin a play, Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason constantly complained to Hantak about the loud crowd noise inside of the dome and would embellish his reactions in protest over the newly created rule. Esiason would later admit that he was put up to the task by then head coach Sam Wyche.
Hantak was also involved in a humorous incident during a 1996 game between Pittsburgh and Carolina. On a punt the ball landed in the endzone and the Carolina mascot Sir Purr downed it, unaware the ball was live. While Steelers coach Bill Cowher was laughing, Hantak told Sir Purr not to do it again.
As of the 2006 NFL season, Hantak serves as an NFL replay official, working on-site in the video officiating booth.
- ↑ Paul, Zimmerman (2005-12-01). "Quiet please". SI.com. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/writers/dr_z/11/30/crowd.noise/index.html. Retrieved 2006-08-30.
- ↑ "SIG TAU National Hall of Fame". Southeast Missouri State University. http://www6.semo.edu/sigtau/Hall%20of%20Fame.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-30.