Jeff Triplette
NationalityFlag of the United States.svg.png United States
OccupationNFL official (1996–Present)

Jeff Triplette is an official in the National Football League since the 1996 season. He wears uniform number 42. His 2011 NFL officiating crew consists of umpire Jeff Rice, head linesman Phil McKinnely, line judge Jeff Bergman, field judge Barry Anderson, side judge Dave Wyant and back judge Steve Freeman.


Triplette is a retired Army Reserve colonel. He was awarded the Bronze Star for actions in the Persian Gulf War while serving in the North Carolina Army National Guard.

In January 2007, Triplette was named President and Chief Operating Officer of FNC, Inc., the provider of collateral management technology to the nation's largest mortgage lenders. Before joining FNC, he was Vice President for Risk Management at Duke Energy, a large energy company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Officiating careerEdit

Triplette joined the NFL as a field judge in 1996, then switched to back judge in 1998 after the NFL swapped position titles that season, and became a referee in 1999 after four-time Super Bowl referee Jerry Markbreit announced his retirement.[1]

On December 19, 1999, Triplette accidentally hit the Cleveland Browns' Orlando Brown in the eye with a penalty flag weighed with ball bearings. Video shows that Triplette immediately apologized to Brown, who was then tended to by the medical staff, but a few minutes later, Brown attempted to rejoin the team on the field for the next play, but Triplette prevented him from entering for the next play per NFL rules which stipulate that if a player incurs an injury timeout, they must sit out the next play. Not wanting to sit out the next play, and becoming frustrated with Triplette who injured him, Brown shoved Triplette to the ground. Brown was ejected. In an interview following the game, Brown cited a pledge to defend the blindside of then Cleveland Browns quarterback Tim Couch as the reason he wanted to return to the field so badly. The NFL suspended Brown indefinitely although the suspension became moot when the injury failed to heal and prevented Brown from returning to the NFL until 2003. The next year Brown, cut from the Browns, sued the NFL for damages.[2] Additionally, the NFL reviewed the filling for their flags, and opted to switch to a lighter filler, most flags now contain dried corn kernels.

The next season, Triplette also accidentally struck Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Aaron Beasley in the helmet.[3]

Peyton Manning is a frequent user of the fake spike, and "sold it" so well in a 2001 game against New Orleans that Triplette blew the whistle to stop the play, costing the Colts a possible touchdown.[4]

On December 14, 2008, a scramble for a fumble late in the 4th quarter during a contest between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills resulted in Triplette being knocked over by one of the players. The hit left Triplette with a bloody and swollen nose for the rest of the game.[5]


External linksEdit

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