After more than three decades of working the field as a Canadian Football League linesman, referee and league supervisor, Neil Payne is the man with the inside story on the game-the players, the coaches and the officials who have to keep them in line. Payne is uniquely positioned to recount the history of the CFL as it has evolved, expanded and attempted to export itself to the United States. He calls them as he sees them, but never loses his sense of humour when faced with aggrieved coaches, aggressive fans and authority-resistant players.
News & Reviews
“Football officials have to make tough decisions. But having covered the game for longer than I care to admit, I already knew that. What I didn’t know was how much fun football officials have, especially the downtime spent on airplanes. If I had known that, I’d have become one myself.” —Winnipeg Free Press
About the Author
Neil Payne started refereeing for the CFL in 1969 and was appointed the league’s Assistant Director of Officiating in 1985. Payne was named the Director of Officiating in March 2000, a role he filled until 2004. In his career, Payne worked more than 200 regular season and playoff games for the CFL and appeared in four Grey Cup games. His book Crimes and Punishment: Life as a CFL Official tells stories of the game from his unique perspective. Neil Payne lives in Winnipeg.