Because of the nature of the job, only a select few referees ever become well-known. Red Cashion was one of those men.
Cashion, who officiated in the NFL from 1972 to 1996 and became known for his distinctive “first down” call, passed away earlier today at the age of 87, according to Kenny Wiley of the Bryan-College Station Eagle.
Cashion worked as the referee for Super Bowl XX between the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots and Super Bowl XXX between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers. He officiated in nearly 20 postseason games and 500 professional games in his career.
Below you can hear Cashion’s famous “First Down!” call, which became his signature. When Cashion was featured as the referee voice for several Madden NFL video games, this call made its way into the game.
Cashion began officiating in 1952 while still a student at Texas A&M. After two decades honing his craft at the junior high, high school and collegiate levels, he was hired by the NFL in 1972.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Cashion’s family and friends.
Rest in peace.