Did you ever wonder how the football referees know when the commercial breaks are ending and they can get back to the game? Meet Jimmy Hadder, CBS’s number one “Red Hat.” He’s the link between our CBS game producer and the lead official. When we are in a commercial, Jimmy steps on to the field and relays to the ref how much time is left. They meet before the game to coordinate the signals and the format so good communication is key.
So what’s with the term “Red Hat”? Years ago, when this started, the CBS person on the sideline wore a red cap, so the ref could easily spot them. After a few years, there were too many people with red hats on the sideline, so they graduated to wearing huge orange/Day-Glo mittens. They were almost like giant hand warmers … more easily spotted and very unlikely that anyone else on the side would have them. When they crossed their arms on their chest, that signaled the break. Now you know.