Ed Marion

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Ed Marion (1927 – 28 April 2008) was an American official in the National Football League. Marion was in the league from 1960 to 1987 and officiated in Super Bowl V, IX and XI. He wore the number 26 for the majority of his career (during the 1979–81 period, he wore number 6).


Marion is reviled by fans of the Minnesota Vikings for a call he made late in Super Bowl IX. With the Pittsburgh Steelers holding a tenuous 9–6 lead, Terry Bradshaw completed a 30–yard pass to tight end Larry Brown, but at the end of the play, several Vikings ripped the ball loose from Brown's grasp, and linebacker Jeff Siemon recovered for Minnesota. Marion, however, overruled the call of back judge Ray Douglas and field judge Dick Dolack, and instead ruled Brown down by contact. The Steelers kept possession and Bradshaw connected with Brown again for the clinching touchdown. John Facenda emphatically insisted Marion made the right call during his voice-over of the NFL Films official highlight video of the game.

Ed Marion is also reviled by Oakland Raiders fans for the bad call he made in the 1977 AFC Championship Game against the Denver Broncos, which likely prevented the Raiders (the defending Super Bowl Champions) from appearing in a second straight Super Bowl and having a dream match-up with the Dallas Cowboys (who blew out the Broncos in Super Bowl XII). The score was still 7–3 midway through the third quarter. Denver drove to the Raider two yard line. But then Bronco fullback Rob Lytle was smacked in midair by Jack Tatum as Lytle dove over the pile, and the ball popped loose. Mike McCoy, a defensive tackle who played on goal-line defense, scooped it up and was running for a touchdown when the play was whistled dead. Although replays clearly showed that Lytle didn't have possession before he dove, Head Linesman Ed Marion ruled no fumble (saying that Lytle fumbled only after his forward progress had stopped). The Raiders were also penalized for arguing the call. Denver scored on the next play, and went on to win the game 20–17.


In 1985, he angered the New York Giants when he ruled a receiver did not get out of bounds late in a game with the Cleveland Browns. The play happened in front of the Giants' bench, and Marion was verbally rebuked by coach Bill Parcells. The lost time forced the Giants to try a long field goal, which Eric Schubert missed, allowing the Browns to escape with a 35–33 victory. The victory was a large reason why Cleveland won the AFC Central division championship despite an 8–8 record.

Marion died on 28 April 2008.[1]