Having contributed more than 50 years on the field and in the league office, Art McNally is considered "The Father of Modern Officiating."
Now, McNally is being considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame as he was selected Tuesday as the contributor finalist for the Hall's Class of 2022.
Should McNally be elected, he would become the first on-field official enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"I'm kind of knocked over. It's a shocker," the 96-year-old McNally said in a Hall of Fame press release.
From 1959 to 1967, first as a field judge and then a referee, McNally served as an NFL official. He was then hired as the NFL Supervisor of Officials in 1968 and subsequently brought about the initial formal training and evaluation program for football officials in professional sports. He would go on to introduce an instant replay system to the league in 1986. He retired from the NFL in 1991, but came back in 1995 to work as an assistant supervisor of officials each season and held that position until 2007.
In 2002, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue created the Art McNally Award to honor NFL game officials who exhibit "exemplary professionalism, leadership and commitment to sportsmanship" on and off the field.
McNally received the Pro Football Hall of Fame's "Ralph Hay Pioneer Award" in 2012.