R.I.P. Former NFL Referee Red Cashion (1 Viewer)

Jan 16, 2019
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Mason L. “Red” Cashion, a Bryan-College Station businessman and longtime NFL official, died Sunday morning. He was 87.
Cashion was most known nationally for two words: His signature, drawled “First down!” call during NFL games. In his 2013 autobiography, he wrote that two other words — “You’re fired” — gave him the freedom and courage to make the infectious enthusiasm with which he refereed possible.
“I certainly hope you never have to hear those two words,” wrote Cashion, “unless, of course, they have the same wonderfully positive effect on your life as they did on mine. Being fired was definitely a life-altering event for me in a good way.”

The two words most synonymous with Cashion came to be, he wrote, because he was fired after one season as an official for the Southland Conference in the 1960s. His initial approach to officiating, he said, was to put forward a “dignified, detached, and stately” demeanor, but Southland Conference coaches said he seemed more aloof than anything.
He wrote that he would not have made it to the NFL if not for being fired — that it changed his perspective and pushed him to overhaul his work and life approach.
“I made a vow to live and work enthusiastically,” he said. “As I met people and interacted with people I already knew, I was stunned by how contagious enthusiasm is in day-to-day life.”
He was one of the better refs if I remember correctly. R.I.P. Red!


VIP Contributor
Apr 22, 2002
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Buck Town
I can still hear him call out "First Down"...But it was always for the Saints opponent....well most of the time.


Feb 13, 2010
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Wrong side of the Sabine

I remember him well from his NFL games....

Related story...

He owned an insurance agency in Bryan/College Station and while spending a few of my formative years at ATM (early 90s), I knew a guy that worked for him. This guy and his roommate were solid, die-hard Cowgirls fans from birth due to being from the Dallas area and highly involved with sports. Keep in mind at that time any Saints' success was purely in the day dreams and fantasies of the fans, but we always had hope... Anyways, these two guys were always talking smack to another Who Dat and I and one day during class one of them is absolutely glowing, almost levitating... He reaches into his backpack and pulls out two 50yd line, lower level Superbowl tix for the game in the Rose Bowl, compliments of Red Cashion. I must admit, while holding those tix I tried hard to envision a fleur-de-lis instead that damn star. ..I could only dream...But, alas we would have to wait...Well, the two guys had to scrape up their savings and head to CA for the game and being poor students amongst the throngs of Hollywood elite produced some of the funniest stuff ever... Literally, they were surrounded by highly popular celebs and their unabashed fandome came through loudly. Unfortunately the Cowgirls won and we were subjected to the gloating, the jerseys, hats and etc... At least until Leon Lett and his famous snow game the next season...

Optimistic Ozzy

Bleeder of Black and Gold
Jun 26, 2003
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That "1st Downnnnn", will remain in my head forever. He was a class act, he would have made the correct call on the "no call", if he were a side judge.

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