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Mike Defee

Mike Defee flexed his way into the spotlight Monday night. The referee for the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship showed off his bulging biceps through tight zebra stripes as No. 2 Clemson upset No. 1 Alabama, 35-31.

Defee became an instant internet sensation thanks to his frame.


Who is this mystery man? We investigate.

1. He is an industrial contractor in Texas

Do you need someone to handle "electrical and instrumentation construction and maintenance in the Golden Triangle are of Southeast Texas?" If you do, Defee is your guy.

Defee is the manager of Newtron Beaumont, L.L.C., based in Nederland, Texas. For customers with electrical issues, Defee's massive presence must provide some sort of comfort that the project will get done.


Many fans were quick to compare Defee with Ed Hochuli, the buff NFL referee who is a lawyer by day. (In his bio on the law firm's website, it says, "In his free time, Mr. Hochuli moonlights as a Referee in the National Football League.)

2. He has officiated 16 NCAA seasons

According to the Beaumont Enterprise, Defee's first game as a football referee was a Texas freshmen battle between Jasper and West Orange-Stark in 1994. He was 32 at the time. In 2001, Defee jumped to the Southland Conference, then-part of Division-IAA. Defee got the call to the Big 12 in 2006 and he's been there ever since.

3. He was once a BCS National Championship Game alternate

Defee could have had his moment in 2012, when he was a backup referee for the title game. However, Defee did not get the call during Alabama's 21-0 drubbing of LSU.

Before Monday, Defee had officiated the Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Rose Bowl and three Big 12 Championship Games. But the outing in Tampa was his first taste of the big show.

4. The NFL passed on him

In 2012, Defee was one of 20 finalists to become an NFL official.

"He's the most prepared official that I've ever been around," Texas officiating scout Beau Hicks said in 2012. "And I've been around a lot of officials. He's the best back judge in the United States, although he's refereeing right now. When he goes to the NFL, (back judge) is probably what position he'll move to."

Defee didn't get the gig. Hochuli held his ground as the NFL's premier buff ref. But the NFL rumors have lingered.


5. His quotes are amazing

These are some things Defee has said about refereeing:

-- "I tell people all of the time, 'You haven't lived until you've been booed by 100,000 people at one time.'"

-- "It is a very complicated game. You don't just show up and put your uniform on."

-- "It's a three-hour battle of focus."

6. He's roughly 54 years old

We know Defee was 50 in October 2012, so unless he has a November or December birthday, he's probably 54. And he looks damn good for 54.


7. "My name's Mike Defee. I'm your referee" is maybe the greatest Rose Bowl greeting ever

From 2014:

Look how scared Vin Scully is.

8. Big 12 fans have known about his muscles for a long time now








9. His son is an official

According to KBMT-TV, Defee and his son, Michael, officiated a Lamar football scrimmage this past August (FCS Lamar is in Beaumont). The younger Defee was slotted to be part of the officiating crew for Lamar's home opener against Coastal Carolina.

10. @MikeDefeeArms is an instant must-follow on Twitter





Mike Defee is a true legend. If only Monday night's introduction came much earlier.

-- Follow Jeff Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband. Like Jeff Eisenband on Facebook.