Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 11/11/14
This may be the first time a player and a referee ever hugged each other before a kickoff and nobody complained about a conflict of interest. A U.S. military sergeant disguised herself as a referee at her son's Nebraska high school football game — adding a little twist on the always heartwarming surprise military family reunion —and the ploy almost worked too well. Sgt. Javelle Crowder had just returned to Nebraska from after her third tour in Afghanistan, this one being 10 months.  When an announcer welcomed Crowder home, her son Jovan, a senior linebacker for Bellevue West High School, scanned the crowd for his mother not realizing she was a few feet away. Crowder, dressed in a black-and-white stripped referee shirt, removed her black baseball cap before  Jovan recognized his mom and embraced her immediately, lifting her up in the air. "I can't believe you didn't recognize me!" she teased. "I didn't," he said, smiling. "Give me another hug! I love you, baby." "I love you, too, Mom!" The heartfelt embraces thrilled the crowd.  "We are a military community, so it was very well-received," was how Kevin Broderick, the assistant principal and activities director, described the moment they hugged. Broderick, who helped organize the surprise, got a phone call from Crowder’s brother saying that he would love to take her to the football game. "I got together with my principal and figured this would be a unique experience," Broderick said. Indeed it was.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

FSU trustee wants CFB playoffs expanded to eight teams

Love: 'Like a chicken with my head cut off' in first playoffs

Canucks’ Alex Burrows taken to hospital, will miss Game 4

David Ortiz suspended for making contact with umpire

Patriots react to 'tragic, sad' news of Hernandez conviction


Report: Cowboys won't trade draft picks for Adrian Peterson

How worried should Brewers fans be about Ryan Braun?

Fan hit in head with ball at MLB game released from hospital

Has Antonio Brown's hold out alienated Steelers fans?

'Statcast' to debut Tuesday on MLB Network

Kyrie Irving on playoffs: 'It’s the greatest feeling in the world'

2015 NFL Draft preview: NFC North

Penguins GM to columnist: ‘You’re a (expletive) jerk’

Morris twins charged with felony aggravated assault

Packers to retire Favre’s jersey on Thanksgiving against Bears

Manziel receives support from Mike Pettine, LeBron James

WATCH: Winnipeg's Byfuglien channels Marshawn Lynch

Managers like Bryan Price need to quickly learn media's role

Adrian Peterson's agent creates buzz by wearing Bucs hat

Viking attends 10 year-old girl's party after invitees decline

The win-now move of promoting Addison Russell

WWE takes a shot at Tim Tebow signing with Eagles

A-Rod exceeding expectations, eluding karmic justice

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 NFL Draft preview: NFC North

YBN Podcasts: Interview with Taylor Twellman

WATCH: Winnipeg's Byfuglien channels Marshawn Lynch

Larry Johnson on UNLV, becoming Grandmama

Lou Williams gets his due

Prostitutes to police: Sapp tackled us

The win-now move of promoting Russell

Lindsey Vonn: Tiger is an amazing dad, has great kids

Blazers post 'we don't lose to Spanish players' in locker room

The Lakers' free agency myth

Mayweather: I'm better than Ali

WATCH: Sapp talks prostitute arrest

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.