The NFL on Wednesday announced the officiating crew for Super Bowl XLVII. The head referee is Jerome Boger and he will lead the seven man crew for the 49ers Vs. Ravens game. Boger has nine seasons of experience as an official and he has seven seasons of experience as a head referee. This will be his first Super Bowl as a referee and he is the second African-American to be in charge of the officials for the NFL title game.
Rounding out the officiating crew is umpire Darrell Jenkins, head linesman Steve Stellies, line judge Byron Boston, field judge Craig Wrolstad, side judge Joe Larrew and back judge Dino Paganelli.
NFL vice president of officiating Carl Johnson on the announcement,
We congratulate Jerome and his entire crew on being assigned to work at Super Bowl XLVII. Just like the two competing teams, every member of this officiating crew has had an outstanding season and earned this honor. We are confident that they will have a great game on Sunday.
Boger is my favorite NFL referee, if only because of his voice and the way he says false-start and offside. In his most classic moment refereeing a 49ers game, and probably his most memorable moment of his career, he called false-start on San Francisco’s entire offensive line. Click here for video link of the call and Boger saying false-start in his classic voice.
While Boger does not have Super Bowl experience as a head ref, he has refereed four divisional round playoff games. The last one was the 49ers Vs. Green Bay Packers game on January 12. Since 2008, Boger has been the referee for six 49ers games. San Francisco won five of those six games, with the lone loss coming against the Minnesota Vikings in 2009. If you recall that was the game in which Brett Favre beat the Niners on a late touchdown pass in the back of the end zone.
The selection of Boger is not without controversy. According to NBCSports.com officials have complained to them saying that “the league office first decided it wanted to give the game to Boger, then changed his grades so that he would come out as the top-rated referee in the league for the 2012 season and therefore earn the Super Bowl assignment.”
The website also reports that Boger was downgraded eight times during the season for messing up on the field, but they were all reversed on appeal. While the complaints from other officials about his selection might be warranted, I don’t doubt he and his crew will do a great job at the Super Bowl.