As sports talk all day’s officiating and rules expert, officiating in the NFL has become a hot topic. There are many issues as to what the committee factors in. Some examples of this are: playoff experience, crew chief experience, and for this year extreme weather condition games officiated. I’ll go round by round and break down why these officials deserve to be where they are. There are however several things to factor:
A.) The coaches do vote on who officiates in the playoffs and Super Bowl.
B.) First year crew chiefs are not eligible to work a Super Bowl (there are no first year chiefs though)
C.) An official cannot work two rounds in a row.
Wild Card Playoffs
Crew Chief 1: Jeff Tripplette
Colts fans will kill me for this but Jeff is not a bad official. His knowledge of the rules and ability to judge replay is waning. However Tripplette is an excellent players official, meaning he allows players to play with emotion. Fans might not like him, but some players do.
Crew Chief Two: Terry McAulay
Though he has officiated two super bowls McAulay has absolutely horrible game management. If you were an official at home watching Super Bowl 43, you know despite a great game, McAulay had trouble controlling the game in tight situations. He couldn’t keep players under control. However he does have excellent mechanics.
Crew Chief 3: Bill Vinovich
Bill worked last year’s freezing Broncos-Ravens game and was also a replay official when sidelined due to injury. Vinovich however, is a stickler for sportsmanship and nearly threw the napkin on Terrell Suggs for jokingly messing with one of his former teammates. Vinovich does have excellent knowledge of the rules and continues to enforce them to a high standard.
Crew Chief 4: Jerome Boger
I’m not a fan of Jerome Boger after last year’s Super Bowl. I’ll give him a partial benefit of the doubt due to a power outage. Even though I agreed with the no call at the end, Boger has downright horrible mechanics and game management skills. He hesitated to listen to the league office during the blackout, and almost went back to the officials’ locker room. He won’t work past this round. Boger, like Tripplette lets players play with emotion.
Crew Chief 1: Carl Cheffers
Cheffers is my favorite NFL official. He grew up in a football officiating family. Cheffers lets players play with emotion, protects quarterbacks, and is a great in game manager. His mechanics are astounding. He is definetly worthy of working a second super bowl this time as a crew chief.
Crew Chief 2: Pete Morelli
Morelli is a very good communicator. He has solid in game communication with both benches and the replay booth. He isn’t afraid to make a mistake but he has made some close calls this year that will probably take him out of super bowl consideration.
Crew Chief 3: Ed Hochuli
Hochuli is probably America’s favorite official. He is in top physical shape no doubt. Donovan McNabb said he looks like he could play. Hochuli worked the Philadelphia-Detroit snow bowl. He is use to the cold weather. Hochuli also thoroughly explains calls that teams don’t like. He’s a lawyer outside of the stripes and is heavily favored to work the Super Bowl.
Crew Chief 4: Mike Carey
Carey worked the Giants and Patriots first Super Bowl meeting. He is very stoic and like Vinovich, a stickler for sportsmanship. Carey does have very good mechanics and has worked several cold weather games. He and Hochuli will be front runners for the Super Bowl.
Crew Chief 1: Bill Leavy
Hopefully Seahawk fans accepted his apology. Leavy is like Cheffers. His mechanics are excellent and he cares for the safety of the players and makes the game about the players. The league might want to place him in the AFC though.
Crew Chief 2: Gene Steratore
Like me, he likes seeing himself in stripes. Refereeing is his life. He is also a well acclaimed NCAA basketball official who has worked many NCAA tournament games. Steratore is a well-rounded Tripplette. He is quick with the flag though which players don’t like.
Hochuli will be voted because he has worked the big one before, has great mechanics, knowledge, and worked in the worst conditions possible. Coaches will want a guy that is a stickler for crucial performance and Hochuli is exactly that.