The Super Bowl is a showcase of the greatest football players and coaches in the world putting it all on the line for the ultimate prize. What many people forget is that being assigned to the biggest game of the season is also a pretty big career achievement for the officials who will be working the contest, as their resumes have earned them such an important responsibility.
There has been a lot of discussion surrounding officiating in the NFL and in sports in general, and while no one tunes into a game specifically to watch them, their judgment could have an enormous impact on the outcome of the contest.
About Carl Cheffers
The man who will be the referee of Super Bowl LVII is Carl Cheffers. This is his 23rd season working as an official in the NFL. He spent his first eight years in the league as a side judge, and has spent the last 15 as a referee. He is 62 years old, and this will be the third time that he’s been the referee of a Super Bowl.
The NFL has a rule that an official can’t work in consecutive Super Bowls, but Cheffers’ performance has given him the next best honor. This will be the second time in three years that he’s led the officiating crew for the big game, as he was also the referee in Super Bowl LV, where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. The last time this happened was in 1988 and 1990, when referee Jerry Seeman was tabbed to work the Super Bowl in those years.
Cheffers’ first Super Bowl assignment came during the 2016 season, as he worked the infamous contest between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots came back from a 28-3 deficit to win the game.
Trends To Keep In Mind
Many fans want to know whether referees assigned to game have a tendency to throw more flags, or let things go. Diving into the data, we can see that Cheffers and his crews have historically tended to throw more flags than the league average. In his 15 seasons as a referee, his teams have thrown more flags than the league average in 12 of those seasons. That includes the 2022 campaign, where Cheffers’ crew called 1.48 more penalties than the average. His crew averaged over 18 more penalty yards than the average as well.
With that said, it’s going to be interesting to see if we end up seeing a lot of yellow on the field on Sunday. The league doesn’t assign crews that worked together for the entirety of the regular season to the Super Bowl, so there will be other officials on the field with Cheffers that he hasn’t worked with, or hasn’t collaborated with in a long time. It’s essentially an all star team of officials, who have each earned their way to the stage, which may render previous statistics irrelevant.