Football Zebras
AssignmentsHochuli, McAulay head title game crews; Anderson earns 2nd Super Bowl nod

Hochuli, McAulay head title game crews; Anderson earns 2nd Super Bowl nod

The NFL announced the remaining officiating assignments for the postseason.

Walt Anderson will be headed to his second league title game, having headed the crew for Super Bowl XXXV at the end of the 2000 season. We are going to go deeper into the Super Bowl assignments next week, so that we can focus on the conference championship games.

As we previously reported, Terry McAulay and Ed Hochuli will head up this weekend’s all-star crews. Everyone we noted who was substituted for in the wild card and divisional playoffs earned a conference championship assignment. The only other reason an official would be substituted for in the first two rounds (other than first-year referees being automatically disqualified) is for poor evaluations; that did not happen this year.

Packers at Bears

Crew members are listed with their regular season head referees. Those whose regular season crews officiated a playoff game are indicated with a * for the wild card playoffs and † for divisional playoffs. (Officials on the conference championship crews are replaced on the crews in earlier playoff rounds.)

  • R — #77 Terry McAulay* (13th season, 10th as referee)
  • U — #124 Carl Paganelli (12th season, Jerome Boger)
  • HL — #54 George Hayward (20th season, Pete Morelli*)
  • LJ — #9 Mark Perlman (10th season, Bill Leavy†)
  • FJ — #33 Steve Zimmer (14th season, Alberto Riverón†)
  • SJ — #78 Greg Meyer (9th season, Clete Blakeman)
  • BJ —#112  Tony Steratore (11th season, Boger)
  • Alternates — Scott Green (R), Wayne Mackie (FJ)

Meyer was the side judge in last year’s Super Bowl, and was therefore ineligible for a Super Bowl assignment this year. Green was the referee in Super Bowl XLIV.

McAulay was the referee in the regular season matchup between the Packers and Bears. The Green Bay–Milwaukee media has made an issue over McAulay after his Week 3 assignment in the Packers–Bears game. The Packers were penalized 18 times in that game. However, with a mixed crew no correlation between the regular season and the conference championships can be made.

Jets at Steelers

Crew members are listed with their regular season head referees. Those whose regular season crews officiated a playoff game are indicated with a * for the wild card playoffs and † for divisional playoffs. (Officials on the conference championship crews are replaced on the crews in earlier playoff rounds.)

  • R — #85 Ed Hochuli† ( 21st season, 19th as referee)
  • U — #53 Garth DeFelice (13th season, Clete Blakeman)
  • HL —#28 Mark Hittner (14th season, Hochuli†)
  • LJ — #100 Tom Symonette (7th season, Hochuli†)
  • FJ — #25 Bob Waggoner (14th season, Gene Steratore*)
  • SJ —#125 Laird Hayes (16th season, Mike Carey*)
  • BJ — #105 Dino Paganelli (5th season, Gene Steratore*)
  • Alternates — Ron Winter (R), Boris Cheek (FJ)

Interestingly, Hochuli’s crew was divided in half this postseason: three officiated under Jeff Triplette in the divisional playoffs and Hochuli has two of his crew members. (One was a first-year official, and was therefore ineligible.)

Dino Paganelli is officiating in his first year of championship game eligibility. He will be eligible in future seasons for a Super Bowl assignment, having worked a conference championship game.

We find Cheek’s placement on the alternate roster to be interesting. Officials are graded for postseason assignments by a percentage of correct calls and scores of written exams. However, there are two subjective categories: decisiveness and professionalism. Although the evaluations are kept secret, we wonder if Cheek’s post-game remarks defending his officiating to a Buccaneers cornerback caused him to be moved from an on-field to an alternate position.

Photo credits: United States Air Force (top), Thinh Nguyen

Ben Austro
Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

2 thoughts on “Hochuli, McAulay head title game crews; Anderson earns 2nd Super Bowl nod

Comments are closed.

Top