As John Parry and the Super Bowl LIII crew prepare for the big game on Sunday, here are a few notes I found as I analyzed the crew.
1. Bergman sets a gap record
Jeff Bergman’s Super Bowl appearance this Sunday will set a record for the number of years between Super Bowl assignments.
Bergman (pictured above) returns to the Super Bowl after a 22-year gap. His first assignment was Super Bowl XXXI.
The previous record holders are deep judges Scott Steenson (17-year gap) and Don Hakes (14-year gap).
2. Parry joins rare company
John Parry officiates in his third Super Bowl on Sunday.
Parry is only one of two officials to call multiple Super Bowls as a referee, who also called a Super Bowl at another position. Parry called Super Bowl XLI as a side judge and Super Bowls XLVI and LIII as a referee.
Gerald Austin is the only other official to pull off that feat, calling Super Bowl XXIV as a side judge and Super Bowls XXXI and XXXV as a referee.
The only other referees to call at Super Bowl as a white hat and at another position are:
- Bernie Ulman (Super Bowl I as a head linesman and Super Bowl IX at referee)
- Dick Hantak (Super Bowl XVII as a back judge and Super Bowl XXVII as a referee)
- Bill Carollo (Super Bowl XXX as a side judge and Super Bowl XXXVII as a referee)
- Bill Leavy (Super Bowl XXXIV as a back judge and Super Bowl XL as a referee)
- Scott Green (Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII as a back judge and Super Bowl XLIV as a referee)
- Walt Anderson (Super Bowl XXXV as a line judge and Super Bowl XLV as a referee)
3. Two second-generation NFL officials
Parry and Bergman are the sons of the late NFL side judge Dave Parry and the late head linesman Jerry Bergman Sr. The elder Parry officiated Super Bowl XVII and the elder Bergman officiated Super Bowls XIII, XVI, XVIII and XXIII.
The other father-son combinations to have called a Super Bowl are:
- Tony Veteri as head linesman (Super Bowls II, VII, XIII, and XV) and Tony Veteri Jr. as head linesman (Super Bowl XXXV).
- Bergman Sr. as head linesman (see above) and Jerry Bergman, Jr., as down judge (Super Bowl LII).
- Bob Rice as side judge (Super Bowls XVI and XX) and Jeff Rice as umpire (Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII, and 50).
- Jerry Seeman as referee (Super Bowls XXIII and XXV) and Jeff Seeman as line judge (Super Bowls XLIV and LI).
- Dick McKenzie as line judge (Super Bowls XXV and XXVII) and Dana McKenzie as head linesman (Super Bowl XLIX).
- Ron Baynes as line judge (Super Bowls XXIX and XXXIII) and Rusty Baynes as line judge (Super Bowl 50).
4. Experience counts
Since Super Bowl XXXIV in January 2000, this is only the fifth time where more than half of the crew had at least one prior Super Bowl under its belt.
- (all 7 crew members) Super Bowl XXXVIII, headed by Ed Hochuli, each with 1 prior Super Bowl, only the second time all officials had a prior Super Bowl (XII, 6 officials, the year before the side judge was added)
- (5) Super Bowl XXXIV, headed by Bob McElwee, with 14 prior Super Bowls (a record), including the record fifth Super Bowl for umpire Ron Botchan and field judge Al Jury
- (5) Super Bowl LII, headed by Gene Steratore, with 7 prior Super Bowls
- (4) Super Bowl XLVI, headed by Parry, with 6 prior Super Bowls
The fewest in that span was 1 experienced official, which happened 4 times, most recently with Super Bowl XLVII. The only times there were shutouts of prior experience were Super Bowls I (naturally), II, and IV.
5. What’s in a number?
For all of you numerologists, there are four officials on Sunday’s crew that have jersey numbers over 100:
- John Parry, 132
- Ed Camp, 134
- Eugene Hall, 103
- Terrence Miles, 111
But, the record for the number of officials with 100 or more on their jerseys are five from Super Bowl XLVI:
- John Parry, 132
- Carl Paganelli, 124
- Gary Arthur, 108
- Laird Hayes, 125
- Tony Steratore, 112
The first official to wear a jersey over number 100 in a Super Bowl was Dick Hantak as a back judge (now field judge) in Super Bowl XVII. The highest number worn is the highest number ever on an officiating roster (not including officials in training or replacements), number 135 by the retiring Pete Morelli who worked Super Bowl XXXVI between the Rams and the Patriots as a field judge.
The last Super Bowl that didn’t have at least one on-field official with a triple-digit jersey number was Super Bowl XLIV.
There are only four referees with a jersey over number 100 to work a Super Bowl:
- Dick Hantak, 105 (Super Bowl XXVII)
- Bill Leavy, 127 (Super Bowl XL)
- John Parry, 132 (Super Bowls XLVI and LIII)
- Gene Steratore, 114 (Super Bowl LII)
And to answer a final question: Yes, I’m that much of a nerd.