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4 historic facts related to this year’s Super Bowl crew




I enjoy historic aspects of NFL officiating and as we get ready to zebra watch in Super Bowl XLVIII here are some interesting nuggets regarding officiating in the Super Bowl.

Field judge Scott Steenson sets the record for most years between return trips.  Steenson worked Super Bowl XXXI, and makes his return 17 years later.  The previous record was held by Don Hakes at 14 years.

Terry McAulay’s third Super Bowl assignment as a referee ties him with Bob McElwee, Pat Haggerty, Norm Schachter, and Jim Tunney with the second-most assignments as a referee.  (Gerry Austin, and Scott Green have worked three Super Bowls, but at least one of those assignments was at a position other than referee.).  Jerry Markbreit has worked the most Super Bowls as a referee, with four.

Carl Paganelli is on a Super Bowl roll.  Paganelli has been assigned four out of the last 10 Super Bowls as an umpire.  Believe it or not, that is not the best Super Bowl streak.  That streak is owned by the late Bob Beeks.  The line judge was assigned five out of ten Super Bowls between 1980 and 1990.  Paganelli joins Ron Botchan, Al Conway, and Art Demmas as the only umpires assigned to four Super Bowls. (In Botchan’s case, five.)

Five officials hold the record for officiating five Super Bowls: the aforementioned Beeks and Botchan, line judge Jack Fette, field judge Al Jury, and field judge Tom Kelleher. (Kelleher was listed as back judge, but the position names were actually switched at that time.) Will any current member of the officiating roster join or surpass the “fab five?”  Well, both Paganelli and McAulay are under age 55, and they both have a good chance, in my opinion.

You can look here for a complete list of Super Bowl officials.

Photo: Carl Paganelli (center) and Terry McAulay (right) have a combined seven Super Bowl Assignments between them. (San Francisco 49ers photo)

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"