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Football Zebras > 2015 Postseason > Pete Morelli selected as 2016 Pro Bowl referee

Pete Morelli selected as 2016 Pro Bowl referee


Pete Morelli has been selected as the referee for the 2016 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. This will also be George Hayward’s last game as he is set to retire after 25 years in the NFL.

         Yrs 2015 crew College Occupation
R 135 Pete Morelli 19    St Mary’s high school principal
U 71 Ruben Fowler 10 Morelli Huston-Tillotson retired firefighter
HL 54 George Hayward 25 Corrente Missouri Western vice-president and manager, warehouse company
LJ 5 John McGrath 14 Boger Kentucky vice president of sales
FJ 116 Mike Weatherford 14 Steratore Oklahoma State energy trader
SJ 21 Jeff Lamberth 14 Wrolstad Texas A&M attorney
BJ 27 Lee Dyer 13 Wrolstad Tennessee-Chattanooga sales manager
ALT 119 Greg Wilson 8 Corrente USC law enforcement

Head linesman John McGrath will work as a line judge in this game.

As in the past two years, the Pro Bowl will be “unconferenced”, with Pro Bowl selectees being drafted onto teams headed by Hall of Fame receivers Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice. The officials assigned to a Pro Bowl are generally the most senior member in their position who are not working a playoff game and who also have not worked a Hawaii-based Pro Bowl. The league and the union have made exceptions to the seniority rule for certain commemorations, such as a retirement.

Morelli was at last year’s Pro Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., as the recipient of the Art McNally Award, recognizing a career of achievement in officiating.

There are no replay reviews in the Pro Bowl, although there was an exception to last year’s game to test out tablet devices for replay. But, yes, there are penalties in the Pro Bowl.

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27 thoughts on “Pete Morelli selected as 2016 Pro Bowl referee

  1. my goodness i see they dont put much respect for the pro bowl my goodness. I just dont get why walt anderson didnt get a playoff game

  2. I thought Walt Anderson was out for a portion of the season. Usually the NFL will bypass an official that was out for a significant amount of time (although I forget how many weeks he was out).

  3. In other words, terribly sorry we burdened you with a horrible crew – including a bad publicity stunt.

    So, here is a free trip to Hawaii!

  4. Morelli is one of the great ones and deserves this honor – good ref and even better human being

  5. I am sure Morelli is great but his crew sucked this year and why he gets rewarded for this is awful. Vernatchi had a bad year, Thomas was overwhelmed as a rookie and Dale Shaw is probably going to get canned this year or next.

  6. Will- from what I saw – the U was terrible in a game I watched. And, the HL is just okay.

    In other words, Pete had a lot of work to do

  7. I know Pete personally and have had many discussions over the years about officiating. He comes from the same officiating association as I do. Pete is a great person and has been a fine official over the years. We all have made mistakes, granted at the professional level and well paid officials should not be making mistakes, but darn it, he is human! I to get frustrated when I see professional officials screw up a call. One on one conversations with Pete reveals detailed explanation and often times the calls are dictated by the leagues interpretation and how the league wants its officials to manage a game, wheat her we as observers agree or not. Pete will be the first person to tell you that a mistake does not define you and you have to pick up the pieces and move forward. I’ll look forward to seeing and speaking with Pete again this year at our annual officials clinic when he and several other professional & college officials will be on hand.

  8. Pete is a great official. It is unfortunate the NFL saddled him with an incompetent crew.

  9. Ed from CA. Excellent human comment we need more of that on this blog as well as others. Officials are humans and deserved to be treated as such

  10. From the sidelines is 100% correct. I’m sure Pete is a great person on and off the field. He carries himself that way.

  11. Morelli just turned 64 and going to Honululu. I wonder if he is retiring, perhaps with some encouragement.

  12. If you are an official you understand that although the R is the Crew Chief he did not pick his crew nor can he control totally what they do. In Pete’s case he had a below average U, a rookie LOS who was there ONLY to be ‘politically correct’ and a BJ who never was a very good college official but again was put there for ‘other reasons’. To Pete’s credit, he took the hits and did not throw anyone under the bus UNLIKE what Mcaulay did to his crew. Word has it #77 put the blame for the fiasco in NY on the BJ and obviously shielded himself. Strange how not very many from his crew were assigned to playoffs compared to Big Ed Hoculi’s crew. Officiating is more then just making the right call, especially if you are the Crew Chief! You’d be shocked to see how many questionable or bad calls are supported by the NFL office. The calls are graded by who made the call vs. if the call is correct or not. Too much politics in all of this. JUST PICK THE BEST PEOPLE AND LET THEM OFFICIATE!

  13. Al, are you saying that McAulay was responsible for handing out an ejection for a flag thrown by the back judge? There are some things that are crew responsibilities (down, clock, 11 men), but it’s fishing in someone else’s pond to tell the deep officials what to call when your vantage point is behind the QB.

  14. Ben, what say you regarding the last sentence of Al’s rant?

    Do you think the league is picking the best people to officiate. Or is there a problem with nepotism and bias towards non whites? There is a perception that the league is not hiring the best. Would be interested in your point of view.

  15. Ben Not when you are mcaulay. He has a history of dominating the crew and the game. Plus it was reported in the media that his supervisor informed him the league would support ejections and he still did not react. Take a look at the cheap shot by Beckhmam. He is no where to be found on the play and he had to have a view of it. Perfect time for him to step up and insert himself. The action was well within his line of sight and he would not have been fishing in another pond. Heck the U threw a flag on the play on the Carolina player, but not the R. BTW, I am a Giant fan and still think Beckham should’ve been thrown out.

  16. The league is hiring officials for ‘other’ reasons then being a great official. That is the issue.

  17. Al, why are you blabbering yet again about your prejudices toward the man and the system? It makes you sound like either a jealous hater or someone who’s hiding a giant man crush…just like 90% of the posters here lately unfortunately.

    Also you make it sound like “dominating the crew and the game” is a bad thing when in actuality it’s a GOOD thing.

  18. Wade, it’s pretty obvious you’ve never officiated any sport let alone football, so I’ll take what you say with that in mind. Selection to the NFL staff should be strictly on merit without anything else being considered. That is not the case any more. I’m not jealous of anyone or anything because I’ve been there and done it for many years. Fans go to watch the players play, not the officials officiate. When one official decides he is going to be the ‘show’ that is not a good thing. The fiasco in NY was blackeye to officiating and everyone on the crew, including the R should’ve been taken to task for it. Somehow the R escaped and I’m just wondering how? Dominating the crew or the game is NOT a good thing. Having respect for the game and the crew is a GOOD Thing.

  19. Can anyone go into detail on the purpose for attaching a camera-looking device onto the brim of Pete Morelli’s hat in the game?

  20. Looked like a microphone to me. Just an opportunity to add more sound to the game when the playcall discussion is noncritical.

  21. You know what would be fun? If the NFL had a live and unedited microphone near the players at all times during the game.

    Ah, the things the fans would here.

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