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4 officiating things I’m looking for during Super Bowl LIII

Here’s what I’m watching for from the Super Bowl LIII officials.



It’s here. Six months of football culminate in Super Bowl LIII. 

While the Rams and Patriots do battle on the gridiron, my eyes will be focusing on the Super Bowl LIII officiating crew. Here’s what I’m looking for as I zebra watch.

1. The coin toss

The Super Bowl coin toss is the most scripted coin toss in all of football. Sometimes it is hard enough to do it smoothly in a run of the mill game, but with a ridiculous crush of people attending the ceremony at the Super Bowl, it can be a little overwhelming.

That’s why the NFL rehearses the coin toss with the entire crew.

This will be Parry’s third Super Bowl, his second as a referee. He is calm and cool under pressure, but I’m sure the butterflies will be fluttering.

2. Contact in the secondary

The the past years during the playoffs, the officials have appeared to let more contact go than in the regular season.

The officials want to “make it be there” and not have the Super Bowl decided on a marginal foul. But, that philosophy may have bitten the officials two weeks ago.

We’ll know within the first few contested passes what the pass interference base line is for the game.

3. Crew presence

In the past few Super Bowls, we’ve seen the crew have great presence during dead-ball periods.

The past few crews were quick to get between players who were starting to have a problem with one another and showed excellent preventative officiating techniques. The officials snuffed out powder kegs without having to flag players or let the keg explode and ruin a great game.

We’ve only had one Super Bowl ejection. Rest assured that Parry’s crew will do everything they can to keep it one ejection.

4. We need a clean game

The biggest thing Parry’s crew, and everyone associated with the Super Bowl, hopes to have is a clean game. Parry doesn’t want to have to speak to a pool reporter about a controversial ruling or call. The conference championships featured enough of that.

Here’s hoping all the calls are out in the open and all replays have clear and obvious evidence to confirm or change.

Best wishes to the Super Bowl LIII crew. May only the fans of the officials remember your names when the confetti flies.

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?"