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Like father, like son: a new father-son tandem will officiate an NFL game this week

In the storied 103-year history of the NFL, we have seen many sons of former players suit up for professional football careers of their own. Among the officiating ranks, the same rings true. This weekend, the newest father-son tandem in stripes will officiate a preseason game together — only the fifth time a father and son have officiated an NFL game on the same crew.

In May, field judge Tra Boger was named as one of the 10 new on-field officials hired by the league for the 2022 season. He officiated in the SEC, the USFL, and was a safety on the Green Bay Packers training camp team in 2006. When hired as an NFL official, his name rang a bell to even the most casual football fan, as his father, Jerome, has been an NFL official since 2004, and a referee since 2006.

While there have been 15 different father-son officiating families represented in the NFL, much fewer have overlapped in their respective careers. As a result of this, since fathers and sons have traditionally not been assigned to the same regular season crew, the officiating department will make sure that the younger official can get the opportunity to work a preseason game with his dad.

All father-son duos whose careers have overlapped have worked a preseason game together. Jerome and Tra Boger will be officiating this weekend’s game between the Jaguars and Falcons in Atlanta.

There have been more father-son combinations in the NFL than you’d think:

  • Tony Veteri, Sr. (HL 1961-83) and son Tony Veteri, Jr. (HL/LJ 1992-2016)
  • Jerry Bergman, Sr. (HL 1966-95) and sons Jeff (1991-present) and Jerry Bergman, Jr. (DJ 2002-present)
  • Bob Rice (BJ/SJ 1969-86) and son Jeff Rice (U 1995-2019)
  • Dick Ferguson (FJ/SJ 1974-84) and son Keith Ferguson (BJ 2000-present)
  • Dave Parry (BJ/SJ 1975-89) and son John Parry (SJ/R 2000-18)
  • Jerry Seeman (LJ/HL/R 1975-90) and son Jeff Seeman (LJ 2002-present)
  • Dick McKenzie (SJ/LJ 1978-1994) and son Dana McKenzie (LJ/DJ 2008-present)
  • Stan Kemp (SJ/R 1986-92) and son Alex Kemp (SJ/R 2014-present)
  • Ron Baynes (SJ/LJ 1987-2000) and sons Allen (FJ/SJ 2008-present) and Rusty Baynes (LJ 2010-present)
  • Jim Quirk, Sr. (LJ/U 1988-2008) and son Jim Quirk, Jr. (FJ/BJ/SJ 2010-present)
  • Walt Coleman (LJ/R 1989-2018) and son Walt Coleman IV (SJ/LJ 2015-present)
  • Ed Hochuli (BJ/R 1990-2017) and son Shawn Hochuli (BJ/R 2014-present)
  • Gary Slaughter (HL 1996-2007) and son Tab Slaughter (U 2020-present)
  • Steve Freeman (FJ/BJ 2001-20) and son Brad Freeman (SJ/BJ 2014-present)

Of that list, Jeff and Jerry Bergman, Sr., the Hochulis, the Freemans, and the Colemans had the opportunity to work a preseason game on the field together. This week, Jerome and Tra Boger get to join that short list.

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Cameron Filipe
Cam Filipe is a graduate student at Boston University and has been involved in football officiating for ten years. Cam is entering his second season as a high school football official. This is his seventh season covering NFL officiating for Football Zebras.

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