Hey there, fellow Ref Heads!
It’s that special time of year again when the two best teams in the NFL go head-to-head to finally crown a champion. But the real show, as always, is going to be that sweet, sweet refereeing. It has been an exciting playoffs, as the referees have called every penalty from delay of game to illegal motion, and frankly, we can’t get enough!
If you’re reading this I’m 100 percent certain you already know the RefRo (referee roster) for the big game, but just in case you’re a referee greenhorn, let’s break it down.
It’s truly an all-star crew consisting of Todd Prukop (BJ), Dyrol Prioleau (SJ), Doug Rosenbaum (FJ), Jeff Seeman (LJ), Kent “Here Comes The” Payne (HL), Dan Ferrell (U), with Tom “The Siff” Sifferman on the replay, and headed up by the GOAT Carl Cheffers (R).
Wowza! Are you kidding me?! We are in for a treat, my friends! This is surely going to be one for the books, so here are a few things to keep an eye out for.
1. Dyrol Prioleau’s flawless flag toss.
If you’ve been following Dyrol at all this season you probably noticed already that his flag toss has improved tenfold since last year. It’s pretty obvious he spent time in the offseason working on it and it has really paid off big time. I’ve noticed significant improvement in arc and distance, and frankly, it’s a thing of beauty.
Look at that sucker fly! Knowing the aggressive play style of Atlanta’s corners and New England’s wide outs, it’s all but guaranteed we’ll get to see a few of these tosses on Super Bowl Sunday, which is more than enough reason to tune in.
2. Nobody signals a good field goal quite like Todd Prukop.
Ever since Todd’s first game on Sept. 13, 2009, when the New Orleans Saints hosted a dismal Detroit Lions team, I have admired his good field goal signal. Some refs simply “have it” and it’s apparent that Todd does.
That’s him on the left there (obviously) and while he definitely nails it from the front-on angle, he certainly pulls it off from the back-side angle, too.
Does it get any better than that? I think not! You’ll definitely want to keep any eye out for Mr. Prukop on any field goal attempts.
3. Kent Paynes authoritative goal line decision making.
One of the most tumultuous aspects of NFL refereeing comes down to the crucial call at the goal line, where any hesitation can lead to disaster in a hurry. A bad call there can stall an entire crew’s momentum, which could make or break a game. But don’t worry, with Kent Payne’s steady hand on the wheel, the goal line will be a flawless area of execution for this squad. Take a look at this critical call from the Patriots – Texans matchup.
Quick and decisive. A real pro. And look at that form!
Fear not. The goal line is in safe hands.
4. The touchback king: Doug Rosenbaum.
Doug Rosenbaum has always held the crown for the touchback ever since his Nov. 5, 2006, Chargers vs. Browns game (and I think we all agree), but he’s fallen off the map as of late, partly due to the fact that up-and-comer referee Brad Allen has had some really nice touchback calls this season. But to me, Doug will always be the king and I, for one, can’t wait to see him in action this Super Bowl Sunday. Here’s an outstanding touchback call from the week 17 Bengals-Ravens game.
Touchback form that pretty deserves a closer look.
Gorgeous. The potential to spot a Doug Rosenbaum touchback should make any kick off interesting.
5. The swift and graceful timeout signal of Jeff Seeman.
A truly great timeout signal is hard to come by. It’s the bread and butter of referee signaling and every ref thinks they’re the best at it. But let me assure you that that is simply not the case. In my opinion, it gets no better than 15-year veteran Jeff Seeman, and I think you’ll agree after you take a look a this beaut he unleashed during the Steelers-Chiefs playoff game.
Let’s just take a closer look, in case you don’t quite agree with me yet.
Agree with me now? Yeah, I thought so.
6. Carl. Freaking. Cheffers.
Uhhh, yeah. There are no words that do this king among men justice, so let’s just take a look at undeniably, the greatest move in his arsenal: the personal foul.
Most refs don’t touch the “double signal” but when you’re Carl damn Cheffers, you do whatever the hell you want.