Super Bowl XLIX Third Team: The Officials
On Sunday February 1, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (as in every NFL game) there will be a third team in the field: the officials.
But unlike the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, this team is an all-star crew, with the top seven officials from each position in 2014 (referee, umpire, head linesman, line judge, field judge, side judge and back judge) being selected to the Super Bowl.
This year, unlike the past one, we have many players with previous Super Bowl experience, due to the Seahawks playing in last year's NFL title game and the Patriots playing just 3 years ago, but only three of the seven officials have worked at least another Super Bowl.
Let's look at the men who will officiate Super Bowl XLIX.
Referee: Bill Vinovich (No. 52)
This will be Vinovich's first Super Bowl, he is in his 9th season in the NFL (5th as a referee, he was a side judge in his first four seasons). Vinovich was inactive from 2007 through 2011 due to a heart condition, but he returned in 2012. This will be his fifth playoff game as a referee.
Umpire: Bill Schuster (No. 129)
This will be Schuster's first Super Bowl. Schuster is in his 15th season in the NFL and during the regular season he officiates in the crew of referee Walt Coleman. This will be his ninth playoff game.
Head Linesman: Dana McKenzie (No. 8)
This will be the first Super Bowl for McKenzie. The 7-year veteran officiates in the crew of referee Pete Morelli during the regular season. McKenzie's father, Dick, worked two Super Bowls (XXV and XXVII) as a line judge in the early 90's.
Line Judge: Mark Perlman (No. 9)
This will be the third Super Bowl for Perlman (he also worked Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII). The 14-year veteran officiates in the crew of referee Bill Leavy during the regular season.
Field Judge: Bob Waggoner (No. 25)
This will be the second Super Bowl for Waggoner (he also worked Super Bowl XL, but as a back judge). The 18-year veteran, the elder statesman of this year's Super Bowl refs, officiates in the crew of referee Gene Steratore during the regular season.
Side Judge: Tom Hill (No. 97)
This will be the second Super Bowl for Hill (he also worked Super Bowl XL). The 16-year veteran officiates in the crew of referee Brad Allen during the regular season.
Back Judge: Terrence Miles (No. 111)
This will be the first Super Bowl for Miles. The 7-year veteran officiates in the crew of referee Walt Anderson during the regular season.