Report: NFL officials question Jerome Boger’s selection as Super Bowl referee
Several NFL game officials are questioning the league’s grading system and the selection of Jerome Boger as referee for Super Bowl XLVII, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Footballzebras.com reported that Boger and other officials were informed of their Super Bowl assignment on Jan. 15.
On Monday, footballzebras.com reported that the eight downgrades Boger received during the 2012 season were reversed, wiping his slate clean. Multiple sources with knowledge of the grading system made the same claim to Yahoo! Sports.
The accusations allege that the NFL’s selection of Super Bowl officials involves favoritism along with performance merit.
While officials who spoke to Yahoo! Sports say Boger is not the NFL’s worst referee, they allege that his performance was not among the league’s best referees in 2012.
The system allows for downgrades or “dings” to undergo an appeal process that includes a review by supervisors and the league. The league, reportedly, can alter or erase a downgrade without explanation.
“You see grades being changed, constantly being changed, only for certain people,” one official told Yahoo! Sports.
“It’s disheartening,” said another official, “and you never think at this level that would happen. It’s the individuals running the show that have created this mess. If you talk to 121 guys, there will be 100-plus who say the system is horrendous.”
“[Boger] shouldn’t even be eligible for the game,” one said. “Everybody basically knows what’s happening. You see when grades appear, and when grades mysteriously disappear. Any incorrect call or missed call will disappear for no reason at all.”
“Before one snap, you may already know who four of the seven Super Bowl refs are,” said one. “Who they favor and who might be next. Some guys are Teflon, other guys are Velcro.”
One official told Yahoo! Sports “diversity” was a reason for assigning Boger to the Super Bowl. Boger is African-American, and that official said, “This is a way to take care of that.”
NFL vice president of communication Michael Signora denied that “Boger’s grades were treated differently from those of any other official.”
“all postseason assignments are based upon the individual performance of each official at their respective position. The highest-rated officials at each position that qualify for the Super Bowl are selected to work the Super Bowl.”