NFL Referee Terry McAulay will be donning the stripes for Superbowl XLVIII. This is his third trip to the big show; he also worked Superbowls XXXIX and XLIII.
Kevin Seifert over at ESPN takes a look at the Superbowl officiating crew:
Terry McAulay had among the lightest of touches for referees during the regular season. His crew called fewer penalties than all but three of the NFL’s 17 crews. So what does that tell us about Super Bowl XLVIII, for which McAulay will serve as the referee?
Probably not as much as we would like. Referees head up “all-star” crews during the postseason, and the alternate makeup can make projections less reliable. Here is what we do know: McAulay’s regular-season crew averaged 12.7 penalties per game during the regular season. His first playoff crew had 14 penalties accepted in the divisional round game between the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, and in two previous Super Bowls (XXXIX and XLIII), his crew had 10 and 18 penalties accepted, respectively.
McAulay’s crew was especially active in the passing game. Despite its low total of penalties overall, it called the fourth most “coverage penalties” — a combination of defensive holding, illegal contact and pass interference. If that trend continues Sunday, defenders will have to be cognizant about the level of physicality they use against receivers.
We’ll see later today just how much of a factor the men in stripes are in the Superbowl.
In the meantime, go read the rest of Kevin’s article at ESPN.