Bill Vinovich will be the head referee for Super Bowl 49, the NFL announced Tuesday.
Per the NFL's press release,
Vinovich, in his ninth season as an NFL game official, entered the league in 2001 as a side judge and was promoted to referee in 2004. He has officiated five playoff games, including three divisional playoffs. He was the alternate referee for Super Bowl XLVII.
Under the NFL officiating program's evaluation system, officials must be rated in the top tier at their position to be eligible for the Super Bowl. They must have at least five years of NFL experience and previous playoff assignments.
Mike Wimmer is the replay official. The replay assistant is Terry Poulos
Here's the full crew, which is an "All-Star" crew, not Vinovich's normal team.
Super Bowl XLIX officials
" Referee: Bill Vinovich; nine NFL seasons; five career playoff games; No. 52
" Umpire: Bill Schuster; 15 NFL seasons; eight career playoff games; No. 129
" Head linesman: Dana McKenzie; seven NFL seasons; four career playoff games; No. 8
" Line judge: Mark Perlman; 14 NFL seasons; 15 career playoff games; No. 9
" Field judge: Bob Waggoner; 18 NFL seasons; 11 career playoff games; No. 25
" Side judge: Tom Hill; 16 NFL seasons; 13 career playoff games; No. 97
" Back judge: Terrence Miles; seven NFL seasons; three career playoff games; No. 111
As Bob Condotta points out, since 2012,
Seattle is 5-0 in games in which he has been the ref, including a couple of the more notable regular season wins, such as the 2012 home blowout of the 49ers, and the overtime win earlier this season against Denver. He also did Seattle's win at Philadelphia in December.
Vinovich was the head ref for the Ravens-Patriots game a few weeks back when the Patriots ran their four-offensive-lineman formation with success, which drew the ire of Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh. The league has since said that Vinovich did nothing wrong.
Vinovich was in charge of the Seahawks-Niners game in San Francisco this year when Seattle was called for 14 penalties to the 49ers' 3, so that's not the best sign ever. However, interestingly, as Matt Pittman notes, this is the second year in a row that the two Super Bowl teams led the NFL in penalties.
The Seahawks led the NFL in penalties (144) for the second straight season, and the Patriots were second (133). When the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, Seattle was also No. 1 (152) followed by the Denver Broncos (132).
Here's to hoping it's not a flag-filled game, though.