A Philadelphia Story

Written by on February 12, 2018

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS February 12, 2018, #679… A Philadelphia Story
After further review…Whether your T*E*A*M won or lost Super Bowl LII, credit must be given to Philadelphia – “Fly Eagles Fly.” Most fans I talked to liked that the game was free scoring with the lead changing back and forth. The game had thrills, and some chills (it was 8 degrees outside). It was a fun game.
The question I’m always asked, prior to every game, is” who you like,” as if being an NFL referee for 31 years gives me inside information. It doesn’t! But my answer to the question is always the same, “since there are three teams on the field, I root for the officials.” The crew for Super Bowl LII did a great job, but always with the concern “did we get the calls right.” Questionable catches and calls were handled professionally. Credit or discredit usually focuses on the referee (white hat), aka crew chief. Referee Gene Steratore #114 in his 15th year, but his first Super Bowl, handled all calls and announcements expertly. NBC’s Chris Collingsworth commented on air, “Steratore always looks like he is having fun.” Good observation, since this is a g-a-m-e, officials, as well as players and coaches, should be having fun!
Just as important as Steratore, were the other 6 officials in Super Bowl LII. Umpire Roy Ellison worked on Steratore’s crew during the 2017 season, but the rest did not. The crew of DJ Jerry Bergman, LJ Byron Boston, FJ Tom Hill, SJ Scott Edwards, and BJ Perry Paganelli, were given the assignment because of their body of work this year. They worked together as if they had been with each other all season. You probably noticed on several plays officials conferring, being sure they made the correct call.
Philadelphia has been part of my 31 years on the NFL field. In my first year (1960) I was a field judge when the Eagles, with Norm Van Brocklinat quarterback, played the Los Angeles Rams in the L.A. Coliseum; then followed them to San Francisco where they played the next week against the 49ers in Kezar Stadium. Later that year I had the privilege of officiating the Eagles in Franklin Field on the University Pennsylvania campus – loved that venue. I didn’t officiate that infamous December game when the Eagles weren’t very good, and the fans threw snowballs at Santa Claus during halftime. At least a million others told me they were there!
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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

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