Thursday, February 3, 2011
XLV: Walt Anderson is your referee
By Kevin Seifert
You might have heard by now that the NFL has named Walt Anderson the referee for Super Bowl XLV.
(You're out of luck, Terry McAulay.)
Anderson handled one Green Bay Packers game in 2010, their 45-17 victory the New York Giants in Week 16. There were a total of eight accepted penalties in the game, five against the Giants and three against the Packers.
While the referee sets the tone for any crew, it's important to note that the NFL uses "all-star" officials culled from multiple crews for the playoffs. To be eligible for the Super Bowl, all officials must have at least five years of NFL experience and previous playoff assignments. Of that group, the highest-rated officials under the league's evaluation system are chosen.
The chart ranks each of the NFL's 17 regular-season referees by the number of penalties -- accepted and declined -- they called during the regular season. For what it's worth, Anderson was a conservative penalty-caller on a relative scale, ranking No. 12 overall.