I don't even want to know what is going on behind the curtain! - Jared Wickerham
We break down the officials for Saturday's 49ers-Packers divisional round playoff game.
One of the more under-reported parts of any game week is which referees and officials will be handling what duties on game day. The folks at FootballZebras.com do an excellent job of figuring out the referee crews working every game, every week. And on a side note, feel free to fire away with captions for this picture of Jerome Boger checking out the instant replay.
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They have done another solid job this week, particularly since the playoff crews are compiled from multiple crews. The regular season involves a crew of officials generally working together all year. However, once the playoffs start, the crews are compiled of the "best" officials from the regular season (explained further below). The 49ers-Packers game will include the following officials (names linked to their PFR page; jersey #, followed by years experience in parenthesis):
Referee: Jerome Boger (23 - 9 years)
Umpire: Darrell Jenkins (76 - 11 years)
Head Linesman: Kent Payne (79 - 9 years)
Line Judge: Mark Steinkerchner (84 - 19 years)
Field Judge: Scott Edwards (3 - 14 years)
Side Judge: Greg Meyer (78 - 11 years)
Back Judge: Dino Paganelli (105 - 7 years)
Alternates: Walt Anderson (upfield), Thomas Symonette (line), Keith Washington (deep)
Replay Official: Bill Spyksma
Replay Assistant: Terry Sullivan
Supervisor: Ed Coukart
Observer: Phil Luckett
Last week, Football Zebras had a rundown of how playoff assignments are determined. According to them:
Officials are ranked based on accuracy of calls and scores in written rules tests. Subjective criteria weight the rankings, such as professionalism, decisiveness, pace of the game, and fitness. The highest ranked officials at each position are placed in the Super Bowl, the next highest will go to the Conference Championship games, continuing down through the Divisional Playoffs and the Wild Card Playoffs.