The officiating assignments for Super Bowl LVII have officially been handed out and the NFL will be going with veteran Carl Cheffers to serve as referee in the game. This will mark the third time that Cheffers has been the referee for a Super Bowl.
His first stint as a ref in the big game came in Super Bowl LI, when the Patriots overcame a 28-3 deficit to beat the Falcons 34-28 in overtime. Cheffers was also on the field for the Super Bowl four years later as the referee for Tampa Bay's 31-9 win over Kansas City in Super Bowl LV.
Getting tabbed to ref two Super Bowls in three seasons is almost unheard of. According to Football Zebras, the last time it happened came in 1988 and 1990 when Jerry Seeman served as the referee for Super Bowl XXIII (49ers-Bengals) and Super Bowl XXV (Giants-Bills).
Cheffers has been an official in the NFL since 2000 when he was hired as a side judge. In 2008, he was promoted to referee and he's been doing that ever since. In his 15 seasons as a referee, Cheffers has been on the field for 17 playoff games. Not only has he officiated two Super Bowls, but he was also the ref for Cincinnati's 27-10 win over the Bills in the divisional round of the playoffs.
One notable thing about Cheffers is that his crew has thrown the most penalty flags in the NFL in each of the past two years, according to NFLpenalties.com. Of course, Cheffers won't be working with his normal crew, so it's possible that number could trend up or down.
Here's a look at how the Eagles and Chiefs have fared over the past five years when Cheffers has served as the ref in one of their games (stats via Pro Football Reference).
- Eagles: 2-2 (1-0 in 2022)
- Chiefs: 9-3 (2-0 in 2022)
Although the Chiefs have an impressive record with Cheffers, fans in Kansas City likely won't be thrilled to see him on Super Bowl Sunday. The Chiefs won two games with Cheffers as the ref in 2022 and both games came with a little bit of controversy. Back in Week 5, Chris Jones got called for a roughing the passer on Derek Carr even though he had stripped the ball away from the Raiders quarterback (You can see the play here). The crowd was so irate that it booed the officials and the Raiders heading into halftime.
Cheffers other game with Kansas City came in Week 15 when the Texans took took the Chiefs to overtime. Although Kansas City would end up winning 30-24, they got penalized 10 times in the game compared to just four for Houston.
The Chiefs also saw Cheffers in Super Bowl LV, a game where they were penalized for 120 yards. On the other hand, the Buccaneers were only hit with 39 yards in penalties in a game that Tampa Bay won 31-9.
The only time the Eagles saw Cheffers this year came in Week 18 when they beat the Giants 22-16. In that game, the Eagles were called for just four penalties, compared to eight for the Giants.
According to the NFL, the rest of Cheffers' crew for the game will be umpire Roy Ellison, down judge Jerod Phillips, field judge John Jenkins, line judge Jeff Bergman, side judge Eugene Hall and back judge Dino Paganelli. Mark Butterworth will serve as the replay official.
Phillips and Jenkins are the only two officials who will be working their first Super Bowl.
Super Bowl LVII will be kicking off from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 12 in a game that will be televised on Fox.