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Former NFL officiating chief Seeman dies at 77

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Jerry Seeman, a longtime NFL referee who later was the NFL's supervisor of officials, died Sunday at home in Blaine, Minn., at age 77.

He fought cancer for more than three years.

Seeman was the referee in Super Bowl XXIII (San Francisco 49ers 20, Cincinnati Bengals 16, in Miami) and Super Bowl XXV (New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19, in Tampa, Fla.). In all, he refereed 15 playoff games and two Pro Bowls during an on-field career that ran 1975-90.

In 1991, Seeman took over as the league's chief of officiating.

"Jerry modernized and improved NFL officiating during his 10 seasons leading the department," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "He was very proud of being a football official, and he always made the NFL proud through his skill, integrity, and professionalism."

Seeman's son, Jeff, told the (Saint Paul, Minn.) Pioneer Press newspaper Monday, "He was a competitor. He loved to figure out mathematical problems and football rules test questions. He was a walking rulebook."

Jeff Seeman, 50, is a 12-year NFL on-field official. He was the line judge Sunday night when the New England Patriots beat the Denver Broncos.

"He passed at 7 p.m. and the kickoff was 7:30," Jeff Seeman told the Pioneer Press. "The last game he really watched was (Baltimore Ravens-Chicago Bears) the week before in Chicago with all that weather, the tornadoes and stuff. ... We talked quite a bit about it. That was the last one we got to talk about."
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