Even before kickoff of Super Bowl XLVIII, we know of seven men who are guaranteed to get rings after the game. They are Terry McAulay, Carl Paganelli, Jim Mello, Tom Symonette, Scott Steenson, Steve Freeman and Dave Wyant.
If you're not an NFL junkie, you might not recognize those names. They will be the men in stripes officiating the game, and hopefully calling a clean one. (After this season's refereeing gaffes, it's hard not to be a little cynical.)
In this piece for FoxSports.com, analyst and former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira explains that — as referees are people, too — they also receive Super Bowl rings. Maybe not the 75-carat whoppers that teams design these days, but some solid bling nonetheless.
The Super Bowl ring. The officials get Super Bowl rings just like the players do. They aren't as big as the players' rings, but they are still valuable pieces of jewelry. These rings mean the world to the officials and they wear them with such pride.
And just like the players, Pereira explains, the referees are hard at work doing film study of the teams, trying to familiarize themselves with the combatants, their styles and trends. They have to be ready for anything on Sunday.
Assuming we have a clean game — something Pereira is praying for — McAulay's crew will have earned their rings. Now, if they make a bad call or two ... heck, don't even get started on that track with Seattle Seahawks fans who are still miffed about Super Bowl XL.
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