Local official shares insight on Super Bowl, NFL season - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local official shares insight on Super Bowl, NFL season

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- More than 108 million people watched Super Bowl XLVII Sunday night, making it the third-most watched event in television history.

Lee Dyer was among those glued to his TV to watch the Ravens beat the 49ers, but he had a much different perspective than those watching as a fan of the game, teams or commercials.

"You feel for the guys because they're your fellow officials," said Dyer, who has been an NFL back judge since 2003. "You're looking at that game and hoping they get the calls correct."

In Dyer's opinion, Sunday night's crew did get the calls correct, including the most controversial one.

In the closing minutes, 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw an incomplete pass in the end zone on fourth down that all but sealed his team's fate. It was intended for Michael Crabtree , who battled through contact from Ravens' defensive back Jimmy Smith and couldn't get his hands on the ball.

No flag was thrown. No penalty called.

"When it's a borderline call like that, you generally don't see the official throw the flag," Dyer said Monday after speaking with the Chattanooga Quarterback Club at Finley Stadium. "Especially in that situation in that big of a game, you let the teams play and let them determine the outcome of the game instead of having the officiating affect the outcome of the game.

"I think it was a good no call."

Remember, officials don't get the luxury of a dozen different slow motion replays. It's a split-second decision based on what they saw in real-time with their own eyes.

Former NFL vice-president of officiating Mike Pereira said Monday the call was correct.

"Both players were hand fighting and when you look at this play in real-time, there's not enough to call pass interference against either player," Pereira wrote Monday for FoxSports.com. "Smith had a quick grab and Crabtree had a quick push-off. Smith went down on the play and the pass fell incomplete.

"It was not an obvious foul and until I looked at it in slow motion, it seemed like no foul at all. It's not a penalty I would want called if I were still VP of Officiating for the NFL."

Dyer has never worked a Super Bowl, so he can't speak to the pressure of that specific situation, but based on his first view of the play he says he would have made the same call.

But when it comes to the power outage that caused a 34-minute delay, the former Baylor School star was definitely thrown for a loop.

"I've never had anything close to that happen to me. I would sit there and probably say 'Wow, what do we do now?'" he said with a laugh. "But the most important thing is just keep communicating with the coaches and officials and find out what the plan of action is.

"In that situation, you pretty much just have to wait until stadium personnel comes down to tell you whether they can get the problem fixed or not. Luckily they were able to get that fixed."

Dyer said this was definitely the wildest season of his career, starting with the highly-publicized officials lockout that forced replacement refs to start the NFL season.

A controversial touchdown call in a Monday night game between Green Bay and Seattle in late September caused such a stir the league hustled to reach a deal, bringing Dyer and his colleagues back by the start of October.

"At the beginning of the year, we weren't sure if we were going back to work or not, but fortunately it all got worked out," Dyer said. "I thought we had a good season. The first couple weeks we were cheered when we came out on the field, which was funny, but we know how it goes.

"In this business you're only as good as your next call. As soon as you make a call the fans don't agree with, they're going to boo you."

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