Sarah Thomas will be first woman official at Super Bowl; Carl Cheffers to ref

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
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The NFL announced the officiating crew for Super Bowl LV on Tuesday.

Carl Cheffers has been named the referee for the game. He was the referee for Super Bowl LI and has officiated 17 playoff games over the course of his career.

Down judge Sarah Thomas will be part of Cheffers’ crew. Thomas will be the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl. She is also the first woman to officiate any NFL game.

“Sarah Thomas has made history again as the first female Super Bowl official,” NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said in a statement. “Her elite performance and commitment to excellence has earned her the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honor.”

Umpire Fred Bryan, line judge Rusty Baynes, field judge James Coleman, side judge Eugene Hall, back judge Dino Paganelli, and replay official Mike Wimmer make up the rest of the crew. Coleman joins Thomas in making their Super Bowl debuts while the other officials will be working in the game for the second time.

36 responses to “Sarah Thomas will be first woman official at Super Bowl; Carl Cheffers to ref

  1. Did I get this comment in before everyone chimes in with their “The NFL is so ‘woke’ now” comments?

  2. The fact her name has never been brought up in even a small controversy shows that she is doing her job at a high level. If she was making mistakes you would hear about it.

  3. Congratulations to her. The best thing anyone can say about her is that we never talk about her. The only time we talk about refs is when they blow it. We never hear her name.

  4. Lets makes huge deal about it. Need interviews and the hypetrain so the NFL can look good.

  5. Well congrats to her. Hopefully she made it based on performance and not because of her gender.

  6. How old is she? Just wondering if ageism is thrown out the window for male officials who actually worked their whole lives to get a chance to be there vs. those who “absolutely were” fast-tracked.

  7. As long as the woman is a good official, it shouldn’t matter what gender the person is.
    Uh oh….that’s not PC

  8. Pretty sure she’s mid-40s

    “ springfield says:
    January 19, 2021 at 2:29 pm
    How old is she? Just wondering if ageism is thrown out the window for male officials who actually worked their whole lives to get a chance to be there vs. those who “absolutely were” fast-tracked.”

  9. For those who claim she is doing a great job because she is never talked about, how much have you heard about Jerry Bergman, Derick Bowers, Ed Camp, Mike Carr, Kevin Codey, Mark Hittner, Patrick Holt, Frank LeBlanc, Dana McKenzie, Jim Mello, David Oliver, Kent Payne, Jerod Phillips, Danny Short, Tom Stephan and Patrick Turner? Nothing? Maybe it’s just that down judges are never talked about, and we have no idea how good she is at her job.

  10. It’s sad that we can’t say congrats without some doubt of a quota being filled. If they’re among the best who cares about gender or color. Todays news coverage forces us to be skeptical.

  11. I think it’s great Sarah will be a part of the crew officiating the Super Bowl.

    I will say that I am not a fan of the ref of her crew, Carl Cheffers. Cheffers is a little flag happy and I hope he doesn’t try to get max TV time during the Bowl.

    Sarah is also aging well. Looking good at 47.

  12. deanr says:
    January 19, 2021 at 3:04 pm
    For those who claim she is doing a great job because she is never talked about, how much have you heard about Jerry Bergman, Derick Bowers, Ed Camp, Mike Carr, Kevin Codey, Mark Hittner, Patrick Holt, Frank LeBlanc, Dana McKenzie, Jim Mello, David Oliver, Kent Payne, Jerod Phillips, Danny Short, Tom Stephan and Patrick Turner? Nothing? Maybe it’s just that down judges are never talked about, and we have no idea how good she is at her job.
    /////////
    And you felt compelled to post something to cast doubt on her abilities. You should ask yourself why that is.

  13. I’ve seen several games that she was officiating and unless you saw her run in for a call on the line or side lines you’d never know she was there. That’s the sign of a good official.

    Quota or not how much bad officiating have we had over the years? Refs get the opportunity based on performance so obviously she’s done very well.

    Congrats to Sarah the Ref not the gender.

  14. I’m guessing she’s part of the Hoculi crew. Every game I watched, they were the most flag happy crew! I don’t recall seeing her flag much but this crew took the place of the Walt Coleman/Walt Anderson as the crew that made you cringe when you watched a game they were officiating. Just saying…

  15. Her effectiveness as an official is difficult to judge from watching TV, but she seems to do a good job. I cannot recall seeing do anything that I disagreed with, so I have every confidence that she has been selected on merit and not based upon NFL virtue signaling. Congrats to Sarah.

  16. Carl Cheffers. Great memories of him in Super Bowl LI.

    “This could get interesting”

  17. They should maybe let her get water for the players. That’s it. I can’t watch a poorly officiated game due to wokeness. How many fire women carry big dudes down ladders? There are just some things they can’t do. I’d like to see a 220 pound safety at full speed “accidentally” light her up. Maybe I’m still bitter from my divorce.

  18. springfield says:
    January 19, 2021 at 2:29 pm
    How old is she? Just wondering if ageism is thrown out the window for male officials who actually worked their whole lives to get a chance to be there vs. those who “absolutely were” fast-tracked.

    *****************

    Mid 40s. We used to work for the same company (her day job). No fast tracking here. She’s been in the NFL a long time and officiating has been in her blood for much longer. No question that she’s a committed NFL professional who has earned her way to the Super Bowl.

  19. She’s good. I’m glad she’s doing the super bowl. For years we’ve complained about how awful the refereeing in the NFL has been, and it’s been done exclusively by men 100%. I don’t understand how anyone wouldn’t be open to the possibility of changing something that’s awful, and something we complain loudly about. I’m lying. I completely understand. Lots of men hate women. Lots of women hate men too. I’m not judging anyone. It’s just really sad. But Sarah Thomas hadn’t harmed any of us.

  20. Congratulations on breaking new ground. And as a bonus: she gets to see KC hoist their second Lombardi at field level 😀

  21. How inspiring for all little girls. First we have the first black woman vice president and now this. We are truly blessed that the long standing oppression of women of all color now appears to be changing.

  22. She broke her wrist in a Vikings v Packers game back in December 2016 when she was bowled over on the sidelines. She left the game to get checked and soon returned.

  23. springfield says:
    January 19, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    How old is she? Just wondering if ageism is thrown out the window for male officials who actually worked their whole lives to get a chance to be there vs. those who “absolutely were” fast-tracked.
    ————-

    My Health teachers husband was an NFL ref and believe me, ageism didn’t mean a thing or rather it did because he blew several calls and yet got a pass due to seniority based on his age. This was long before instant replay…

  24. This is awesome! Great for the NFL! HOWEVER…..why is America so hung up on gender and color? The fact she is tops in her field and qualified to officiate on the biggest stage in the NFL should be more than enough. She has earned it plain and simple.

    Im just waiting for the first transgender German African Native Asian American to officiate an NFL game. America, you are too hung up on gender,sexuality and race. You continue to shove it down our throat and most of us are gagging and regurgitating it back up. Why? Because the majority of us do not care, we care if the individuals can do the job they were hired to do professionally and effectively with precise skill.

  25. She was the ref that correctly called Leveon Bell in the end zone against the Chargers when Mike Vick was a Steeler. Hasn’t been mentioned since. Probably a good thing.

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