We don’t know who will be playing in the Super Bowl yet, but we do know who will be officiating it and that’s because the NFL announced this week that Bill Vinovich has been tabbed as the referee for the game. This will mark the third time that Vinovich has been the referee for a Super Bowl.
His first stint as a ref in the big game came in Super Bowl XLIX, when the Patriots beat the Seahawks 28-24 in a game that wasn’t sealed until Russell Wilson threw an interception at the goal line in the final 30 seconds. Vinovich was also on the field for the Super Bowl five years later as the referee for Kansas City’s 31-20 win over San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV, which is notable, because it’s possible that he could see the same two teams this year.
With four teams still fighting to get to the Super Bowl, here’s a look at how the 49ers, Lions, Chiefs and Ravens have fared over the past five years when Vinovich has served as the ref in one of their games (stats via Pro Football Reference).
Lions: 2-2 (1-0 in 2023)49ers: 2-4 (0-1 in 2023)Ravens: 7-2 (2-0 in 2023)
Chiefs: 5-2 (0-0 in 2023)
If the Ravens and 49ers end up playing in the Super Bowl, Vinovich would be seeing those two teams play each other for the second time this season and that’s because the veteran official was the referee when Baltimore beat San Francisco 33-19 back on Christmas Day.
The Chiefs are the only remaining team that didn’t have Vinovich as a ref for a single game this year.
Vinovich has already worked one postseason game this season and that came on Sunday when he served as the referee in the Lions’ 31-23 win over the Buccaneers in the divisional round.
The 63-year-old Vinovich just finished up his 18th season as an NFL official with 15 of those coming as a referee. Vinovich has actually been an official since 2001, but he had to take a few years off starting in 2007 after experiencing a serious heart condition.
According to the NFL, the rest of Vinovich’s crew for the game will be umpire Terry Killens, down judge Patrick Holt, field judge Tom Hill, line judge Mark Perlman, side judge Allen Baynes and back judge Brad Freeman. Mike Chase will serve as the replay official.
This will be the fourth Super Bowl for Perlman and Hill, who also worked with Vinovich in Super Bowl XLIX. On the other hand, Killens, Holt, Baynes and Freeman will be officiating in the Super Bowl for the first time.
Super Bowl LVIII will be kicking off from Allegiant in Las Vegas on Feb. 11 in a game that will be televised on CBS and streamed on Paramount+.