Jerome Boger will lead the officiating crew tonight. That name likely means little to you, because he’s not a referee with small buses for arms, and he also hasn’t embarrassed himself on national TV yet while trying to explain a fundamental rule. In time, Jerome. In time.
Among his officiating brethren, Boger being named the lead ref tonight was controversial because of alleged grade skewing. In short, officials are graded each week on their game performance, with the league using a points system to evaluate its referees. Ideally, that leads to the best possible zebras working during the playoffs, and especially tonight during the championship game. However, a report earlier this week quoted other officials who alleged that grades are being altered constantly, and only for certain people. Boger, reportedly, was among them.
But whatever. We’re stuck with the Boger man tonight (sorry). So who is Jerome Boger, and how does he work? Welp, let’s meet him, stats style.
The fine folks over at Pro Football Reference have a number for pretty much every conceivable event in a football game. So of course they also chart the digits which surround an official’s performance. Boger has been an NFL official for nine years, and a referee for seven while working a total of 135 games.
Here’s how his career breaks down:
The home and away variances clearly aren’t especially notable tonight on a neutral site. But the total penalty numbers and penalty yards are interesting.
There’s a contrast over the past two seasons. This year Boger was a little more conservative, as he was a full penalty below the league per game average. But that’s a steep tumble down from his average last year of 16.2 penalties per game, which was nearly four penalties more than league average.
Consequently, Boger also handed out far more penalty yardage in 2011 than he did this year. At 133.8 yards per game last season, he significantly eclipsed the league average (106.8). But this year his yardage is below 100 for the first time since 2008.
Oh, and here’s a nice little diddy for you degenerates. The over/under total tonight is currently set at 48, and over the 12 games Boger’s worked this year, the average point total has been 42.8. Just sayin’.