Over the past two decades (and maybe even further back) the Super Bowl has generally been free of any truly controversial referee moments. Well, except for 2005 (sorry, Seahawks fans).
That, of course, is exactly how it should be, and exactly how the NFL wants it. The league selects the highest-ranked referee team for the Super Bowl assignment each season, and therefore the big game is mostly decided by the players on the field, not the zebras. See: Eli Manning, 2007, in the grip, swallowing whistle, catching helmet, etc.
This year’s Super Bowl will be no different, with the NFL announcing that Ron Torbert and his team will be assigned to the big one. It should be music to the ears of football fans who hate incessant flags, which is literally everyone who watches football:
As many have already pointed out, Torbert and his team called out the third least number of penalties in the NFL this season (only Tony Corrente and Bill Vinovich called less). You love to hear it, but, more importantly, Torbert is on top of his game when the flags are fluttering, as evidenced by this video of Torbert perfectly remembering 19 different penalties in a video clip from last season that recently resurfaced :
We rag a lot on officials (often with good reason), but we do not praise nearly the good enough. It’s not an easy job, so the guys who do it well deserve a little love. Torbert is one of them. Now, please Ron, don ‘t let us eat these words two Sundays from now on.