- The NFL has appointed Bill Vinovich to referee Super Bowl 58 between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers
- Oddly, Vinovich was also in charge of the 2020 Super Bowl between the same two teams
- AFC teams are 2-0 straight up and against the spread in Super Bowl games officiated by Vinovich
The appointment of Bill Vinovich to referee Super Bowl 58 between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers is only serving to add another layer of intrigue to this rematch of the 2020 Super Bowl. Vinovich was also in charge of that game when the Chiefs beat the 49ers 31-20.
The Chiefs are set as 1.5-2 point underdogs to the 49ers for the big game. In Vinovich’s first Super Bowl game, between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, the Patriots won outright, covering as 1-point underdogs. AFC teams are 2-0 straight up and against the spread in the two Super Bowls worked by Vinovich.
Referee Bill Vinovich Super Bowl History
|New England Patriots 28 Seattle Seahawks 24
|Kansas City Chiefs 31 San Francisco 49ers 20
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Kickoff for the 2024 Super Bowl game at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, February 11, is set for 6:30pm ET. The broadcast is being carried by CBS, as well as by DAZN in Canada.
Who Is Bill Vinovich?
Along with working as an NFL referee, Vinovich, 62, also officiates college basketball. He’s been an NFL official for two decades and will become the eighth NFL official to referee three Super Bowl games.
He started as a back judge in 2001 and was promoted to referee three years later. However, after being diagnosed with a heart condition in 2007, Vinovich stepped away from the field and became an NFL replay official. Given a clean bill of health in 2012, he returned to his work as an NFL referee.
Joining Vinovich in the Super Bowl 58 officiating crew are are umpire Terry Killens, down judge Patrick Holt, line judge Mark Perlman, field judge Tom Hill, side judge Allen Baynes, back judge Brad Freeman and replay official Mike Chase. Perlman and Hill are the only others with previous Super Bowl experience.
Vinovich the Under King
Among NFL referees, no one’s games go under more often than Vinovich. The under has hit in 100 of the 169 games he has officiated during his NFL career. That’s the highest under rate of any active NFL referee. Seven of his last nine postseason games went under.
He’s also known for keeping his yellow flag in his pocket. Crews headed by Vinovich have called the fewest penalties on average in six of the past eight seasons. In two of the past three seasons, his crews averaged fewer than 10 penalties per game.
There were 12 penalties in the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl officiated by Vinovich.
NFL Referee Familiar to Chiefs
The 2020 Super Bowl is one of 22 Chiefs games that Vinovich has refereed over the course of his NFL officiating career. The Chiefs are 5-2 straight up in the last seven games they’ve played with Vinovich in charge.
He didn’t work a single Kansas City game during the 2023 NFL regular season or playoffs.
49ers Don’t Fare Well With Vinovich In Charge
Vinovich was on the whistle for one San Francisco game this season. That was in Week 16 when the 49ers dropped a 33-19 home-field decision to the Baltimore Ravens. It dropped San Francisco’s record to 2-4 SU in the last six games that Vinovich has been the referee.
— NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) February 3, 2020
The 49ers faithful still hold grudges against Vinovich for their 2020 Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs. Especially galling to them was a late first-half offensive pass interference call on San Francisco TE George Kittle that wiped out a 42-yard gain.
In the 2020 Super Bowl, the 49ers were flagged five times for 45 yards. The Chiefs were penalized four times for 24 yards.
Vinovich Remembered for 2018 NFC Championship Blunder
The Los Angeles Rams went to the 2019 Super Bowl, much to the chagrin of New Orleans Saints fans. Late in regulation of LA’s 26-23 overtime victory in the NFC Championship Game, Rams CB Nickell Robey-Coleman clearly interfered with Saints WR Tommylee Lewis, but there was no flag on the play. Vinovich was the referee for that game.
4 years ago today, the #Saints suffered the biggest non-call in playoff history on the NFC Championship.#Rams CB Nickell Robey-Coleman committed unpenalized DPI on WR Tommylee Lewis near the end of regulation.
The Rams went on to win 26-23 in overtime.pic.twitter.com/uEhv5EP9Vj
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 20, 2023
Saints supporters refer to the play as the NOLA No-Call. They even organized a petition to have Vinovich and his crew from that game fired. The petition collected almost 150,000 signatures but made no impact with the NFL.