SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Larry Nemmers has seen the game from almost every angle.
“I worked, I think, 740 preseason games, regular season games, playoff games, and three Super Bowls,” Nemmers said.
KOLR10 spoke to him Friday about his perspective of the biggest game in the NFL season and the pressure put on officials.
‘You get the best of the best in the National Football League work in the Super Bowl, the playoffs. The pressures are there, and are there every game,” Nemmers said. “Once the game starts, you don’t feel that kind of pressure anymore. You’re relying on your instincts and what’s taught you to get there.”
This week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters the officiating in the NFL has never been better.
“My opinion personally is that the officiating probably isn’t as good as it used to be, but that’s because of society today,” Nemmers said.
Local football fans are also weighing in on the officiating this season.
“I’ve seen a lot of bad calls and I’ve seen a lot of injured players this year. And I’m not all about putting dresses on football players.” Richard Snell said. “The referees make a lot of calls that are kind of borderline that they didn’t need to call.”
“Anybody that complains about the officiating ought to try it themselves.” Brad Youngs said. “You can’t take the human element out of officiating. Unlike Major League Baseball, going to the strike zone, certainly, you take the good with the bad.”
The leader of this year’s crew is Carl Cheffers, who was the head referee in Super Bowl LV, in which the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31 -9.
“I know Kansas City fans aren’t enamored with Carl,” Nemmers said. “Personally, I think Carl is one of the best, probably the best of the top three officials in the National Football League.”
You’d be surprised to hear Nemmers’ favorite Super Bowl moment, had nothing to do with the actual game.
“[At Super Bowl XXV], to stand on the sideline between Jim Kelly and Bruce Smith, to hear Whitney Houston sing The Star-Spangled Banner, one of the greatest star Spangled banners ever sung was a tremendous thrill of a lifetime,” Nemmers said.