SPRINGFIELD — Both Grant Wistrom and Larry Nemmers live in Springfield and reminisced on their big game moments.

Certainly, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest Sundays of the year, ut what is it like for those who get to take part in it?

There are two people that live in Springfield that can attest. Former Rams Defensive End Grant Wistrom and Hall of Fame Referee Larry Nemmers shared their experiences with Ozarks First Reporter/Anchor Jesse Inman this week.

The Super Bowl. It has become more than just a championship game. It has become an annual piece of history, a moment in time for fans. It’s a dream come true for those who spend a career trying to live in that moment.

“I was in the NFL for 34 years. 23 on the field, 18 as a referee and crew chief, and the last 11 in the replay booth,” says Nemmers.

“I was in the 1997 draft, sixth overall pick to the St. Louis Rams,” says Wistrom.

Wistrom and Nemmers both had very different roles on the football field, but they each had the same goal: getting to a Super Bowl. It’s something they each accomplished 3 times.

“I played in our first Super Bowl there, Super Bowl 34 against the Tennessee Titans,” says Wistrom. “After that 2 years later, we played the Patriots where Tom Brady got his first of too many Super Bowl wins. Then my 2nd year out in Seattle, I got to play in another Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers and lost.”

Getting to be part of a Super Bowl is just as important for referees as well.

“That’s the epitome of what we aim to do. I’ve been involved in 3 of them. Super Bowl 25, 35, and 46. The goal is to work one. Once you get that one, the pressure is off the table,” Nemmers says.

Of course, there are things from the game itself that stick with them.

“The legendary one was Super Bowl 25. The Silver anniversary, between Buffalo, their first Super Bowl, and the Giants. Scotty Norwood missed a field goal with 3 seconds left,” Nemmers recalls.

Super Bowl 34 ended as dramatically as it could while Wistrom was on the field.

“Mike Jones, Missouri Favorite, made the tackle at the 1-yard line to win the game,” Wistrom says.

But, it’s those pieces of history and those moments in time that the Super Bowl is responsible for creating. Those moments last forever.

Many of them happen off the field.

“Listening to Whitney Houston sing the Star-Spangled Banner at SB 25. I’m standing on the sideline next to Marv Levy the Buffalo coach. I’m going out for the coin toss and I’m crying like a baby after she’s singing that and thinking I need to get straightened out here,” Nemmer says. “Then I look over at Jim Kelly and he’s crying like a baby too, so it wasn’t a big deal.”

Wistrom loved the chance to interact with fans.

“I don’t think about like, winning the Super Bowl. I think about the parade afterward when I go back to that time. It was just so much fun,” says Wistrom. “To me, the neatest experience was just being born and raised in Missouri, and to win a Super Bowl for a team in Missouri. That was amazing.”

The two Springfieldians shared more about the upcoming Super Bowl between the Chiefs and Buccaneers.

Nemmers explained what he’s watching for from an officiating viewpoint. His former crewmate and close friend Carl Cheffers is the lead official for Super Bowl 55, and he was kind enough to share what they’ve talked about leading up to it. Nemmers also shared thoughts on Sarah Thomas being the first woman who will referee a Super Bowl.

Wistrom breaks down what he’s been seeing from the Chiefs recently, his experience playing against Tom Brady in the big game, and preparation ahead of a Super Bowl.

You can watch that BONUS CONTENT in the video below: