|Born||Jerome Leonard Boger
1955 (age 60–61)
|Occupation||NFL official (2004–Present)|
Jerome Leonard Boger (// BOH-gǝr; born 1955) is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 2004 NFL season. He wears uniform number 23 since 2006; before that, he wore uniform number 109. He started in the league as a line judge and was promoted to referee in 2006 after two seasons. Along with Gene Steratore, he was one of two new referees for 2006, replacing retired officials Bernie Kukar and Tom White. Boger became the third African-American referee in the NFL after Johnny Grier (1988), who previously wore uniform number 23, and Mike Carey (1995).
Boger played quarterback at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia as a four-year starter and graduated in 1977. Realizing that he did not have the football skills to make it on a professional level, he decided to get into officiating, allowing him to stay close to the game. He started working high school and recreational league games before moving up to small colleges. He spent 11 years in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and five seasons in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference from 1996 to 2000.
Boger was promoted to referee in 2006.
Boger served as referee for a game between the Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans during the 2006 season. In the third quarter of the game, Titans' defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth was ejected for stomping on the head of Cowboys offensive lineman Andre Gurode. Haynesworth received a five-game suspension as a result of the incident, the longest suspension for an on-field incident in NFL history.
During a 2011 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and St. Louis Rams, Boger was announcing a holding penalty against Rams' offensive tackle Harvey Dahl, when his open microphone picked up Dahl proclaiming "That's not fucking holding!" The obscenity was not only broadcast to the crowd at the Edward Jones Dome, but to the television audience watching on CBS as well. Dahl was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for his profane rant.
Boger was chosen to be the referee of Super Bowl XLVII, held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on February 3, 2013, only the second African-American to do so behind Mike Carey five years earlier. His selection sparked some controversy: several other NFL officials questioned the leagues' officiating department's grading process, claiming that all of Boger's downgrades during the season were reversed. He was also the alternate referee of Super Bowl XLV, which was held on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.
Boger's crew was involved in two controversial calls during a St. Louis Rams–San Francisco 49ers game at Levi's Stadium on November 2, 2014. Just before halftime, Rams' return specialist Tavon Austin attempted to run back a missed 55-yard field goal attempt by 49ers' kicker Phil Dawson from out of the end zone, and after crossing the goal line, he was tackled at the 1-yard line by the 49ers' Derek Carrier, and into the end zone for what was nearly a safety. However, Boger explained: "The ruling on the field was that the ball carrier (Austin) brought the ball out onto the field of play, and that there was contact by the defender (Carrier) that forced him back into the end zone." Near the end of the game, with the 49ers trailing 13–10 and out of timeouts, quarterback Colin Kaepernick attempted a quarterback sneak at the Rams' 1-yard line for a potential game-winning touchdown. However, Kaepernick fumbled the snap before the football broke the plane of the goal line under a pile of players. Boger ruled that there was nothing on the replay that could change the original ruling on the field, in which the Rams recovered the fumble.
Boger's 2015 NFL officiating crew consists of umpire Rich Hall, head linesman John McGrath, line judge Jeff Seeman, field judge Dave Meslow, side judge Walt Coleman IV, and back judge Tony Steratore.
- Smith, Michael (2003-09-21). "Program gets minority candidates in the game". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2006-09-04.
- "Alumni classes, 2007-2008" (PDF). A Guide to Giving, 2007-08 & 2006-07. Morehouse College. p. 21.
- Spofford, Mike (2006-08-08). "Training Camp Report: Boger's Father Gets Official Promotion". Green Bay Packers. Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
- "Jerome Boger". NFL and NCAA Referees. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Neumann, Thomas. "Ed Hochuli, Mike Carey, Alberto Riveron top Page 2's Referee Rankings". ESPN - Page Two. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Austro, Ben (2013-01-20). "NFL fixed grades for desired Super Bowl ref". Football Zebras.com. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
- Adelson, Eric (2013-01-25). "Officials question NFL's process for selecting Super Bowl referee". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
- Gutierrez, Paul (November 2, 2014). "Referee Jerome Boger clarifies two 49ers controversial calls". ESPN. Retrieved November 2, 2014.