NFL referee choice for Super Bowl LIII is bad news for Patriots, great news for Rams

John Tomase
January 22, 2019 - 1:30 pm

The NFL has announced the referee for Super Bowl LIII, and at the risk of going all Clete Blakeman on you, if history is any guide, the selection clearly favors the Los Angeles Rams.

The referee will be John Parry, a 19-year veteran who became a head ref in 2007. Since then, the Patriots have gone 9-5 with Parry on lead whistle, including a 21-17 loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.

The Rams, meanwhile, are 7-0 with Parry at referee, which means their next loss with him will be their first.

Parry has called some memorable Patriots games. In the second Super Bowl vs. the Giants, his crew largely pocketed their whistles, calling five penalties for 28 yards on the Patriots and 4 for 24 on the Giants. They did, however, whistle Tom Brady for intentional grounding in the end zone on New England's first play, resulting in a tone-setting safety and 2-0 lead for the Giants.

Parry was also making the calls on Sept. 29, 2014 when the Patriots laid an egg in Kansas City before going on to Cincinnati and winning the Super Bowl. The Pats lost that game 41-14, but it's not like it was Parry's fault. The Pats recorded three penalties for 30 yards.

In 2007, Parry whistled the Patriots 10 times for 146 yards in a 24-20 win over the Colts. The penalty yardage total is the second-highest in franchise history.

In a similar vein, just last month Parry and Co. were on the case when the Patriots committed 14 penalties for 106 yards in a 17-10 loss to the Steelers. The penalty total is tied for second-highest in team history, trailing only a pair of 15-penalty games (per football-reference).

The Rams, meanwhile, last saw Parry in the divisional round vs. Dallas, when they claimed a 30-22 victory. They also had his crew in Week 13 vs. the Lions, when they cruised to a 30-16 win.

New England's other two losses with Parry came nearly a decade ago. They dropped a 16-9 decision to the Jets in 2009 and recorded a 34-27 loss to the Texans in the 2010 finale, a game made memorable by Wes Welker's season-ending torn ACL.

All told, Parry has flagged the Patriots an average of six times for 61 yards in 14 games, and the Rams an average of seven times for 68 yards in seven games.