Steve Wilson spent 10 years as an NFL referee where he worked 147 games. Now he travels around the country serving companies and people as a motivational speaker. He joined Chad and Matt Brock on Flight 750 Thursday to discuss his time in the league and his predictions for the upcoming Super Bowl.
Wilson insists that he really had no aspirations to be a referee in the league, it just ended up happening after some time as a referee in lower levels of football competition.
“My dream was just to be the best I could be where I was at. But before I knew it, I was in the Pac-10, then I was called to be a part of NFL Europe and then part of the National Football League. It was a real whirlwind and a dream come true.”
Wilson also discussed the most challenging calls that NFL refs face in their games.
“The toughest call to make is holding…It’s the most critical call just because it seems to happen every play but one of the things we did in the National Football League is we took a look at point of attack, material effect on the play and was there a visible restriction? Those were three things we really had to take a look at, evaluate very quickly and then decide if we’re going to throw our flag or not.”
Wilson also made a couple predictions for how he thought Sunday’s Super Bowl might be called. He maintains that the game probably won’t be called any different than the games in the regular season.
“The things that they will be taking a look at will be what they would during the regular season as well. We’re taking a look at tendencies of the teams we know about. We’ve got San Francisco with a guy that can run the ball from the quarterback position, make sure we see the ball if he’s got the ball – Who’s got the ball so we’re not by mistake ruling the ball down when Kaepernick has it running around the end…On the other side of the ball, you’ve got that little Rice running back. He can find himself almost on the ground. His knee’s not quite there. Let’s make sure we seethe knee down so we don’t take a great run away. So there’s things like that.”
And finally Wilson talked about whether it ever gets annoying that the NFL referees don’t seem to get the respect that they deserve.
“There’s a lot more to this officiating thing that people don’t give us credit for. But that’s alright. Our biggest thrill is that nobody even knows we’re there.”
Take a listen to the interview and be sure to tune in to 750thegame this Sunday as the Ravens and 49ers face off in the Super Bowl. Coverage begins at 11:00am.