Bill Vinovich back after infamous blown call in 2019

Bill Vinovich back after infamous blown call in 2019


MIAMI – It’s one of the most astonishing pregame storylines of Super Bowl LIV.

Bill Vinovich, whose officiating crew was responsible for what’s widely considered the worst blown call in NFL playoff history, will referee the game Sunday between the Chiefs and the 49ers.

He will be easy to spot among the seven on-field officials because of his white referee cap. But to many in New Orleans, where Vinovich is still a villain, a black hat would be more apropos.

“Oh no,” Saints receiver Michael Thomas wrote on his Twitter account when the league named Vinovich two weeks ago, “he don’t even own any flags (to throw).’’

The jokes and insults started at the end of the NFC championship game last year between the Saints and the Rams.

With 1:49 left to play, Vinovich’s crew missed an obvious pass interference infraction by the Rams and the no-call essentially cost the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl.

Bill Vinovich will be officiating his second Super Bowl when the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers meet Sunday.

Yet here is Vinovich, 58, a certified public accountant in Southern California who also officiates Division I college basketball games, preparing to referee his second Super Bowl in five years.

He can’t publicly comment on the improbable turn of events since officials are off limits to the news media. But his father, Billy Vinovich Jr., and others chimed in with how the backlash has effected Vinovich. 


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