Jerome Leonard Boger (// BOH-gər; 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).
Jerome Leonard Boger
1955 (age 63–64)
|Occupation||NFL official (2004–present)|
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. This caused several other NFL officials to question 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 2019 NFL officiating crew consists of umpire Carl Paganelli, down judge Patrick Holt, line judge Rusty Baynes, field judge David Meslow, side judge Jonah Monroe, back judge Tony Steratore, replay official Roddy Ames, and replay assistant R. Smith.
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- "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.
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- 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.
- Filipe, Cameron (2019-06-12). "Officiating crews for the 2019 season". Football Zebras. Retrieved 2019-06-19.