Imagine going to a job where you have thousands of people hurling insults at you and wishing bodily harm to you and your family.
For Jerome Boger of Conyers, Georgia, that's the reality every Sunday. He’s probably not complaining, though, since he will reportedly be headed to Super Bowl XLVII as the head NFL referee.
There has been some controversy surrounding Boger being selected to officiate the big game. There are allegations that the NFL selected him based on favoritism, instead of merit. He’s worked three divisional playoff games as a referee in nine years. However, he’s never worked a conference championship game or a Super Bowl.
Controversy aside, Boger has been around football for most of his life.
Boger was a four-year starting quarterback at Morehouse College in Atlanta. After graduation, he spent time officiating in high school and recreational league games. From there, he became a referee for college games, spending 11 years in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conferences and five in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Boger joined the NFL officiating crew in 2004 as a line judge before being promoted to referee two years later. He'll be the third African-American (after Johnny Grier and Mike Carey) to referee the Super Bowl.
When Boger’s not donning the black-and-white stripes on Sunday afternoon, he’s an underwriter for Allstate Insurance.
Football genes must run in the family as Bower's son, Tra, played for both the Green Bay Packers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’s now a graduate assistant coach for the Tulane Green Wave football program.