Greg Meyer '81 refs in Super Bowl

Former TCU pitcher has officiated NFL games as side judge since 2002 season.

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by Rick Waters '95
Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

NFL official Greg Meyer '81 was the side judge for Super Bowl XLIV between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts.

When Greg Meyer '81 pitched for the Frogs in the late '70s and early '80s, umpires knew who he was – the guy who yelled a lot.

"I was pretty hard on some of those Southwest Conference umpires," he admits now.

Today, Meyer is the one hearing flak from the fans, players and coaches, but he's hearing it in the National Football League. In February, he worked Super Bowl XLIV between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints as the side judge. It was his first Super Bowl.

Under the NFL officiating program's evaluation system, the highest-rated eligible officials at each position earn the right to work the Super Bowl. Super Bowl officials must have at least five years of NFL experience and previous playoff assignments. Meyer completed his eighth year and has worked five playoff games.

Meyer, who started refereeing peewee football after his day job as a way to pick up some extra cash in the early 1980s, began his NFL officiating career in the 2002 season. He's number 78.

"It's been quite a thrill with all the new stadiums. I consider it a privilege to work for the NFL," says Meyer, who worked his way up through the high school, college (Division I and II) and NFL Europe ranks. "NFL athletes do unbelievable things and the action is extremely quick. It requires complete concentration and focus. You can never relax."

On the day before a game, Meyer and his fellow crew members spend at least four hours preparing. Come game day, he and fellow officials meet with the head coaches of each team, the replay officials and the network television crew three hours before kickoff. "It's quite a choreographed effort," he says.

He previously worked on the collegiate level with the Western Athletic Conference and Big 12. His postseason assignments included the WAC championship game, Outback Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Hula Bowl.

While the travel can be taxing, Meyer has managed it thanks to his family (wife Debby, daughter Morgan and son Reid) and support from co-workers at his day job as a vice president for TexasBank in Fort Worth. He lettered on the diamond from 1978-81 for the Horned Frogs.

"I enjoy it," he says. "The weekends can be challenging, but football officiating has provided many great opportunities for me."

 

 

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