GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Players work their whole lives dreaming of stepping on the field and playing in the Super Bowl. It’s just as big of an accomplishment for the referees calling the game.
Grand Rapids native Carl Paganelli will be calling Superbowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, NJ, a dream come true for him and his brothers.
Each of the Paganelli brothers has called a Super Bowl. Perry and Carl called Super Bowl XLI together in Miami.
Paganelli’s family members Carl ranked first in points from good and bad calls out of all other umpires in the NFL this season. But he is best known for a controversial call that resulted in Patriots quarterback Tom Brady being called for a safety in Super Bowl XLVI.
Daughters Carley and Crysta and his wife Cathy are his biggest cheerleaders and, yes, they get to go to the Super Bowl, too.
“It’s an experience I wish everybody was able to have, because it’s just awesome,” Cathy said.
They say calling four Super Bowls in nine years takes a lot of work and sacrifice for Carl. “He’s studying nonstop all night, and it’s something that he really works hard for,” daughter Crysta said.
But they say it’s all worth it as the anticipation grows for Super Bowl XLVII.