After a season of replacement referees, botched calls and lockout-driven controversy, several NFL officials remain deeply upset about the grading system used to choose the referee for the Super Bowl.
"You see grades being changed, constantly being changed, only for certain people," one official told Yahoo! Sports.
"It's disheartening," said another official, "and you never think at this level that would happen. It's the individuals running the show that have created this mess. If you talk to 121 guys, there will be 100-plus who say the system is horrendous."
At issue is an allegation that the NFL selects who will referee the Super Bowl based on favoritism, not solely on merit. This leads to Jerome Boger, the NFL's presumed selection to referee Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3. On Monday, the website footballzebras.com reported that Boger received eight downgrades during the 2012 season and all eight were reversed. Multiple sources with knowledge of the grading system made the same claim to Yahoo! Sports.