Walt Anderson is referee for Saints-Rams rematch Sunday
When the Saints head west to face the Los Angeles Rams Sunday in a rematch of the controversial NFC Championship game in January, there is certain to be a spotlight on the officiating crew – the clock issues of Monday night’s season opener notwithstanding.
Now we know where the spotlight will land.
Veteran Walt Anderson’s crew will officiate the game, according to the referee-centric website Football Zebras.
Anderson was the referee for Super Bowl XLV and worked another (Super Bowl XXXV) as a line judge.
Here is Anderson’s full crew for 2019, from Football Zebras:
While everyone who has worn a striped shirt has seemingly been in some sort of controversial situation, Anderson’s most noteworthy moment didn’t come by way of a yellow flag or lack thereof. He was the referee for the AFC Championship Game in January 2015 – the game in which the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady were charged with using footballs with a below-standard PSI.
Not surprisingly, in the wake of the NFC title game, where referee Bill Vinovich and two members of his crew were residents of southern California, the Anderson crew has a non-West flavor to it. In fact, it’s mostly southern, with Anderson, umpire Ruben Fowler and line judge Byron Boston all graduates of universities in Texas.
Back judge Keith Ferguson is a graduate of San Jose State – more than 300 miles north of Los Angeles.
Anderson’s crews have been somewhat flag-happy in recent years. According to Pro Football Reference’s database, the Anderson crew has enforced between 1.4 and 1.8 penalties above the NFL average per game in the last three years, with yardage between 14 and 19 percent above average.
The Saints and Rams play at 3:25 p.m. Sunday.
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Lenny has been involved in college athletics since the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…