Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Todd Prukop, official on non-call in Seattle game, is on Super Bowl crew


For those Falcons' fans looking to start their, "The NFL is out to get us" conspiracy theories for the upcoming Super Bowl against New England, here's your ignition switch.

The league announced the officiating crew for the game in Houston. One name stands out above all others: Todd Prukop, backjudge.

Remember when streaking Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones was dragged down by Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman in Week 6 but pass interference was not called? It was Prukop who was responsible for making the call in the play. Coach Dan Quinn went ballistic on the sideline on the non-call and even the normally even-tempered Jones complained loudly. (See video)

For what it's worth, ESPN.com recently did a story, titled, "2016 NFL officiating awards: Best and worst calls." Prukop was part of a crew that was singled out -- and was the officially mostly responsible -- for an incorrect ruling in the New York Giants-Detroit game in Week 15. A four-yard pass to Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was ruled a catch despite visual evidence that the ball hit the ground and rolled between Beckham's leg before the wide receiver picked it up.

News of the officiating crew was released after the Falcons' locker room access on Wednesday.

The entire officiating crew for the Super Bowl: Umpire Dan Ferrell (who also worked the Seattle game), head linesman Kent Payne, line judge Jeff Seeman, field judge Doug Rosenbaum and side judge Dyrol Prioleau.

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Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.