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Hochuli's top-rated crew gets nod

HOUSTON -- Ed Hochuli will referee Sunday's Super Bowl
between New England and Carolina, along with two other members of
his regular-season crew, the top-rated in the NFL this season.

It will be the second Super Bowl as a referee for Hochuli, a
lawyer from Phoenix. He also did the 1998 game between Denver and
Green Bay and was the alternate last season.

This is the first season officials were rated by crew in an
effort to keep units intact for the playoffs.

Head linesman Mark Hittner and field judge Tom Sifferman also
served on Hochuli's crew and will officiate at the Super Bowl. The
other four members did not meet the criterion for the Super Bowl --
five years experience and at least one other championship game.

They will be replaced by umpire Jeff Rice, line judge Ben
Montgomery, side judge Laird Hayes and back judge Scott Green, who
ranked highest at their positions.

The alternates are referee Bill Carollo, umpire Jim Quirk and
field judge Bill Lovett.