The Super Bowl is already the most watched sports event of the year but Lynn fans have another reason to view the National Football League’s championship game with interest.
Jim Mello, a Lynn native and 1975 graduate of St. Mary’s High School, will be one of the referees in the big game Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Mello, an NFL referee for a decade, will serve as the head linesman for the showdown between the AFC champion Denver Broncos and NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. Terry McAulay will be the head referee in charge of the crew that includes an umpire, a head linesman, line judge, field judge, side judge, and back judge.
Refereeing in the Super Bowl is considered an esteemed honor as the selection of referees for the game is based on an evaluation procedure of their performance during the regular season.
Mello is no stranger to working the most significant games in football. In 2004, Mello and Lynn native Gary Dancewicz worked together in the Sugar Bowl matching Oklahoma and LSU for the national championship. Mello has also been a referee for the AFC and NFC championship games.
Mello grew up on Henry Avenue in Lynn and attended St. Mary’s Grammar School before moving on to St. Mary’s High School where he played football, basketball, and baseball.
“They were the best four years of my life,” Mello told the St. Mary’s Educator in an interview. “I had a great education and made great friends for life. Even today, after 30 years, we still have the bond.”
More than 100 million people in the United States are expected to watch the Super Bowl live on Fox Television. The game will also be televised live in Europe.
(Information and direct quotes from The St. Mary’s Educator were used in the compilation of this story).