The Detroit Lions have bottomed out a bit in terms of their 2019 season, and at 3-6-1, the concern now shifts regarding how to finish rather than any potential playoff push.
To that end, the role the referees play in if the Lions win or lose seems to be minimizing more than a bit, but in a season in which the Lions didn’t get any help from the officials, it’s still important to monitor who will be making the calls for the team. In Week 12, that’s Bill Vinovich.
This week, Vinovich was revealed to be the referee for the team’s game against the Washington Redskins from FedEx Field, and he’s been no stranger to recent controversy during his time calling games in the league thus far.
Bill Vinovich History
Since 2004, Vinovich has been an NFL referee doing his previous work as a side judge. He joined the league in 2001. After coming into the league, Vinovich has worked in numerous playoff games including Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. The last playoff game he worked took place between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams. That day, of course, was marred by Vinovich and crew electing not to call obvious pass interference on a play, which led to an uproar from the Saints and their vans given the call could have changed the direction of the game.
As for Vinovich himself, when he’s not a referee, he’s a CPA as a piece by Heavy.com’s Danielle Dwyer revealed. Here’s a look at what she wrote on Vinovich’s second career:
“In 1983, Vinovich graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in accounting. During college he also played for the Torero football teams in the 1981 and 1982 seasons under coach Bill Williams.
Following college, Vinovich started working as a CPA – certified public accountant.
As previously stated, he joined the NFL as a referee in 2001, and he began officiating college basketball.”
Vinovich now has experience as one of the longest tenured referees in the entire NFL given some of the retirements that have played out the last few seasons.
Bill Vinovich History With Lions
While Saints fans have an obvious gripe about how Vinovich blew one of their games, Lions fans have not had such a run in with Vinovich to this point in his career. In 2018, he only refereed one Detroit game, overseeing the season opening blowout loss to the New York Jets. In 2017, Vinovich also called one Lions game, a 14-7 Detroit win over Minnesota on the road.
As a whole, Vinovich has only worked a total of three Detroit games in the last three seasons, and none of them have been remarkable in a dramatic way, certainly not as dramatic as the game he officiated last year in the postseason. Given the year the Lions have had with the referees, they will take such a scenario playing out again this weekend.
The hope for Lions fans is Vinovich avoids an egregious mistake this weekend on the field.
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