On Feb. 11, 49-year-old Terry Killens will make history as the first person in the NFL to have played in the Super Bowl and officiate one. After playing with the Tennessee Titans 24 years ago, Killens will be an acting referee over the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII.
Killens told CNN that although he never aspired to be a referee initially, he’s thankful to be an official over a game he loves and respects.
“It’s a culmination of all the hard work and dedication I’ve put in, but it’s just not me,” 49-year-old Killen said, “It’s a group of people kind of starting from the beginning with my late wife, Rhonda. I remember she would be the one to get our seven-year-old son together for his National Youth Football games while I would be out working a JV game somewhere on a Saturday morning.”
Even though Killens and the Titans didn’t win, he remembers the experience fondly.
“That experience was great for me because I got to enjoy it with my family. Many people came down to Atlanta,” he recalled. “I was living in Nashville at the time. Just all the sounds and the parties and the celebrities that were all in Atlanta for that Super Bowl Sunday was tremendous, and we had a great time. The game was great.”
Killens admitted that he never really saw himself as becoming an official after retiring.
“During my playing career, I didn’t even know who the officials were. I never talked to an official,” he told the outlet. “I don’t even think an official had ever come and talked to me. It was just one of those things where, when I was retired, I was looking for that feeling I got when I was a player, kind of like that camaraderie, that locker room feel.”
“I wear the stripes because I love the game of football. When we wear the stripes, we are guardians of the game,” Killens explained. “There is no game; there is no contest without the officials.
“The officials make sure that the game is played fairly and the rules are enforced. So at that point, I wear the stripes because I love football.”
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Source: Black Enterprise