Pete Morelli Biography, Age, Net worth, Wife, Officiating career, Referee, Retires, NFL Schedule

Pete Morelli is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1997 NFL season and the president of Saint Mary’s High School in Stockton, California. He wore uniform number 135. As an official in the NFL, Morelli is known for working Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 as a field judge.

Pete Morelli Biography

Pete Morelli (Peter Danie Morelli) is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1997 NFL season and the president of Saint Mary’s High School in Stockton, California. He wore uniform number 135. As an official in the NFL, Morelli is known for working Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 as a field judge.

Pete Morelli Age

Pete Morelli was born on November 18, 1951, in San Joaquin County, California. He is 67 years old as of 2018.

Pete Morelli Net worth

Pete Morelli earns his income from his businesses and other related organizations. He also earns his income from his work as a football official in the National Football League. He has an estimated net worth of $ 3 million dollars.

Pete Morelli Wife

Pete Morelli is married to Cindy and they both have two sons, Matt and Dan. He lives in Stockton, California with his family.

Pete Morelli’s Photo

Pete Morelli Officiating career

Early years

In 1971, aged 19, Morelli began officiating with his father and two uncles, Joe and Tony Morelli. He started with the California Interscholastic Federation, working high school football games. He was inducted into the St. Mary’s High School Hall of Fame in November 2007, where he is president. He also received the Art McNally Award in 2015.

For his performance, he was assigned playoff and championship games. He later progressed to the college level, officiating in the Big West Conference and Western Athletic Conference. He was selected to work eleven playoff games, including the 1996 Liberty Bowl.

NFL career

Morelli was hired by the NFL in 1997 as a back judge, then switched to field judge after the league swapped position titles in 1998, and was promoted to referee with the start of the 2003 NFL season following the retirements of Dick Hantak and Bob McElwee.

Morelli’s 2018 NFL officiating crew consists of umpire Steve Woods, down judge Steve Stelljes, line judge Jeff Seeman, field judge Anthony Jeffries, side judge Boris Cheek, and back judge Keith Ferguson.

Morelli officiated the AFC divisional playoff game in January 2006 between the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers. In the fourth quarter, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu intercepted a Peyton Manning pass and in the process, he fumbled the ball, then recovered.

Colts head coach Tony Dungy challenged the call, and upon review on instant replay, Morelli overturned the ruling. Following the game, Morelli said, “He was losing it while his other leg was still on the ground. Therefore, he did not complete the catch. And then he lost the ball.”

A day after the game, the NFL released a statement confirming that Polamalu made the interception, refuting the overturn call of Morelli. Mike Pereira, then the league’s vice president of officiating, said, “[Polamalu] maintained possession long enough to establish a catch. Therefore, the replay review should have upheld the call on the field that it was a catch and fumble.”

On November 2007, he was the referee of a game between the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. Towards the end of regulation, Browns placekicker Phil Dawson attempted a 51-yard field goal to tie the game and force an overtime period.

The ball ricocheted off the left upright, broke the vertical plane of the crossbar, and bounced off the stanchion and back over the crossbar and onto the field. Initially, field judge Jim Saracino and back judge Keith Ferguson signaled the kick was no good. After a five-minute discussion among the officials, Morelli announced over the public address system that he would “take a look at this play”.

Upon arriving at the instant review booth, Morelli was informed by replay assistant Howard Slavin through headphones that field goals are not reviewable. Ferguson “felt more strongly” that the ball had crossed through the goal posts and based on this, Morelli declared that the field goal was good. As a result of this incident, a rule change was passed during the ensuing offseason, making field goal attempts that bounce off the goal post reviewable under instant replay.

Morelli was the referee of the NFC Championship Game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints on January 24, 2010. Saints’ Bobby McCray made a low blindside hit on Vikings quarterback Brett Favre that appeared to have violated the “Tom Brady Rule” in which defenders can’t hit quarterbacks below the knees.

He later agreed that it was a missed call and a penalty flag should have been thrown. This, along with two other hits on Favre that did draw penalty flags from Morelli’s crew, later became one of the many examples cited in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, in which the Saints were accused of operating a slush fund that paid out bonuses for in-game performance in violation of NFL rules.

Morelli was the referee for a prime-time NFC game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Carolina Panthers on October 12, 2017, both 4-1 leading into the match-up and battling for the NFC Conference lead. Morelli and his crew made history, penalizing the Eagles 10 times for 126 yards while penalizing the Panthers one time for one yard.

This was the first time in NFL history that one team had over 120 penalty yards while the other had less than 10. Morelli’s final NFL game as a referee was in 2019 Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida, along with Walt Coleman. They both retired after that game.

Pete Morelli Referee

NFL Referee Pete Morelli has a clear and statistically obvious bias against the Philadelphia Eagles. Over the last four games that he has officiated that the Eagles were playing in, the Eagles have flagged a total of 40 times for 396 yards, while the Eagles opponent in those games were flagged a mere 8 times for 74 yards. This is unacceptable and puts the Philadelphia Eagles at a disadvantage. Preventing Morelli from refereeing Eagles games will result in a more trustworthy and honest NFL. This will benefit the entire league and keep all claims of conspiracy to a normal level.

Pete Morelli Retire

The NFL referee Pete Morelli announced Morelli and Walt Coleman will retire from officiating at the end of the season, which leaves two open referee positions available for 2019.

Morelli and his officiating crew made NFL history in the Eagles’ 28-23 win over the Panthers in 2017, the final Eagles game Morelli officiated. The game had the biggest discrepancy of penalty yards between two teams ever.

This was the first time in the 99-year history of the NFL one team had over 120 penalty yards while another team had less than 10. The Eagles finished with 10 penalties for 126 yards while the Panthers had one penalty for one yard.

Morelli and his crew had skewed penalty numbers against the Eagles in their last four games officiating the team. The Eagles have been called for 40 penalties for 396 yards while their opponents have just eight for 96.

The numbers were so poor Eagles fans actually started a petition to the league to ban Morelli from calling games, which over 70,000 signed. NFL head of officiating Scott Green took a shot at Eagles fansand their disdain of Morelli after the news broke to him.

“Claims like these demonstrate a fundamental lack of knowledge about NFL officiating,” Green said. “The passion of NFL fans and teams are a big part of what makes the game so great. However, it’s no excuse for the irresponsible and baseless claims we’ve seen lately.”

Pete Morelli Troy Polamalu

The NFL said the referee made a mistake: Troy Polamalu caught the ball. The league acknowledged Monday that referee Pete Morelli erred
when he overturned on replay Polamalu’s interception of a Peyton Manning pass Sunday in the playoff game between Pittsburgh and Indianapolis.

Mike Pereira, the league’s vice president of officiating, said in a statement that Morelli should have let the call on the field stand. “He maintained possession long enough to establish a catch,” Pereira said. “Therefore, the replay review should have upheld the call on the field that it was a catch and fumble.”

After the reversal, made with 5:26 left in Pittsburgh’s win over the Colts, Indianapolis went on to score a touchdown and a 2-point conversion, cutting the Steelers’ 21-10 lead to 21-18. That led to a wild final few minutes, filled with unbelievable twists and turns, including Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt’s missed 46-yard field goal attempt that clinched it for Pittsburgh.

On the play, Polamalu made a diving catch of Manning’s pass, tumbled with it in his hands and got up to run. As he did, he fumbled the ball, then recovered. Colts coach Tony Dungy challenged the call, and Morelli ruled Polamalu had not completed the catch. Had the call stood, the Steelers would have had the ball at their own 48 with an 11-point lead.

“I had the defender catching the ball. Before he got up, he hit it with his leg with his other leg still on the ground. He never had possession with his leg up off the ground, doing an act common to the game of football. He was losing it while his other leg was still on the ground. Therefore, he did not complete the catch. And then he lost the ball. It came out, and so we made the play an incomplete pass.”

Under league officiating procedure, an “act common to the game” is defined as controlling the ball long enough to hand it, pitch it or pass it. But Pereira noted that this definition only applies when there is “contact with a defensive player and the ball comes loose, which did not happen here.”

The NFL almost never makes public the result of its reviews, although it did three years ago when Pereira said officials should have called pass interference against San Francisco on the final play of a wild-card game with the New York Giants. The correct call would have given New York a second chance to kick a game-winning field goal in a 39-38 loss.

The call in Indianapolis incensed Pittsburgh linebacker Joey Porter, who said after the game: “I know they wanted Indy to win this game; the whole world loves Peyton Manning. But come on, man, don’t take the game away from us like that.” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello had no comment on Porter’s statement. In the past, players who have made such statements have been subject to fines.

Polamalu’s overturned interception wasn’t the only unusual call. Earlier in the game, when the Steelers were preparing to go for a fourth-and-inches from the Pittsburgh 48, two Colts defensive lineman ran across the line of scrimmage, pointing at the Steelers as if one of the linemen moved.

The officials stopped the game but called no penalty. Replays appeared to show Alan Faneca barely flinched. But Steelers coach Bill Cowher argued the Colts made contact with the linemen, which would have forced an offside call and a first down. Instead, Ben Roethlisberger ran a quarterback sneak for a first down, which allowed Pittsburgh to use another 5:02 before punting.

Pete Morelli NFL Schedule


League Averages




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155 1202 9.69 75.13 48.19% 0.54% 11.81 97.59 -1.74% -0.10% -2.12 -22.46
2007 16 1 Referee 77 83 48.13% .313% 160 1269 10.00 79.31 47.16% 0.57% 11.40 89.79 +.97% -0.26% -1.40 -10.48
2008 15 0 Referee 69 83 45.39% .667% 152 1135 10.13 75.67 50.36% 0.57% 11.30 90.08 -4.97% +.10% -1.17 -14.41
2009 16 1 Referee 74 90 45.12% .813% 164 1447 10.25 90.44 49.08% 0.58% 11.87 97.57 -3.96% +.23% -1.62 -7.13
2010 16 1 Referee 75 84 47.17% .625% 159 1391 9.94 86.94 51.13% 0.55% 12.06 101.33 -3.96% +.08% -2.12 -14.39
2011 17 1 Referee 102 110 48.11% .588% 212 1859 12.47 109.35 48.89% 0.58% 12.65 106.76 -0.78% +.01% -0.18 +2.59
2012 13 1 Referee 69 85 44.81% .538% 154 1304 11.85 100.31 48.65% 0.57% 12.44 105.25 -3.84% -0.03% -0.59 -4.94
2013 16 1 Referee 67 86 43.79% .688% 153 1327 9.56 82.94 48.31% 0.60% 12.17 105.03 -4.52% +.09% -2.61 -22.09
2014 16 1 Referee 86 111 43.65% .625% 197 1593 12.31 99.56 48.41% 0.57% 13.21 110.68 -4.76% +.06% -0.90 -11.12
2015 15 0 Referee 103 103 50.00% .333% 206 1731 13.73 115.40 49.16% 0.54% 13.75 117.11 +.84% -0.21% -0.02 -1.71
2016 17 1 Referee 87 107 44.85% .529% 194 1708 11.41 100.47 48.68% 0.58% 13.33 114.94 -3.83% -0.05% -1.92 -14.47
2017 14 0 Referee 83 111 42.78% .786% 194 1830 13.86 130.71 47.84% 0.57% 13.20 114.62 -5.06% +.22% +.66 +16.09
2018 15 0 Referee 101 114 46.98% .533% 215 1888 14.33 125.87 49.03% 0.59% 13.37 113.84 -2.05% -0.06% +.96 +12.0