Ref criticism

In a season that began with criticism of replacement refs, the NFL found itself dealing with questions about the qualifications of its lead Super Bowl official.

Jerome Boger, a member of NFL officiating crews for nine years, will be the referee Sunday in his first NFL title game amid accusations by a former official-turned-broadcaster that the league doctored his rating.

Boger has worked four divisional playoff games, including the San Francisco 49ers’ victory over Green Bay this year. He is the second black referee to work the title game, following Mike Carey five years ago.

His selection, announced Wednesday, was criticized by Jim Daopoulos, who was quoted in the New York Times as saying the grading of some officials, including Boger, was altered.

Daopoulos worked 11 years as an on-field official and 12 years as a supervisor before joining NBC as an analyst.

Daopoulos said the league predetermined who would work the Super Bowl.

The league and the referees’ union have denied such claims. Ray Anderson, executive vice president of football operations, called the, “patently false and insulting to Jerome Boger.”

Sandy Hook chorus

The chorus from Sandy Hook Elementary School will sing America the Beautiful before Sunday’s Super Bowl. The chorus features 26 children from Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed in a Dec. 20 shooting rampage. The pregame CBS performance will be broadcast live.

Scoop on Favre

Brett Favre is returning to the NFL — to work for the NFL Network. The retired three-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback will join the network’s crew for daylong coverage of Sunday’s NFL championship game.

Leroy arrested

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill has been arrested in Renton, Wash., after police say he assaulted his 26-year-old girlfriend Wednesday and kept her in his home against her will.