Longtime NFL Referee Bill Leavy Passes Away

Bill Leavy, a longtime NFL referee, passed away on March 29, 2023, at the age of 76. Leavy served as an official in the NFL for 20 seasons, from 1995 to 2015, and was widely respected for his fairness and integrity on the field.

Bill Leavy dead
Source: New York Post

Who is Bill Leavy?

Bill Leavy was born in California in 1946 and began his career as a football official in the 1970s. He worked his way up through the ranks, officiating high school and college games before being hired by the NFL as a back judge in 1995. Leavy quickly established himself as one of the league’s top officials, and he was promoted to referee just two years later. Over the course of his career, Leavy officiated some of the most memorable games in NFL history, including Super Bowl XL between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks. However, Leavy is perhaps best known for a controversial call he made in Super Bowl XLVII between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens.

A Person with Good Potential 

Late in the game, with the 49ers driving for a potential game-winning touchdown, Leavy called a pass interference penalty on San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree, negating a potential touchdown catch. The call was widely criticized, and some 49ers fans still believe it cost their team the Super Bowl. Despite the controversy surrounding that call, Leavy remained one of the NFL’s most respected officials, and he was known for his ability to defuse tense situations on the field. He was also known for his fairness and impartiality, and he was often called upon to officiate some of the league’s most important games.

A Family Man

In addition to his work in the field, Leavy was also a dedicated family man and community member. He was married for over 50 years and had four children and several grandchildren. He was also involved in various charitable causes and was known for his generosity and kindness to those around him. After retiring from the NFL in 2015, Leavy remained involved in the sport as a consultant and mentor to young officials. He also continued to be a beloved figure in the football community, and he was often seen at games and events, where he would happily chat with fans and fellow officials.

People Pay Condolences 

News of Leavy’s passing has been met with an outpouring of grief and tributes from fans, colleagues, and players. Former NFL player and coach Tony Dungy tweeted, “Saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Leavy. He was an outstanding official and an even better person. He will be missed by all who knew him.” Leavy’s legacy in the NFL will be one of fairness, integrity, and professionalism. He was a dedicated and respected official who loved the sport of football and worked tirelessly to uphold its traditions and values. He will be greatly missed by all those who knew him, and his contributions to the game will never be forgotten.

Bill Leavy dead
Source: Twitter

In conclusion, the passing of Bill Leavy is a loss not just for the NFL but for the entire sports community. He was a true professional who dedicated his life to the sport of football and the principles of fairness and integrity. His legacy will continue to inspire and influence future generations of football officials, and his memory will be cherished by all those who knew and loved him. Rest in peace, Bill Leavy.

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