Officials selected for Chiefs-Steelers playoff game: why penalties shouldn’t be a factor

Kansas City Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – DECEMBER 26: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws the ball during the second quarter in the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium on December 26, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Shawn Smith has been selected as the referee for the NFL Wild Card playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Smith is in his seventh season and fourth as referee. This is Smith’s sixth postseason assignment, including four Wild Card playoffs, a divisional playoff and a conference championship.

He’s the referee behind this viral clip, where he shouted “hey, hey, hey,” as he turned on his mic this month; the crowd appropriately responded with a long “hey,” too.

Smith was the referee for the Chief’s Week 15 overtime win vs. the Los Angeles Chargers. In that game, there were nine total penalties called (four for the Chiefs, five for the Chargers) for a total of 96 combined penalty yards.

Smith was also the referee for the Chief’s Week 9 win vs. the Green Bay Packers (10 total penalties, 52 yards).

Judging from Smith’s numbers, his crew seems to call an even, fair game and allows teams to play without too much intervention.

According to Football Zebras, Smith is highly thought of around the league for his control and leadership and could be in the making for more playoff games and even the Super Bowl.

The Chiefs and the Steelers kick off at 7:15 p.m. Sunday.

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