Around The Super Bowl: Justin Smith Won’t Retire, Chris Culliver Apologizes For Anti-Gay Comments
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By Danny Cox
This year’s Super Bowl has no shortage of controversial happenings going on, and it is likely that they’re far from done too. In another note, there is one San Francisco 49ers player that is dealing with a lot of injury problems right now, but he is far from done in the NFL. Oh yeah, and the game officials have finally been named as well.
Justin Smith has badly torn triceps, but isn’t ready to retire
The star 49ers defensive tackle estimated on Wednesday that his triceps is torn at least 50 percent. Justin Smith knows that things are bad even though he hasn’t gotten official word from doctors yet on the injury he suffered in the middle of December.
“I’m not sure the exact percentage, I think 50 or something. A little bit over maybe,” Smith said Wednesday of his injury. “I really haven’t gone to the doctors yet. I figure I will do that after the Super Bowl.”
Smith has played through the injury during the playoffs, and the 12-year veteran could just decide to hang up the cleats after this season. Well, he could, but he won’t.
“I’m not going to retire after this year; I would like to come back and try to get here (the Super Bowl) again,” he said. “I realize my career is definitely winding down. I’m not saying I’m going to play another eight years or something like that.”
Game officials named for Super Bowl XLVII
The seven-man officiating crew for the Super Bowl has now been named, and it will be led by referee Jerome Boger. He has officiated four divisional playoff games after entering the league as a line judge back in 2004.
Along with Boger, the members of the crew will be Darrell Jenkins (umpire), Steve Stelljes (head linesman), Craig Wrolstad (field judge), Dino Paganelli (back judge), Byron Boston (line judge), and Joe Larrew (side judge). Together, this crew has 77 years of NFL officiating experience.
It is always the highest-rated eligible officials at each position that earn the right to call the Super Bowl. In order to be placed on the Super Bowl team, officials must have at least five years of NFL experience and previous playoff assignments as well.
49ers Chris Culliver apologizes for anti-gay remarks
San Francisco cornerback Chris Culliver put his foot in his mouth on Tuesday when he told comedian Artie Lange, “I don’t do the gay guys man. I don’t do that.” When asked by Lange if there were any gay guys on the 49ers roster, Culliver continued on saying, “No we don’t got no gay people on the team, they got to get up out of here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff. Nah…can’t be…in the locker room man. Nah.”
On Wednesday, Culliver apologized for his hurtful words after also being spoken to by the 49ers organization. There was no word on whether he would be fined or suffer disciplinary action.
“The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel,” Culliver said in a statement released by the team. “It has taken me seeing them in print to realize that they are hurtful and ugly. Those discriminating feelings are truly not in my heart. Further, I apologize to those who I have hurt and offended, and I pledge to learn and grow from this experience.”
It is expected that Culliver will publicly and formally address his anti-gay comments at a news conference on Thursday morning.
For more Super Bowl content and the latest NFL news, see CBS Sports Las Vegas
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.