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Sarah Thomas made history Sunday when she became the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl.
Thomas was a part of a crew that mostly had Super Bowl experience prior to Super Bowl LV. She told NBC News’ “TODAY” on Wednesday that getting to the pinnacle of sports took a lot of sacrifices and “hard work.”
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“A lot of hard work. Be willing to sacrifice a lot. I missed Bailey’s [her daughter] first steps. I was at Walmart shopping, and, you know, I was, like, hopefully she’ll take a lot more. It’s just a dedication. It is surrounding yourself with a lot of good people. I just have to commend my mother and father for laying such a wonderful Christian foundation for all of us at home. And, just never depend on anybody for anything. And hold yourself accountable. Don’t make excuses,” she said.
She said her mother was with her in spirit even if her parents couldn’t attend the game because of credit protocols.
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Down judge Sarah Thomas (53) during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
“She pinned a little angel on my shirt when I was 18, a freshman in college. And she told me she couldn’t be there with me all the time, but she would be there with me in spirit and that God would be watching over me,” Thomas explained. “So, she found that angel, and she pinned it, like you see on the note. And it just said, that they wouldn’t be there with me in person, but if I would, just wear it on my uniform. And I did, right underneath on my heart, on my little undershirt.”
The NFL confirmed last month that Thomas will be working the Super Bowl.
“Sarah Thomas has made history again as the first female Super Bowl official,” said Troy Vincent, Sr., the NFL’s executive vice resident of football operations. “Her elite performance and commitment to excellence has earned her the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honor.”
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The crew had a total of 88 years of NFL experience with 77 combined playoff games.
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