Former NFL referee and Blaine native Jerry Seeman has died

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Jeff Seeman was on national television last night refereeing the game of the week in the NFL, as the Denver Broncos fell to the New England Patriots in overtime in Foxboro.

When the game was over, Jeff had a much more serious issue to attend to, as he learned of the death of his father, who led him along the path of NFL officiating.

That man is Jerry Seeman, who spent 16 years as a NFL official, refereeing Super Bowls in 1989 and 1991, his last year as a ref on the field.

Seeman would then become the NFL's Senior Director of Officiating after being appointed to the position by then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue, and serve in the spot for 10 years before stepping down.

Seeman's lasting legacy in the game will be the development and implementation of the use of instant replay, which has become a fixture in the NFL as we know it.

In his later years he battled cancer, and ultimately Sunday night, came out on the losing end.

Jerry's Minnesota connections were strong throughout his life. He was born in Blaine, attended Plainview High School in Plainview, Minn., spent his college years at Winona State University, officiated high school and small college games for the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and also officiated in the Big Ten before being hired by the NFL in 1975.

Seeman's dedication to his job from the lowest levels of high school to the big stage in the NFL was unquestioned, as his wife Marilyn once told the tale of her husband driving 120 miles to officiate a game in Cosmos, Minn., a town of 382.

Seeman was 77 years old, and is survived by Marilyn, Jeff, and two other sons Michael and Jon.

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