John Parry remembers walking out of the tunnel of Miami's Dolphin Stadium for Super Bowl XLI.
It's something he'll never forget.
"It was two hours before kickoff and at the other end of the field was my dad," Parry said. "I could see just how proud he was of me."
Parry's father, Dave, is the national coordinator for college football officials, and he oversees national training programs for referees.
"That was also an honor to work in a Super Bowl because you are graded and evaluated, and to be picked for that game, it's really something," John Parry said. "It is a privilege to work a Super Bowl."
"It was one of the finest moments of my life to see my son be a side judge in the Super Bowl," said Dave, who worked Super Bowl XVII. "It was an emotional moment when I saw him enter Dolphin Stadium ... Then I got myself together and watched the game."
John has been an NFL official since 2000, but his officiating career started when he was a student-athlete at Michigan City Rogers. He umpired local games, including Little League tilts. He continued when he went to Purdue, where he has a B.S. in aviation technology.
"I didn't know that one day I would be doing NFL games," he said. "I just kept doing it at Purdue, freshman games, intramurals. I worked every night."
John spent 18 years as a corporate pilot in the Indianapolis area. He got into financial planning in 2005 and is an associate financial advisor for Ameriprise Financial in Tallmadge, Ohio. He has officiated in the Big Ten and Conference USA as well as the Arena Football League.
John said one of the concerns with officials in any sport is their safety.
"We have the tightest security from the time we come into a city," he said. "The NFL has one of the best security systems. I have an FBI agent in Cleveland if there is any trouble."
But John stressed that an official's job is to simply go out and call a game.
"Are there external elements that may come into play? It never really enters my mind," Parry said.