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Former NFL referee Bill Leavy dies at 76

Seattle Seahawks v Pittsburgh Steelers

PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 18: National Football League referee Bill Leavy looks on from the field before a game between the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 18, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Seahawks 24-0. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

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Bill Leavy, a former NFL referee best known for officiating Super Bowl XL between the Steelers and Seahawks, has died. He was 76.

Via, Leavy died Tuesday. He retired from officiating after the 2014 season. He thereafter accepted a supervisory role in the NFL’s officiating department.

Leavy served as the referee in two Super Bowls. In addition to Super Bowl XL, he also handled Super Bowl XXXIV, between the Titans and Rams.

It was Super Bowl XL that made Leavy the subject of scrutiny and derision, among Seattle fans. In 2010, he admitted that it wasn’t an ideal performance.

It was a tough thing for me,” Levy said at the time. “I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game and as an official you never want to do that. It left me with a lot of sleepless nights and I think about it constantly. I’ll go to my grave wishing that I’d been better. . . .

“I know that I did my best at that time, but it wasn’t good enough. When we make mistakes, you got to step up and own them. It’s something that all officials have to deal with, but unfortunately when you have to deal with it in the Super Bowl, it’s difficult.”

Leavy’s final game as an official happened in the 2014 postseason, a divisional-round win by the Colts over the Broncos.

We extend our condolences to Leavy’s family, friends, and colleagues.