SAN DIEGO, JAN. 29 -- National Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle said today at a news conference that, among other things, he prays for "good officiating."

The officials working Sunday's Super Bowl game need all the prayers they can get.

Today, referee Bob McElwee, a 12-year veteran of NFL games and a Naval Academy graduate, and field judge Johnny Grier, of Temple Hills, Md., were trapped along with side judge Don Wedge in a hotel elevator for 1 hour 20 minutes.

"Just an everyday occurrence," said Grier, a telephone company planning engineer in Washington, shortly after being freed.

The officials, along with Art McNally, head of NFL officials, and several other people were trapped between floors before the officiating crew was to be introduced at a news conference. The conference never took place, and the officials repaired to NFL offices before leaving to visit San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.

The incident appeared to have no effect on the officials.

McElwee, 51, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1957, having played on the 1954 Sugar Bowl team as a center and linebacker. He left the service in the early '60s, lives in Haddonfield, N.J. and owns a construction company. He officiated the recent Seattle-Houston overtime wild-card playoff game.

"The seven men who are working this game are here because they've been selected in this particular season as being the best at what they do," said McElwee. "To be the best at officiating in the National Football League takes discipline, control, total knowledge of the game, total commitment to the game.

"I was trained a long time ago {at the Naval Academy} in pressure areas. I've always felt that the only pressure in life is the pressure you put on yourself. My job is to go out there and do something that I feel very, very well prepared to do."

"I'm looking at this as just another game," said Grier, a D.C. Teachers graduate. "You have to."

As for the faulty elevator, McElwee said, "One woman had a little problem {because of the increasing heat}, but we worked with her."

Officials may use the stairs before the game.