Football Zebras
2017 PostseasonTriplette, Hochuli, Hussey, and Corrente are Wild Card referees

Triplette, Hochuli, Hussey, and Corrente are Wild Card referees

Football Zebras has confirmed the referees for the Wild Card weekend. Officials are listed with their uniform number, years of NFL experience (including this season), the crew each official worked with in the regular season (by the referee’s name), college, and outside occupation.

All times are Eastern.

Three alternates are assigned to each game: generally, one is designated for the offensive backfield (a referee or umpire), one is on the line of scrimmage (down judge or line judge), and one is a deep position (side judge, field judge, or back judge). When alternates are listed, their position during the regular season is also given. The prior playoff experience that is listed for the crew chief includes his service as an NFL official, including as referee and any other crew position (excluding alternate assignments).

For the second consecutive season, the Wild Card weekend features a referee getting his first postseason assignment as a crew chief and the referee who has the most postseason games of any active referee with 26.

Saturday, Jan. 6

AFC Wild Card: Titans at Chiefs, 4:35 p.m. ESPN ABC

Jeff Triplette is the referee, who is in his 22nd season and 19th as referee. This is Triplette’s 11th postseason assignment, including 6 Wild Card Playoffs, 4 Divisional Playoffs, and 1 Conference Championship.

      Yrs 2017 crew College Occupation
R 42 Jeff Triplette 22   Wake Forest restructuring consultant
U 11 Fred Bryan 9 Allen Northern Iowa superintendent, juvenile correctional facility
DJ 90 Mike Spanier 19 Parry St Cloud State middle school principal
LJ 79 Kent Payne 14 Cheffers Nebraska Wesleyan teacher
FJ 103 Eugene Hall 4 Boger North Texas federal agent
SJ 109 Dyrol Prioleau 11 Blakeman Johnson C Smith manager, law firm
BJ 133 Steve Freeman 17 Triplette Mississippi State custom home builder*

*indicates full-time official

  • Replay: Earnie Frantz
  • Alternates: Pete Morelli (R), Ron Marinucci (LJ), Todd Prukop (BJ)

NFC Wild Card: Falcons at Rams, 8:15 p.m. NBC

Ed Hochuli is the referee, who is in his 27th season and 25th as referee. This is Hochuli’s 26th postseason assignment, the most of any active official, which include 11 Wild Card Playoffs, 5 Divisional Playoffs, 8 Conference Championships, and Super Bowls XXXII and XXXVIII.

      Yrs 2017 crew College Occupation
R 85 Ed Hochuli 28   Texas-El Paso attorney
U 14 Shawn Smith 3 Hochuli Ferris State internal auditor
DJ 28 Mark Hittner 21 Wrolstad Pittsburg State investment broker
LJ 108 Gary Arthur 21 Steratore Wright State president, commercial printing company
FJ 72 Michael Banks 16 McAulay Illinois State carpenter foreman
SJ 88 Brad Freeman 4 Cheffers Mississippi State sports park director
BJ 119 Greg Wilson 10 Anderson USC law enforcement
  • Replay: Billy Smith
  • Alternates: Walt Coleman (R), Sarah Thomas (DJ), Gary Cavaletto (SJ)

Sunday, Jan. 7

AFC Wild Card: Bills at Jaguars, 1:05 p.m. CBS

John Hussey is the referee, who is in his 16th season and 3rd as referee. This is Hussey’s 10th postseason assignment, including 4 Wild Card Playoffs, 3 Divisional Playoffs, 2 Conference Championships, and Super Bowl XLV. This is his first postseason game as referee.

      Yrs 2017 crew College Occupation
R 35 John Hussey 16   Idaho State sales representative, retail logistics group
U 129 Bill Schuster 18 swing Alfred insurance broker*
DJ 110 Phil McKinnely 16 Vinovich UCLA inventory control
LJ 59 Rusty Baynes 8 Hochuli Auburn-Montgomery general manager, safety services*
FJ 50 Aaron Santi 3 Torbert Southern Oregon middle school principal
SJ 55 Alex Kemp 4 Hochuli Central Michigan insurance agent
BJ 111 Terrence Miles 10 Coleman Arizona State quality control manager*

*indicates full-time official

  • Replay: Mike Wimmer
  • Alternates: Carl Cheffers (R), Dana McKenzie (LJ), John Jenkins (FJ)

NFC Wild Card: Panthers at Saints, 4:40 p.m. Fox

Tony Corrente is the referee, who is in his 23rd season and 20th as referee. This is Corrente’s 17th postseason assignment, including 6 Wild Card Playoffs, 5 Divisional Playoffs, 5 Conference Championships, and Super Bowl XLI.

      Yrs 2017 crew College Occupation
R 99 Tony Corrente 23   Cal State-Fullerton retired educator
U 92 Bryan Neale 4 Morelli Indiana sales consultant
DJ 74 Derick Bowers 15 Coleman East Central sales representative*
LJ 47 Tim Podraza 10 Morelli Nebraska banker
FJ 33 Steve Zimmer 21 Wrolstad Hofstra attorney*
SJ 43 Terry Brown 12 Triplette Tennessee probation supervisor
BJ 105 Dino Paganelli 12 Steratore Aquinas College educator

*indicates full-time official

  • Replay: Larry Nemmers
  • Alternates: Jerome Boger (R), Kevin Codey (LJ), Tony Steratore (BJ)
Cameron Filipe
Cameron Filipe
Cam Filipe is a freshman at the University of New Haven, majoring in forensic science. He has been involved in football officiating for five years and currently works as a flag football and soccer official in college. This is his second season covering officiating as a staff writer for Football Zebras.

15 thoughts on “Triplette, Hochuli, Hussey, and Corrente are Wild Card referees

  1. I don’t get how Jeff Triplette could get a referee in the NFL, let alone him getting a playoff assignment now. His on-field presence is so ridiculously bad if you compare it to McAulay, Vinovich, Anderson etc. who have done Super Bowls. He looks so amateurish and dilettante. He stutters when he has to announce more than one foul or make a complex ruling explanation. I just can’t imagine him being a leader who can bring together a group of officials who probably have not worked together so far for an important NFL game.

  2. none of these guys will be considered for the Super Bowl since that referee comes from next week group.
    How is Jeff Triplette even considered for a playoff game.
    Hochuli and Corrente are not Wild Card referees they are a lot better then that

  3. Normally the “Tier 1” officials only cover Conference Championship games and Super Bowl and fill out Divisional Round if there are any extras. The NFL does not assign it #1 to Super Bowl, #2 and #3 to CC, #4 through #7 to Divisional, and #8 through #11 to Wild Card Round. Officials in “Tier 1” are those who graded out high enough to be considered for CC/Super Bowl if they had requisite experience. Officials in “Tier 3” are those who need improvement and do not qualify for an on-field playoff assignment (some may be assigned as Alternates just due to lack of numbers at a position, but if an official is healthy, eligible to receive a playoff assignment, and did not even receive an Alternate then official probably was in “Tier 3”). Everyone else is “Tier 2.” After all “Tier 1” officials are assigned, “Tier 2” officials fill out the spots. NFL seems to like giving an on-field assignment to Tier 2 officials who may have gone the longest without one all else being equal or, if an official worked the Super Bowl the season prior then merely grading out as “Tier 2” the following year will likely mean that that official will only get an alternate assignment if enough other officials at the position are “Tier 2” or higher. Divisional Round and Wild Card Rounds are lumped together, so an official may be the #4 ranked official at a position, but only 3 are “Tier 1,” and be assigned a Wild Card game. This happens because the NFL likes to keep the crews balanced (for example, if you only have 11 LJ eligible and grading high enough to qualify the league may want the 11th ranked LJ to be paired with one of the top 2 DJ who did not receive CC or Super Bowl). I apologize for the length of this response.

  4. Triplette ref-ing a playoff game? What does that say about the state of officiating today? Either that or the apocalypse is upon us.

  5. For Divisional I see: Torbert, McAuley, Steratore, Allen. CC: Vinovich, Blakeman. SB: Steratore.

  6. I see:
    Divisional – Morelli, steratore, McAuley and Allen

    CC – Vinovich and Blakeman

    SB – Morelli

  7. I believe the SB crew are selected from the best officials from the divisional round. I don’t know how the championchip round officials are picked, but I know they will not be in the SB. So:
    – This is the last time we’ll see Triplet
    – Who knows where Steratore will go.

  8. Tony C crew final 5 to 6 minutes of that game was horrible, they botched several calls and situations in that Panthers/Saints game

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