Football Zebras
20202020 Postseason2020 Wild Card PlayoffsAllen, Hussey, Novak, Boger, Kemp, and Smith are Wild Card referees

Allen, Hussey, Novak, Boger, Kemp, and Smith are Wild Card referees

Football Zebras has confirmed the officiating crews for the Wild Card Playoffs.

This year, the NFL has moved to six Wild Card Playoff games. Since 2017, the Conference Championship officials have been selected from those who worked Wild Card Playoff games.

Also, the NFL has moved to five alternates for the early postseason rounds, up one from last year. The alternate officials are a referee, an umpire, a line of scrimmage official (down judge or line judge), a deep wing official (field judge or side judge), and a back judge. Officials who have alternate assignments are still eligible for an on-field assignment in the Divisional Playoffs.

All times are Eastern. 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).

As has been the case this season, scheduled assignments are subject to change during the pandemic.

Saturday, Jan. 9

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

Brad Allen is the referee, who is in his 7th season. This is Allen’s 3rd postseason assignment: his second Wild Card Playoff plus a Divisional Playoff. Allen was hired directly to the referee position from the NCAA in 2014.

Yrs2020 crewCollegeOccupation
R 122 Brad Allen 7   Pembroke State non-profit CEO
U 121 Paul King 12 Hill Nichols College teacher
DJ 113 Danny Short 4 Allen North Carolina-Charlotte executive director, global sales operations
LJ 47 Tim Podraza 13 Cheffers Nebraska business performance consultant
FJ 43 Terry Brown 15 Kemp Tennessee court director
SJ 36 Anthony Jeffries 3 Boger Alabama-Birmingham medical sales
BJ 67 Tony Josselyn 3 (swing) Eastern Kentucky probation officer

  • Replay official: Mark Butterworth
  • Replay assistant: Brian Uhrmacher
  • Alternates:
    • Referee: Shawn Hochuli
    • Umpire: Alan Eck
    • Line of scrimmage: Mark Hittner (DJ)
    • Deep wing: Michael Banks (SJ)
    • Back judge: Perry Paganelli

NFC Wild Card: Rams at Seahawks, 4:40 p.m. Fox

John Hussey is the referee, who is in his 19th season and 6th as referee. This is Hussey’s 14th postseason assignment, including 6 Wild Card Playoffs, 4 Divisional Playoffs, 3 Conference Championships, and Super Bowl XLV. His Super Bowl assignment was as a line judge.

Yrs2020 crewCollegeOccupation
R 35 John Hussey 19   Idaho State sales representative
U 115 Tony Michalek 19 Vinovich Indiana chief executive officer
DJ 106 Patrick Holt 2 Torbert North Carolina State IT manager
LJ 48 Jim Mello 17 Torbert Northeastern facilities manager
FJ 22 Steve Zimmer 24 Hussey Hofstra attorney
SJ 26 Jabir Walker 6 Kemp Murray State middle school teacher
BJ 39 Rich Martinez 7 Hochuli Canisius sales manager
  • Replay official: Brian Matoren
  • Replay assistant: Gavin Anderson
  • Alternates:
    • Referee: Craig Wrolstad
    • Umpire: Terry Killens
    • Line of scrimmage: David Oliver (LJ)
    • Deep wing: Jeff Lamberth (FJ)
    • Back judge: Keith Ferguson

NFC Wild Card: Buccaneers at WAS Football Team, 8:15 p.m. NBC

Scott Novak is the referee, who is in his 7th season and 2nd as referee. This is Novak’s 4th postseason assignment, and his first as referee. His first three assignments, a Wild Card Playoff and 2 Divisional Playoffs, were at deep wing positions (field judge and side judge).

Yrs2020 crewCollegeOccupation
R 1 Scott Novak 7   Phoenix sales manager
U 54 Steve Woods 4 Novak Wabash financial advisor
DJ 74 Derick Bowers 18 Martin East Central sales representative
LJ 2 Bart Longson 6 Corrente Brigham Young finance
FJ 104 Dale Shaw 8 Boger Allegheny pharmaceutical sales
SJ 125 Chad Hill 3 Hochuli Mississippi medical sales
BJ 111 Terrence Miles 13 Novak Arizona State quality control manager
  • Replay official: Jimmy Oldham
  • Replay assistant: Des Abrams
  • Alternates:
    • Referee: Bill Vinovich
    • Umpire: Bruce Stritesky
    • Line of scrimmage: Patrick Turner (DJ)
    • Deep wing: Dave Meslow (FJ)
    • Back judge: Matt Edwards

Sunday, Jan. 10

AFC Wild Card: Ravens at Titans, 1:05 p.m. ABC ESPN ESPN2 FREEFORM ESPN+

Jerome Boger is the referee, who is in his 17th season and 15th as referee. This is Boger’s 6th postseason assignment, his first in the Wild Card round plus 4 Divisional Playoffs and Super Bowl XLVII. This is Boger’s first on-field postseason assignment since the Super Bowl, not including the Pro Bowl in January 2017.

Yrs2020 crewCollegeOccupation
R 23 Jerome Boger 17   Morehouse College retired commercial insurance underwriter
U 124 Carl Paganelli 21 Kemp Michigan State retired federal probation officer
DJ 40 Brian Bolinger 4 Hussey Indiana State corporate safety director
LJ 65 Walt Coleman IV 6 Rogers Southern Methodist portfolio manager
FJ 116 Mike Weatherford 19 Martin Oklahoma State oil and gas business
SJ 7 Keith Washington 13 Hill Virginia Military Institute program financial analyst
BJ 88 Brad Freeman 7 Boger Mississippi State sports park director
  • Replay official: John McGrath
  • Replay assistant: Artenzia Young-Seigler
  • Alternates:
    • Referee: Tony Corrente
    • Umpire: Barry Anderson
    • Line of scrimmage: Jeff Seeman (LJ)
    • Deep wing: Jim Quirk (FJ)
    • Back judge: Todd Prukop

NFC Wild Card: Bears at Saints, 4:40 p.m. CBS NICK PRIME

Alex Kemp is the referee, who is in his 7th season and 3rd as referee. This is Kemp’s 3rd postseason assignment, and his first as referee. His first two assignments were both Wild Card Playoffs as a side judge.

Yrs2020 crewCollegeOccupation
R 55 Alex Kemp 7   Central Michigan insurance agent
U 64 Dan Ferrell 18 Corrente Cal State-Fullerton retired logistics and supply chain executive
DJ 8 Dana McKenzie 13 Kemp Toledo claims adjuster
LJ 98 Greg Bradley 12 Kemp Tennessee chemical engineer
FJ 42 Nate Jones 2 Rogers Rutgers firefighter/EMT
SJ 107 Dave Hawkshaw 2 Wrolstad Justice Institute of B.C. firefighter
BJ 93 Scott Helverson 18 Blakeman Iowa sales, printing and promotions
  • Replay official: Mike Chase
  • Replay assistant: Alton James
  • Alternates:
    • Referee: Adrian Hill
    • Umpire: Mark Pellis
    • Line of scrimmage: Carl Johnson (LJ)
    • Deep wing: Jimmy Buchanan (SJ)
    • Back judge: Jimmy Russell

AFC Wild Card: Browns at Steelers, 8:15 p.m. NBC TELEMUNDO PEACOCK

Shawn Smith is the referee, who is in his 6th season and 3rd as referee. This is Smith’s 5th postseason assignment, including 3 Wild Card Playoffs, a Divisional Playoff, and a Conference Championship. He has had at least one playoff assignment in every season he was eligible.

Yrs2020 crewCollegeOccupation
R 14 Shawn Smith 6   Ferris State finance
U 92 Bryan Neale 7 Smith Indiana sales consultant
DJ 79 Kent Payne 17 Novak Nebraska Wesleyan agribusinessman
LJ 75 Mark Stewart 3 Clark Pittsburg State rancher
FJ 109 Dyrol Prioleau 14 Smith Johnson C Smith manager, law firm
SJ 58 Don Willard 3 Vinovich Illinois State physical therapist
BJ 119 Greg Wilson 13 Cheffers USC retired police officer
  • Replay official: Roddy Ames
  • Replay assistant: Gerald Frye
  • Alternates
    • Referee: Clete Blakeman
    • Umpire: Rich Hall
    • Line of scrimmage: Tripp Sutter (DJ)
    • Deep wing: Gary Cavaletto (FJ)
    • Back judge: Greg Steed
Cameron Filipe
Cam Filipe is a senior at the University of New Haven, majoring in forensic science. He has been involved in football officiating for eight years and currently works as a flag football official in college. This is his fifth season covering NFL officiating for Fᴏᴏᴛʙᴀʟʟ Zᴇʙʀᴀs.

13 thoughts on “Allen, Hussey, Novak, Boger, Kemp, and Smith are Wild Card referees

  1. I think we will see a lot of the alternates work the Divisional Round. Expect to see Bill Vinovich, Clete Blakeman, Tony Corrente, Craig Wrolstad on the field.

    I think Super Bowl referee is Tony Corrente or Clete Blakeman. Vinovich cannot work this one even though he is the best referee in the league. Corrente worked AFC Championship game last year, is hugely underrated, has some of the best announcements on the mic, and is running out of years. Tony is also one of the nicest people on the face of the earth. No relation to him, but rooting for him to get the nod in Tampa.

  2. Good lord. Boger is easily the worst referee in the league. Utter trash, the NFL should be embarrassed he is still around.

    Would’ve rather had any of the other guys or alts. Hell, I’d rather have Jeff Triplette or Ron Winter.

  3. I agree with you Football Observer…

    I honestly thought last year that Corrente was going to be the Super Bowl referee, but perhaps just got out-graded by Vinovich. This year from what I saw, Corrente had another solid season and I, too, have him pegged as my frontrunner for SB LV.

    The only other name I would throw in the ring for potential SB white hat is Carl Cheffers again. He always runs a tight ship. My thoughts for Divisional Round are: Corrente, Cheffers, Blakeman, Vinovich

  4. Vinovich, Corrente, and Blakeman are the top three officials in the NFL. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Torbert in the divisional round. I don’t understand how Boger was better than Wrolstad or Hochuli.

  5. My division round referees prediction is Blakeman,Wrolstad,Cheffers,corrente/Torbert and my Superbowl referee prediction is Blakeman,or Corrente or Cheffers

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