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Cheffers, Corrente, Winter get Wild Card; Blakeman gets nod in 1st eligible year



Most notably, this year’s crews for the Wild Card Playoffs did not qualify for a postseason assignment last season.

Bengals at Texans (Saturday, 4:30 pm)

Referee Clete Blakeman heads his crew in his first year of postseason eligibility as a crew chief.

  • R — #34 Clete Blakeman (4th year, 2nd as referee)
  • U — #102 Bruce Stritesky (6th year)*
  • HL — #36 Tony Veteri (20th year)
  • LJ — #45 Jeff Seeman (10th year)
  • FJ — #82 Buddy Horton (13th year)
  • SJ — #78 Greg Meyer (10th year)
  • BJ — #111 Terrence Miles (4th year)
  • Alternates — Tom Barnes (#55, LJ from Scott Green’s crew), Lee Dyer (#27, BJ from Terry McAuley’s crew)

*Substitution: Stritesky from Green’s crew is substituting for Garth DeFelice, who is injured.

Blakeman’s crew was in Houston for a Week 4 game between the Steelers and Texans.

Lions at Saints (Saturday, 8 pm)

Referee Tony Corrente overcame huge obstacles this season, most significantly having being treated for an illness late in the season causing him to miss three weeks. He and his crew received this NFC Wild Card Playoff assignment.

  • R — #99 Tony Corrente (17th year, 14th as referee)
  • U — #31 Chad Brown (20th year)*
  • HL — #5 John McGrath (10th year)
  • LJ — #130 Darryll Lewis (13th year)
  • FJ — #60 Gary Cavaletto (9th year)
  • SJ — #56 Allen Baynes (4th year)
  • BJ — #119 Greg Wilson (4th year)
  • Alternates — Terry McAulay (#77, R), David Wyant (#16, SJ from Jeff Triplette’s crew)

*Substitution: Brown substitutes from Mike Carey’s crew for Fred Bryan. Bryan is ineligible to work a conference championship or Super Bowl, as he is in his third season.

In last year’s Super Bowl, Brown officiated and Cavaletto was assigned as an alternate. Corrente officiated in last year’s Pro Bowl, with the 2009 AFC Conference Championship being his last playoff game.

Corrente’s crew was in New Orleans in Week 3 for a Texans-Saints game and officiated the Week 2 game between the Chiefs and Lions.

Falcons at Giants (Sunday, 1 pm)

Referee Carl Cheffers heads to the Meadowlands with his regular season crew, with a couple of substitutions.

  • R — #12 Carl Cheffers (12th year, 4th as referee)
  • U — #96 Undrey Wash (12th year)
  • HL — #110 Phil McKinnely (9th year)*
  • LJ — #100 Tom Symonette (8th year)
  • FJ — #80 Greg Gautreaux (10th year)*
  • SJ — #125 Laird Hayes (17th year)
  • BJ — #30 Todd Prukop (3rd year)
  • Alternates — Scott Dawson (#70, U from Alberto Riverón’s crew), Mark Steinkerchner (#84, LJ from Terry McAuley’s crew)

*Substitutions: McKinnely substitutes from Jeff Triplette’s crew for Kent Payne; Gautreaux substitutes from Walt Coleman’s crew for Jimmy Buchanan. Buchannan is ineligible to work a conference championship or Super Bowl, as he is in his third season.

Cheffers’ crew did not have a postseason assignment last year; he last officiated a postseason game in the divisional playoff round in 2009, which was his first year of eligibility as a crew chief.

This crew worked the Week 2 game between the Eagles and Falcons.

Steelers at Broncos (Sunday, 4:30 pm)

Referee Ron Winter, who was an alternate for last year’s AFC Conference Championship, has the weekend’s final Wild Card matchup.

  • R — #14 Ron Winter (17th year, 14th as referee)
  • U — #49 Rich Hall (8th year)*
  • HL — #52 Julian Mapp (3rd year)
  • LJ — #108 Gary Arthur (15th year)
  • FJ — #88 Scott Steenson (21st year)
  • SJ — #62 Ronald Torbert* (2nd year)
  • BJ — #83 Richard Reels (19th year)
  • Alternates — Ed Camp (#134, HL from Walt Coleman’s crew), Dyrol Prioleau (#109, FJ from Scott Green’s crew)

*Substitutions: Hall fills in for Tony Michalek and Torbert is substituting for Tom Hill. Both substitutes are from Ed Hochuli’s crew. Torbert is a second-year official, so this is his first year of postseason eligibility.

Hall was an alternate at last year’s Super Bowl.

Winter’s last postseason game worked was a divisional playoff in 2009.

Winter’s crew officiated away games for both teams: a Week 6 Jaguars-Steelers game and a Week 10 Broncos-Chiefs game.

Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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