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Referee assignments for Divisional round: Blakeman, Cheffers, McAulay, Morelli

Updated Friday, Jan. 10  to include full crewsDivisional_10_rgb

Football Zebras has confirmed the officiating crews for the Divisional Playoffs. Officials are listed with their uniform number, years 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: one is designated for the offensive backfield (a referee or umpire), one is on the line of scrimmage (head linesman or line judge), and one is a deep position (side judge, field judge, or back judge).

The prior playoff experience listed for the crew chief includes his service as an NFL official, including as referee and any other crew position (excluding alternate assignments).

The eventual Super Bowl officials will be working in the divisional playoffs, but it is not known at this time who is on that crew.

Saturday, Jan. 11

NFC Divisional Playoff: Saints at Seahawks, 4:30 p.m. (Fox)

Terry McAulay is the referee, who is in his 16th year and 13th as referee. This is McAulay’s 13th postseason assignment (2 wild card playoffs, 2 divisional playoffs, 7 conference championships, and Super Bowls XXXIX and XLIII). His Super Bowl assignments were both as a referee.

         Yr. Crew College Occupation
R 77 Terry McAulay 16    Louisiana State college officiating coordinator
U 124 Carl Paganelli 14 Winter Michigan State retired federal probation officer
HL 37 Jim Howey 15 Winter Erskine College director of adult education
LJ 84 Mark Steinkerchner 20 McAulay Akron vice-president
FJ 60 Gary Cavaletto 11 Corrente Hancock general manager, agricultural operations
SJ 73 Joe Larrew 12 Parry St Louis attorney
BJ 111 Terrence Miles 6 Blakeman Arizona State quality control manager
  • Alternates: Bruce Stritesky (backfield), Adrian Hill (linesman), Keith Washington (deep)
  • Replay official: Earnie Frantz
  • Replay assistant: Brian Matoren

AFC Divisional Playoff: Colts at Patriots, 8:15 p.m. (CBS)

Pete Morelli is the referee, who is in his 17th year and 12th as referee. This is Morelli’s 14th postseason assignment (6 wild card playoffs, 5 divisional playoffs, 2 conference championships, and Super Bowl XXXVI). His Super Bowl assignment was as a field judge.

         Yr. Crew College Occupation
R 135 Pete Morelli 17    St Mary’s high school principal
U 53 Garth DeFelice 16 Blakeman San Diego State distribution center manager, beverage company
HL 106 Wayne Mackie 7 Steratore Colgate director of operations, housing
LJ 101 Carl Johnson 10 Morelli Nicholls State full-time official
FJ 89 Jon Lucivansky 5 Morelli Minnesota college educator
SJ 15 Rick Patterson 18 Coleman Wofford banker
BJ 30 Todd Prukop 5 Cheffers Cal State-Fullerton medical sales representative
  • Alternates: (not confirmed)
  • Replay official: Jim Lampetina
  • Replay assistant: Jim Pearson
  • Supervisor: Ed Coukart

Sunday, Jan. 12

NFC Divisional Playoff: 49ers at Panthers, 1 p.m. (Fox)

Carl Cheffers is the referee, who is in his 14th season and 6th as referee. This is Cheffers’ 8th postseason assignment (3 wild card playoffs, 3 divisional playoffs, 2 conference championships).

         Yr. Crew College Occupation
R 51 Carl Cheffers 14    California-Irvine sales manager
U 71 Ruben Fowler 8 Leavy Huston-Tillotson retired firefighter
HL 54 George Hayward 23 Corrente Missouri Western vice-president and manager, warehouse company
LJ 100 Tom Symonette 10 Cheffers Florida certified public accountant
FJ 88 Scott Steenson 23 Winter North Texas commercial real estate developer
SJ 62 Ronald Torbert 4 Corrente Michigan State attorney
BJ 133 Steve Freeman 13 Triplette Mississippi State custom home builder
  •   Alternates: (not confirmed)
  • Replay official: Charles Stewart
  • Replay assistant: Jimmy Oldham

AFC Divisional Playoff: Chargers at Broncos, 4:30 p.m. (CBS)

Clete Blakeman is the referee, who is in his 6th season and 4th as referee. This is Blakeman’s 3rd postseason assignment (2 wild card playoffs, first divisional playoffs). Blakeman missed the playoffs last season; because he could not earn a playoff assignment in his first year as an official or as a referee, it was the only season in his NFL career that he did not qualify.

         Yr. Crew College Occupation
R 34 Clete Blakeman 6    Nebraska attorney
U 11 Fred Bryan 5 Corrente Northern Iowa superintendent, juvenile correctional facility
HL 48 Jim Mello 10 Vinovich Northeastern facilities manager
LJ 45 Jeff Seeman 12 Steratore Minnesota brokerage sales
FJ 25 Bob Waggoner 17 Steratore Juniata College retired probation officer
SJ 16 David Wyant 23 Triplette Virginia consulting engineer
BJ 105 Dino Paganelli 8 Steratore Aquinas College educator
  • Alternates: Tony Michalek (umpire), Tom Stephan (line judge), Allen Baynes (side judge)
  • Replay official: Mark Burns
  • Replay assistant: Ted Campbell
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Ben Austro
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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25 thoughts on “Referee assignments for Divisional round: Blakeman, Cheffers, McAulay, Morelli

  1. Terry McAulay a graduate of Louisiana State and born and raised in Hammond Louisiana is assigned to officiate the Saints at Seahawks game this weekend. I clearly remember in 2012 when Brian Stropolo (an NFL replacement official) from the same state who assigned to work the Saints vs Carolina game in 2012. was removed because of a picture of him and his wife (who had died a few months prior to him becoming a replacement official) on his facebook page. “Anderson said the NFL decided to err on the side of caution by removing Stropolo, as to prevent any storylines or excuses that could be related to potential in-game conflicts.”

    Understand that Terry McAulay is a very good official and absolutely deserving of a high profile NFL game. Why the saints game? With the state of NFL officiating this season where is the media now about this assignment? Where are the ESPN reporters questioning if he could be a homer? Why isn’t this a story line today? Why no comment by Ray Anderson about Terry’s assignment? I just don’t understand.

  2. Short answer is that Stropolo did not disclose his potential conflict of interest to the league. Therefore, he was a relative unknown, and they could not vouch for his impartiality.

    McAulay has been with the league for many years and has had numerous Saints assignments. The league sees no conflict, because he had no conflict.

    Also, I will submit that Baton Rogue is not New Orleans.

  3. Be curious to see who else from Blakeman’s crew is working with him in Denver. His back judge, Terrence Miles, lives and works in Denver and came out of the great pipeline of the high school Denver Football Officials Association. Blakeman has not done a Broncos game this year.

  4. I loved the article that Peter King on MMQB (Game 150: A Week in the Life of an Officiating Crew). Because of Peter’s article, I view the 3rd team on the field much differently than I ever have. I now look to see which crews are working my team’s games (Go Broncos). Scott Green’s crew seemed to have a great season. I’m surprised he wasn’t selected for post season games — especially since this will be his last year.

  5. What happened to the NFL plan to have 7 full time officials in 2013, which was a major discussion point prior to the contract talks? Carl Johnson (#101) is the only full time official that I can see. Just curious because it was such a big deal way back when. Enjoy the info and insights provided in the website.

  6. 3 additional FT officials were supposed to be added in 2013, but it fell through. Nobody had much more to say on it, so it makes for a short story. Perhaps we will find out more in the offseason.

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