Football Zebras has confirmed the officiating crews for the Wild Card weekend. 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: generally, 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).
Saturday, Jan. 3
NFC Wild Card: Cardinals at Panthers, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Ed Hochuli is the referee. This is his 25th year as an official and 23rd as referee. This is Hochuli’s 23rd postseason assignment, the most of any active official (8 Wild Card Playoffs, 6 Divisional Playoffs, 7 Conference Championships, and Super Bowls XXXII and XXXVIII).
|R||85||Ed Hochuli||25||Hochuli||Texas-El Paso||attorney|
|U||115||Tony Michalek||13||Boger||Indiana||USA Football officiating director|
|HL||22||Steve Stelljes||13||Anderson||Friends||business planning manager|
|LJ||107||Ron Marinucci||18||Blakeman||Glassboro State||vice president, novelty cone company|
|FJ||29||Adrian Hill||5||Hochuli||Buffalo||software engineer|
|SJ||41||Boris Cheek||19||Triplette||Morgan State||director of operations and management|
|BJ||93||Scott Helverson||12||Hochuli||Iowa||sales, printing and promotions|
- Replay official: Tom Sifferman
- Replay assistant: Roger Ruth
AFC Wild Card: Ravens at Steelers, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Clete Blakeman is the referee, who is in his 7th season and 5th as referee. This is Blakeman’s 4th postseason assignment (3 Wild Card Playoffs, 1 Divisional Playoff); he has only missed the playoffs one season in which he was eligible.
|U||40||Butch Hannah||16||Triplette||Middle Tennessee State||retired federal probation officer|
|HL||28||Mark Hittner||18||Wrolstad||Pittsburg State||investment broker|
|LJ||45||Jeff Seeman||13||Cheffers||Minnesota||brokerage sales|
|FJ||82||Buddy Horton||16||Morelli||Oregon State||water service worker|
|BJ||46||Perry Paganelli||17||Parry||Hope College||retired high school administrator|
- Replay official: Carl Madsen
Sunday, Jan. 4
AFC Wild Card: Bengals at Colts, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Carl Cheffers is the referee, who is in his 15th year and 7th as referee. This is Cheffers’ 9th postseason assignment (4 Wild Card Playoffs, 3 Divisional Playoffs, and 2 Conference Championships).
|R||51||Carl Cheffers||15||Cheffers||California-Irvine||sales manager|
|U||121||Paul King||6||Vinovich||Nicholls State||school teacher|
|HL||54||George Hayward||24||Corrente||Missouri Western||vice-president and manager, warehouse company|
|LJ||100||Tom Symonette||11||Allen||Florida||certified public accountant|
|FJ||67||Doug Rosenbaum||14||Allen||Illinois Wesleyan||financial consultant|
|SJ||3||Scott Edwards||16||Torbert||Alabama||environmental engineer|
|BJ||119||Greg Wilson||7||Corrente||USC||law enforcement|
- Replay official: Jim Lampetina
- Replay assistant Jim Pearson
- Supervisor: Johnny Grier
NFC Wild Card: Lions at Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. (Fox)
Pete Morelli is the referee, who is in his 18th season and 13th as referee. This is Morelli’s 15th postseason assignment (7 Wild Card Playoffs, 5 Divisional Playoffs, 2 Conference Championships, and Super Bowl XXXVI). His Super Bowl assignment was as a field judge. Thanks to Dave Birkett for the crew list.
|R||135||Pete Morelli||18||Morelli||St Mary’s||high school principal|
|U||81||Roy Ellison||12||Wrolstad||Savannah State||technical staff member|
|HL||91||Jerry Bergman||13||Coleman||Robert Morris||sales executive|
|LJ||90||Mike Spanier||16||Coleman||St Cloud State||middle school principal|
|FJ||20||Barry Anderson||8||Torbert||North Carolina State||builder/developer|
|BJ||27||Lee Dyer||12||Wrolstad||Tennessee-Chattanooga||sales manager|
- Replay official: Bob McGrath
40 thoughts on “Wild Card assignments: Blakeman, Cheffers, Hochuli, Morelli”
Clete Blakeman has the Ravens-Steelers game, per a very trusted Baltimore source.
Hochuli just did Pitt vs. Cin. – I would be surprised to see him do Cin again.
Oh and Cheffers did Arizona in Week 17 – So I would venture to guess Cheffers has Cin vs. Colts and Hoch has Ari vs. Car.
Please football Gods…….no Hochuli!
OK, I think we have a pretty good guess of the assignments for Blakeman, Hochuli, Cheffers, and Morelli:
BAL@PIT- Blakeman, baltimoreravens.com
ARI@CAR-Hochuli, Cheffers just did Arizona last week.
DET@DAL-Morelli, Already confirmed.
CIN@IND-Cheffers, Only one left.
Btw Hochuli did a Cincy game last week so that gives Cheffers CIN@IND.
Btw Hochuli stood in the middle of the field. He didn’t officiate anything!
Hoch was in Carolina Week 16 vs Cleveland
All regular season worked games (five-week rule, one stadium rule) are disregarded for the playoff assignments. It is likely that Cheffers and Hochuli will not rework those two respective teams twice in a row, but it is a possibility that they will.
It would be an injustice!
Not an injustice. They do the best jobs in the regular season.
I wonder if Craig Wrolstad, Ron Torbert, or Brad Allen, the new refs, will get a playoff assignment for the divisional round.
Don’t think the new guys are eligible due to lack of experience.
As an aside, I’m surprised that Hochuli got a playoff game. He had a couple of awful roughing the passer calls that he had to be dinged for.
Good news for Morelli in relation to the Super Bowl, which I think a lot of us believe he will get the call for.
Bill- the wildcard pretty much says no super bowl. The divisional round is usually where the bowl refs get picked from – as has been the case the last few years.
I’ve been saying for about two months that I think the Super Bowl ref is Vinovich. Just seems like every time I turned in a big game this year, he was working.
Steelers Flip card:
R â€“ Clete Blakeman (34)
U â€“ Butch Hannah (40)
HL â€“ Mark Hittner (28)
LJ â€“ Jeff Seeman (45)
FJ â€“ Buddy Horton (82)
SJ â€“ Rick Patterson (15)
BJ â€“ Perry Paganelli (46)
Replay â€“ Carl Madsen
I hate to do it, I don’t like being picky, but the officials’ referee crews are last years (SJ Patterson now on Blakeman, FJ Horton now on Morelli).
Hittner is on Wrolstad crew not Hochuli
During the NFL playoffs, most of the crews are a combination of officials from different referee crews rather than using that own referees’ crew members.
Hochuli needs to referee all Patriots games do to the excessive rule breaking tactics of the defensive backfield for Patriots corners and safeties ( belicheat ). Ed will call it right ….hopefully!
Blakeman’s crew was horrible tonight. Inconsistent calls. I hate to see my fellow officials do so badly
Steratore of the Gene variety will become the first official to officiate in the super bowl and the ncaa final four bball in the same year.
Wow, I’m not usually one to whine about the officials, and there were certainly other contributing factors, but I’ve never seen such a blatant screw-job as Morelli and crew pulled off today in Dallas. I know the NFL and Fox badly wanted that Cowboys-Packers matchup, but to correctly call a penalty on a key play and even announce it, and THEN to pick up the flag and reverse the call for the league-favored home team with no explanation given? In 40+ years of watching sports I’ve never seen anything like that in any professional sport.
That Pass Interference flag during the Detroit vs. Dallas game should not have been picked up. Bad call by the officials.
Who is working the Packers/Cowboys game?
MINGUSAL I am as shocked as you are by this call/no-call. I plan on researching what happened with this play/game. You seem as though you have been on this site for some time, and may be able to provide some helpful insight into how the referee assignments/call are made. please email me if you’re interested in helping me with looking into this play email@example.com.
Makes you wonder if the BJ and HL were replacements. Good thing they all got those big pay raises in 2012!! The hypocrisy continues.
For those of you that are whining about the screwjob in the Cowboys vs Lions game, I felt like that the Cowboys were facing off against the Lions and the officials. This is coming from a Cowboys fan.
I agree Jessy there were calls early in the game that were very questionable to say the least that killed Dallas. I guess it all equals out. According to the ref the flag was picked up because an official with a better view saw it differently and said it was face guarding not pass interference, which it a penalty in college but not the NFL. Great game none the less.
Most PI calls can be debated either way. I thought it was a PI. I’ve seen a lot less called for sure. Dez Bryant running 10 yards onto the field without his helmet screaming at the official is another story.
The Lions got robbed period. As a long time Cowboys fan, I was disgusted in how far Jerry Jones will desperately force down Cowboys fans throats that Romo is the savor of the franchise in Jerry’s quest for that coveted Lord of the Rings (Super Bowl ). It appears the more I watch today’s NFL,the more the games are fixed for TV ratings and fantasy football. This is not the NFL that my father’s knew.
Dez running out on the field yelling at the refs without his helmet, should have been an unsportsmanlike penalty as well. Every time the TV cameras show Governor Christie @ Cowboys games, the Cowboys always win. Is the mafia part of the sham too.
I agree Dez should have been flagged. To say the game is fixed or that the referees helped Dallas win is absurd. They call it the way they see it. Maybe they got caught up in the moment and missed the call but don’t blame them. Detroit had it 4th and 1 and chose to punt. That punt was shanked only 10 yards. Dallas drove down the field and scored a game winning touchdown. That’s why they won!
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