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2015 Postseason

Clete Blakeman is referee for Super Bowl 50

Football Zebras exclusive




Football Zebras exclusive

Clete Blakeman will be the referee heading the Super Bowl 50 officiating staff on Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif., confirmed by multiple sources. The assignments were officially given to the crew today.

Blakeman worked the overtime Divisional Playoff game between the Packers and Cardinals last Saturday. Each of Blakeman’s crew members worked a Divisional Playoff game, but no more than three appeared on the same crew.

Officials in the Super Bowl must be ranked in the top tier as determined by the vice-president of officiating, Dean Blandino. Accuracy percentages are a large part of the ranking scheme, but Blandino indicated there are other factors he considers. Past practice has allowed officials who have not had a previous Super Bowl assignment, but are near the top rank at their positions, to receive preference.

This is the first Super Bowl assignment for Blakeman. He has worked 3 Wild Card games and 2 Divisional Playoffs and only missed one postseason out of the ones he’s been eligible for. He has been an official in the NFL for 8 seasons, with 6 of them at the referee position. Blakeman’s crew has worked a combined 4 super bowls: Jeff Rice (XXXVI and XXXVIII), Boris Cheek (XLII), and Keith Ferguson (XLIII).

The crew that has been confirmed for the big game is as follows:

      Yrs 2015 crew College Occupation
R 34 Clete Blakeman 8   Nebraska attorney
U 44 Jeff Rice 21 Blakeman Northwestern attorney
HL 106 Wayne Mackie 9 Hussey Colgate director of operations, housing
LJ 59 Rusty Baynes 6 Hochuli Auburn-Montgomery general manager, safety services
FJ 41 Boris Cheek 20 Coleman Morgan State director of operations and management
SJ 3 Scott Edwards 17 Torbert Alabama environmental engineer
BJ 61 Keith Ferguson 16 Hussey San Jose State sales
  • Replay official: Charles Stewart
  • Replay assistant: Jimmy Oldham
  • Alternates:
    • Referee: Tony Corrente
    • Umpire: Butch Hannah
    • Linesman: Jerry Bergman
    • Deep officials: Adrian Hill, Keith Washington
  • Supervisor: Garth DeFelice
  • Observers: Dean Blandino, Al Riveron

Image: Photo by Bill Sitzmann/Omaha Magazine. Football Zebras graphic by Ben Austro. Marcus Griep also contributed to this report.

From Football Zebras editor Ben Austro

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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)