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Wrolstad, Blakeman, Corrente, McAulay get Divisional round assignments

15DIV whitehats

Football Zebras has confirmed the crews for the Divisional Playoff weekend. Officials are listed with their uniform number, years of NFL 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). When alternates are listed, their position during the regular season is also given. The prior playoff experience that is listed for the crew chief includes service as an NFL official, including as referee and any other crew position (excluding alternate assignments).

Saturday, Jan. 16

Chiefs at Patriots, 4:35 p.m. (CBS)

Craig Wrolstad is the referee, who is in his 13th year and 2nd as referee. This is the first season he is eligible for a postseason assignment at the referee position. (First-year referees cannot qualify for postseason assignments.) This is his 10th postseason assignment, including 4 Wild Card Playoffs, 3 Divisional Playoffs, 2 Conference Championships, and Super Bowl XLVII. His Super Bowl assignment was as a field judge.

         Yrs 2015 crew College Occupation
R 4 Craig Wrolstad 13    Washington athletic director
U 81 Roy Ellison 13 Wrolstad Savannah State technical staff member
HL 110 Phil McKinnely 14 Vinovich UCLA inventory control
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 60 Gary Cavaletto 13 Vinovich Hancock general manager, agricultural operations
BJ 105 Dino Paganelli 10 Steratore Aquinas College educator
  • Replay official: Mike Wimmer
  • Alternates: Bill Vinovich (R), Dan Ferrell (U), Byron Boston (LJ)

Packers at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. (NBC)

Clete Blakeman is the referee, who is in his 8th season and 6th as referee. This is Blakeman’s 5th postseason assignment, including 3 Wild Card Playoffs and 2 Divisional Playoffs; he has only missed the playoffs one season in which he was eligible.

         Yrs 2015 crew College Occupation
R 34 Clete Blakeman 8    Nebraska attorney
U 44 Jeff Rice 21 Blakeman Northwestern attorney
HL 37 Jim Howey 17 Torbert Erskine College director of adult education
LJ 45 Jeff Seeman 14 Boger Minnesota brokerage sales
FJ 72 Michael Banks 14 McAulay Illinois State carpenter foreman
SJ 78 Greg Meyer 14 Hochuli Texas Christian banker
BJ 61 Keith Ferguson 16 Hussey San Jose State sales


  • Replay official: Charles Stewart
  • Alternates: Mark Hittner (HL), Steve Zimmer (FJ), Allen Baynes (SJ)


Sunday, Jan. 17

Seahawks at Panthers, 1 p.m. (Fox)

Tony Corrente is the referee, who is in his 21st season and 18th as referee. This will be Corrente’s 15th postseason assignment, including 5 Wild Card Playoffs, 4 Divisional Playoffs, 5 Conference Championships, and Super Bowl XLI. His Super Bowl assignment was as a referee.

         Yrs 2015 crew College Occupation
R 99 Tony Corrente 21    Cal State-Fullerton college officiating coordinator
U 115 Tony Michalek 14 Hussey Indiana USA Football officiating director
HL 13 Patrick Turner 2 Hochuli Cal State-Long Beach plant manager
LJ 32 Jeff Bergman 24 Triplette Robert Morris president and chief executive officer, medical services
FJ 29 Adrian Hill 6 Hochuli Buffalo software engineer
SJ 80 Greg Gautreaux 14 Parry SW Louisiana athletic programs manager
BJ 93 Scott Helverson 13 Hochuli Iowa sales, printing and promotions


  • Replay official: Howard Slavin
  • Alternates: Ed Hochuli (R), Rich Hall (U), Carl Johnson (LJ)

Steelers at Broncos, 4:40 p.m. (CBS)

Terry McAulay is the referee, who is in his 18th year and 15th as referee. This is McAulay’s 16th postseason assignment, including 2 Wild Card Playoffs, 4 Divisional Playoffs, 7 Conference Championships, and Super Bowls XXXIX, XLIII, and XLVIII. His Super Bowl assignments were all as a referee.

         Yrs 2015 crew College Occupation
R 77 Terry McAulay 18    Louisiana State college officiating coordinator
U 92 Bryan Neale 2 McAulay Indiana sales consultant
HL 106 Wayne Mackie 9 Hussey Colgate director of operations, housing
LJ 47 Tim Podraza 8 Cheffers Nebraska corporate real estate
FJ 15 Rick Patterson 20 Morelli Wofford banker
SJ 3 Scott Edwards 17 Torbert Alabama environmental engineer
BJ 83 Shawn Hochuli 2 Allen Claremont financial advisor


  • Replay official: Earnie Frantz
  • Alternates: Kent Payne (HL), Dyrol Prioleau (FJ), Joe Larrew (SJ)

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64 thoughts on “Wrolstad, Blakeman, Corrente, McAulay get Divisional round assignments

  1. Three of my other favorite referees from the NFL Games On TV get to have the Divisional Round Clete Blakeman, Tony Corrente and Terry McAulay.
    I am so freaking proud of you three referees for getting the Divisional Round.
    I know that you will do an excellent fabulous job.
    Good Luck Gentleman

  2. So based on this the logical guess is that the Super Bowl white hat would either be Blakeman or Corrente (I’d probably go with Corrente).

  3. All hell is going to break loose in Denver. Its the last game of this coming weekend and will be the most controversial.

    Congratulations to Wrolstad. I like Corrente to get the Super Bowl assignment.

  4. That means one of these refs will work the Super Bowl. I am taking Corrente to work it. He deserves one. Been 9 years since he last worked the big game and he has performed exceptionally well in 2015. So has Wrolstad, McAulay, and Blakeman but I think this is Tony’s year.

  5. Presume this means Ed Hochuli graded out as a Tier 1 official this season and will get a Conference Championship game?

    I’m also of the thought Corrente will get the big job.

  6. Neil, not necessarily. Cheffers, Vinovich and Anderson still have not been assigned and the NFL does like the first two

  7. Count me in as another who thinks Corrente will get the Super Bowl assignment, though any of the 4 would be deserving of it.

    So this likely means that 2 of Allen, Anderson, Cheffers, Hochuli, and Vinovich will have the Conference Championships, correct?

  8. i think it’s blakeman’s to lose. Wrolstad isn’t eligible, I don’t know if they would give McAulay his 2nd SB in 3 years and Corrente has already worked a SB.

  9. I pegged Tony for the Super Bowl in the pre-playoffs prediction thread — and will stick with that. Terry’s not getting the SB for the second time in three years, especially after what happened at the Meadowlands. And Wrolstad as a second-year white hat isn’t getting it. Clete definitely worthy of it but I think it’s Tony’s year.

  10. Thank you thank you thank you for keeping Terry McAwful away from the Seahawks-Panthers game! I feel bad for the Broncos…the Steelers and their dirty/aggressive play sets up perfectly for look-the-other-way McAwful.

  11. Of the refs I saw this year, I would vote for Blakeman. He, like many others, is stuck with some very weak crew members. However, he has risen above.

    The NFL has got to start hiring best available. The current crop of newbies is not the best available and it shows.

  12. Who were the officials for the Pittsburgh/Cincinnati game? As long as they never officiate again.

  13. The referees listed so far are the only ones that will be considered for Conference Championship games or the Super Bowl. I think the Super Bowl goes to Corrente with Blakeman the Alt R for the Super Bowl

  14. Would the League give Brad Allen his first career playoff assignment in a Conference title game? I’d have to imagine Hochuli didn’t grade out as high as Vinovich, Chefers, or Walt Anderson. It’s also surprising to me that one of those 3 didn’t grade high enough to get any assignment!

  15. Edit: If Vinovich is the Alternate on Chiefs/Pats would that make him ineligible for the conference championship games?

  16. How many more consecutive years is the NFL going allow Gene Steratore to officiate as a referee in a Green Bay Packer playoff game ? First he decided a game changing call in the January 11, 2015 Divisional Championship Game involving the Dez Bryant TD catch in the end zone ! Then exactly one year later to the date ! A game changing/momentum changing call against Washington Redskin Tight End Jordan Reed reception in Green Bay territory, in the January 11,2016 Nfc Wildcard Game. The knee of the receiver never made contact to the ground.A Fox TV replay following the actual play showed evidence.A cut into a tv commercial inadvertently kept the tv audience from seeing if the play was even Under Review ! I think #113 should be ‘UNDER REVIEW’ !

  17. I would think their should always be a referee assigned as an alternate for every playoff game but I guess not. Something happens in a game when a referee is not an alternate and the referee has to leave then the nfl will wake up I expect.

  18. So far, every referee – except for Cheffers, Anderson, and Morelli – has received one playoff assignment, either on-field or as an alternate. Based on that, I expect Cheffers and Anderson in the Conference Championship games and Morelli in the Pro Bowl. (Alternates maybe the on-field officials from the Wildcard Round.) For the Super Bowl it will either be Blakeman or Corrente but I guess Corrente will get his second.

  19. I think we have figured out the future assignments. Anderson and Cheffers next week: Corrente or Blakeman for the SB.

    Throughout this season and his career, we also have figured out that Terry Mcaulay is GOD AWFUL. We will be glued to the TV late Sunday for what should be a horrendously officiated game.

    Denver fans have already begun to collect bottles to bring. With Mcaulay running the show there will be either 47 total penalties or 2. Either Mcaulay’s face will constantly be seen on the screen or the players will be able to get away with murder. The best team in Denver on Sunday may not win!

  20. Leroy, what happens if there are no officiating controversies in Denver on Sunday? What happens if Terry McAulay and crew have a great game? Tell me Leroy, what happens then?

  21. I don’t know all the variables but I’m guessing on Vinovich and Hochuli for the conference finals and Corrente for the SB.

  22. Correction: Jeff Rice #44 worked with Clete Blakeman this season, not with Pete Morelli.

  23. No way Carl Cheffers doesn’t get one of the championship round games. He and I think Walt Anderson will occupy that job. As for SB50 I hope Clete gets it. He has been fabulous this season, nothing taken away from Corrente but I think it will be Clete Blakeman Feb7

  24. If a referee did not work on the field in a prior round, then the way I understand the referees labor agreement, they would not be eligible for the conference championship or Super Bowl

  25. I agree with Leroy, MCAULAY is overrated and HE will throw way too many flags so HE gets HIS face on TV. It’s not about the game with him, it’s all about HIM! Vinovich, Steratore, Perry and Big ED all do a much better job of managing the game without taking over the game, even though Big Ed likes to hear himself on the mic!

  26. Really had Hochuli down to be the SB50 ref. Bit gutted :(. Hoping for Wrolstrad although I know it’s a long shot with him being a 2nd year ref.

    Know Walt Anderson got the SB a few years ago so he won’t get it again this year.

  27. I think it’s almost a lock that Walt Anderson and Carl Cheffers will don their white hats for the Conference Championship games. Think it will come down to Corrente and Blakeman for the Super Bowl. Wrolstad is ineligible since he doesn’t have the experience and think the Carolina-NYG game will hold McCaulay down.

  28. It was my understanding that Hochuli is retiring after this season, thus why would he not get the final game?

  29. Hochuli will probably get the Pro Bowl. Note that 5 members of Hochuli’s crew are working this weekend. Hochuli isn’t. In the NFL’s eyes, Hochuli had an all-star crew and was the weakest link on it.

    What happens if Mcaulay officiates good game Sunday? I guess its a very small possibility but I could win the powerball lottery too.

    Mcaulay is really bad and has been for the majority of his career.

  30. So if Hochuli retires will Hochuli be the replacement, as Hochuli gets a game in his second year.

  31. I say the AFC Championship Game referee will be Bill Vinovich and the NFC Championship Game Referee will be Ed Hochuli

  32. Whenever i hear that my man Dino Paganelli Gene Steratore’s Back Judge # 105 gets an assignment, I make sure that the first thing that i do is that i email him prior to the assignment and keep in touch with him.
    Way to go Dino i am so proud of you bud you deserve it.
    Talk to you soon.

  33. Wrolstad is one of the finest, upstanding, young men in all of officiating. I have worked with him and can attest to his character, effort, and ability. Congratulations Craig- well deserved. Keep up the great work.

  34. By the way, what about the officials picked other than the R’s?

    At least one very weak HL is working this week and the wild card group of HL/ LJ officials was better than the crop picked for this week.

  35. Don’t write Hochuli off so fast. He is an alternate this week and maybe inline for an assignment next week. One never knows the way these assignments have been going. As for McAulay, he sucks for sure and has messed up a few times over the past few years but somehow finds a way to place the blame on someone else. There is no way he’ll work another SB so soon. Plus he doesn’t deserve it. Note to #77, Before handing the coin to the celebrity, ask the captain his choice!!!

  36. Corrente would be the logical choice for the Super Bowl since he’s from California. Would allow his family to make the short trip to Santa Clara.

  37. Terry McAulay is actually very fortunate to still be an NFL official, much less a referee who has called three Super Bowls. In 1998, he was a rookie side judge when he made an egregious pass interference call on a Hail Mary at the end of the Buffalo at New England game. The late Jerry Seeman chastised that call on his review of plays which was sent out to officials prior to the next week’s games. It should NEVER have been made in the first place. Took the win away from Buffalo.

    McAulay got away with that one. If someone else had made that call, he probably would have been fined a game check and/or suspended.

  38. Mr. Bagley, why the Hell would you (or anyone for that manner) want to see Mcaulay in Super Bowl 50. Are you related to him?

    Take away my justified criticisms- how many former co-workers of Mcaulay, on just this messageboard, have stated factual evidence to show you that he sucks as an official?

    Why would you want someone, who really needs to retire, leading a crew in the Super Bowl?

    You’ll see Sunday afternoon.

  39. …Perhaps because he’s done it 3 times already without incident?

    Look. I agree that McAulay handled the situation in week 15 less than ideally (though the calls in question rested with his crew more-so than him). I agree with the consensus that he won’t be working Super Bowl 50 (primarily because of his Super Bowl 48 assignment). What I don’t agree with is the personal attacks against an official who, whether you accept it or not, has been a top 3 referee at least 9 times since 2002-03(3 Super Bowls and 6 Conference Championships as a white hat). That crosses a line that shouldn’t be crossed.

    Leroy, you can question a decision all you want and respond to someone’s assignment to a game all you want while maintaining a level of respect and not resorting to personal attacks. All you have is rhetoric, hyperbole, and personal attacks. Your criticisms are far from justified. Also, WHEN have any former co-workers commented on here? Please tell everyone who these commenters are.

    It’s not Terry McAulay’s fault that the league feels he is an upper-echelon official. It’s not Terry McAulay’s fault that his crew didn’t eject OBJ and/or Josh Norman (because surely you know that it’s up to the officials closest to the play to eject offending players, not the white hat). And it’s not Terry McAulay’s fault that you and the rest of the former “co-workers” weren’t good enough to last at the NFL level.

    Leroy, it’s enough….you need to go.

  40. Hard to take anyone serious who hides behind the name “Common Sense” and is too cowardly to use their own on a harmless referee site.

    While I want to respect your no name opinion that you are treating as fact I just couldn’t disagree more. McAulay is a joke, go back and watch the tape. He had a great front row seat for the Beckham kill shot on Normans jaw and did NOTHING. He gets paid entirely too much to make these asinine mistakes. Just one example of his many failures, but keep sympathizing. Guessing you are Terry himself or work on his crew!

  41. blah blah blah Terry Mcaulay sucks…blah blah blah you’re a moron if you defend him…blah blah blah hope he breaks his femur on Sunday…

    …am I doing it right now?

  42. Those supporting Corrente must have watched a different season than most of us. He cost the Lions a win vs the Seahawks with the decision to not properly penalize Seattle for batting the ball out of bounds. Can’t wait to see how he helps them on Sunday.
    Also in Atlanta at Carolina he made the rookie move of leaving his mic open and was caught complaining about the Panthers not getting a first down in order to run the clock out so they could go home.
    The life of an NFL referee, only Powerball winners have it better. Most people would be fired for these types of bonehead mistakes in the real world. Instead they are praised as being the best and deserving of Super Bowls.

  43. In past years, Tony has been one of the better refs. Agree Tom- the ref mainly watches the QB/P/K. The other guys have jobs to do too…..

  44. Todd S is an Idiot.
    There was still 1.30 left in the game with 3 time outs for Seattle.
    That and even if they call the penalty,,, the Lions STILL aren’t in yet.

  45. The thing that caught my eye: Bill Vinovich, from Super Bowl referee to divisional alternate.

  46. Its hard to imagine that Hochuli is an alternate while 5 out of 6 of his teammates get field assignments and he won’t get another game. The Ref’s success is directly tied to that of his team, so unless the NFL found things that Hochuli himself messed up on, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be given a CC game.

  47. Ken, the NFL assigns alternates only to those who graded high enough to not be in the bottom tier. In recent years (until possibly McAulay last year) if the Super Bowl Referee from the previous year did not rate in the top tier and they had enough Referees from the top two tiers they did not give the most recent Super Bowl Referee a playoff assignment in order to spread it around

  48. How come the alternates aren’t spread out to cover most positions? I would think there would at least be a Referee alternate for each game plus a side and a deep official.

  49. Ken McManus, I agree how does somebody go from Superbowl referee to not even a playoff game

  50. blah blah blah Terry Mcaulay sucks…blah blah blah you’re a moron if you defend him…blah blah blah hope he breaks his femur on Sunday…

    …am I doing it right now?

    YES…but I just hopes he retires quick, not break his leg.

    Hours away from another bottlegate! Enjoy!

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