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Cheffers and Vinovich are Conference Championship referees

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Football Zebras has confirmed the assignment of referees Carl Cheffers and Bill Vinovich to the Conference Championship games on Sunday. Vinovich will be in Kansas City for the AFC showdown between the Bengals and Chiefs; Cheffers will be in Los Angeles for the NFC clash between the 49ers and Rams. This weekend’s Conference Championships will feature the last two Super Bowl referees.

All times are Eastern.

For the Conference Championships, a full crew of alternate officials has been assigned, in addition to an alternate replay official. This will also be used for the Super Bowl, after a full alternate crew for the later round playoff games was instituted last season.

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

Scheduled assignments are subject to change.

Sunday, Jan. 30

AFC Championship Game: Bengals at Chiefs, 3:00 p.m. CBS Para+

Bill Vinovich will head the crew in the AFC Championship Game.

Vinovich is a perennial top-tier official, as for 7 of the last 8 postseasons, he has earned an assignment to either the Conference Championship or the Super Bowl. He is the first referee to accomplish that feat since Jerry Markbreit worked 5 Conference Championships and 2 Super Bowls in the 8-year span from 1989 to 1996.

Vinovich, 60, is a certified public accountant from Lake Forest, Calif. Vinovich also served as a supervisor of NFL officials for 5 seasons, a position he held while sidelined from on-field officiating due to a near-fatal heart condition. Vinovich was hired by the NFL in 2001 making this his 16th season on the field. He is now completing his 13th season, nonconsecutive, as referee.

Prior to joining the NFL, Vinovich officiated in the Mountain West Conference and was a referee in the CFL from 1994 to 1998 when the Canadian circuit included teams in the United States. He also worked in the Arena Football League, and officiated in ArenaBowl XIV prior to jumping to the NFL.

This is Vinovich’s 16th postseason assignment, including 3 Wild Card Playoffs, 5 Divisional Playoffs, 6 Conference Championships, and Super Bowls XLIX and LIV. Both of his Super Bowl assignments were as a referee.

Yrs2021 crewCollegeOccupation
R52Bill Vinovich16 San Diegocertified public accountant
U11Fred Bryan13MartinNorthern Iowasuperintendent, juvenile correctional facility
DJ134Ed Camp22HochuliWilliam Patersonphysical education teacher
LJ45Jeff Seeman20CheffersMinnesotabrokerage sales
FJ31Mearl Robinson5HillAir Forceretired U.S. Air Force instructor
SJ120Jonah Monroe7BogerArkansasengineer
BJ78Greg Meyer20ClarkTexas Christianbanker
RO Mark Butterworth5VinovichWalshnon-profit COO
RA Larry Hanson2AllenCalifornia-San Diegohealth and safety
ALTRShawn Hochuli8 Claremontfinancial advisor
ALTURoy Ellison19HillSavannah StateIT engineer
ALTDJPatrick Holt3VinovichNorth Carolina StateIT manager
ALTLJRusty Baynes12BogerAuburn-Montgomerygeneral manager, safety services
ALTFJRyan Dickson5TorbertUtahcommercial real estate developer
ALTSJDale Shaw9KempAlleghenypharmaceutical sales
ALTBJTodd Prukop13CorrenteCal State-Fullertonmedical sales representative

NFC Championship Game: 49ers at Rams, 6:30 p.m. Fox

Carl Cheffers is the referee for the NFC Championship Game.

Cheffers is in his 22nd season and 14th as referee. This is Cheffers’s 16th postseason assignment, including 5 Wild Card Playoffs, 6 Divisional Playoffs, 2 Conference Championships, and Super Bowls LI and LV. Cheffers is fresh off his assignment to Super Bowl LV last season.

Cheffers joined the NFL in 2000 after working five years in the Pac-10 Conference, now the Pac-12. He was promoted to referee for the 2008 season after working 8 years as a side judge. Before his hiring to the NFL staff, he worked two seasons in NFL Europe, and officiated World Bowl 1999.

Cheffers, 61, is a sales manager from Whittier, Calif., where he lives with his wife Nanette.

Yrs2021 crewCollegeOccupation
R51Carl Cheffers22 California-Irvinesales manager
U121Paul King13ClarkNichols Collegeteacher
DJ6Jerod Phillips6MartinNortheastern Stateelementary school teacher
LJ9Mark Perlman21VinovichSalemteacher
FJ97Tom Hill23HochuliCarson Newmanretired teacher/coach
SJ103Eugene Hall8CheffersNorth Texasfederal agent
BJ12Greg Steed19RogersHowardcomputer systems analyst
RO Brian Matoren17MartinFloridawriter/producer
RA Randy Campbell2MartinKansas Stateoil and gas
ALTRClete Blakeman14 Nebraskaattorney
ALTUMark Pellis8TorbertAlleghenyfinancial advisor
ALTDJMark Hittner25SmithPittsburg Stateinvestment broker
ALTLJJulian Mapp13BlakemanGrambling Statesoftware quality assurance tester
ALTFJAnthony Jeffries4CorrenteAlabama-Birminghammedical sales
ALTSJDon Willard4CorrenteIllinois Statephysical therapist
ALTBJDino Paganelli16SmithAquinas Collegeeducator
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Cameron Filipe
Cam Filipe is a graduate student at Boston University and has been involved in football officiating for ten years. Cam is entering his second season as a high school football official. This is his seventh season covering NFL officiating for Football Zebras.

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17 thoughts on “Cheffers and Vinovich are Conference Championship referees

  1. Assuming the game goes on as scheduled, would that confirm Tony Corrente for the Pro Bowl?

  2. Does anyone know why Sarah Thomas and Coleman from last years Super Bowl crew have not been assigned to this years playoffs? They are the only two from that crew.

  3. @Bruce – with regards to Sarah- That was a stunt packaged for the nitwits who watch the today show and like those kind of stories.

    As For Coleman, he seems really annoying and acts like he is already the white hat. Probably got under someone’s skin.

  4. BJ Terrence Miles could be an alternate or Work the Probowl
    Superbowl Referees might be Clete Blakeman or Ron Torbert

  5. Ron Torbert excellent choice for SB. Also Cheffers & Vinovich are tops for the Championships.

  6. agree re. Hochuli. He rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Likes to talk and hear himself talk. Inserts himself into the game way too often. One of the weaker referees in the NFL imo

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