Clete Blakeman has been named Referee for Super Bowl 50

Image: Photo by Bill Sitzmann/Omaha Magazine

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:

Yrs2015 crewCollegeOccupation
R34Clete Blakeman8 Nebraskaattorney
U44Jeff Rice21BlakemanNorthwesternattorney
HL106Wayne Mackie9HusseyColgatedirector of operations, housing
LJ59Rusty Baynes6HochuliAuburn-Montgomerygeneral manager, safety services
FJ41Boris Cheek20ColemanMorgan Statedirector of operations and management
SJ3Scott Edwards17TorbertAlabamaenvironmental engineer
BJ61Keith Ferguson16HusseySan Jose Statesales

Football Zebras graphic by Ben Austro. Marcus Griep also contributed to this report.