NEW YORK (COURTESY FOOTBALL ZEBRAS) — 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).