The Super Bowl referees are set, but not without a bit of controversial nostalgia.
Clete Blakeman will lead the seven-man officiating crew for Super Bowl 50 next month between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, the NFL announced Wednesday. Blakeman was an alternate ref at Gillette Stadium for last season’s AFC Championship Game — the birth of Deflategate.
Blakeman also was the official who botched the overtime coin flip for the Arizona Cardinals-Green Bay Packers NFC Divisional Playoff.
Joining him will be Jeff Rice (umpire), Wayne Mackie (head linesman), Rusty Baynes (line judge), Boris Cheek (field judge), Scott Edwards (side judge) and Keith Ferguson (back judge). Collectively, the Super Bowl 50 officiating crew has 97 years of NFL officiating experience and 62 combined playoff game assignments.
Blakeman, Mackie, Baynes, and Edwards are officiating in their first Super Bowl. This will be Rice’s third Super Bowl. He previously worked Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII. Cheek worked Super Bowl XLII and Ferguson officiated Super Bowl XLIII.
Charles Stewart is the replay official. The replay assistant is Jimmy Oldham.
Thumbnail photo via Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports Images