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Gene Steratore, Tony Corrente to referee league championship games

Arizona Cardinals v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

The four teams that will play for the right to head to the Super Bowl were set last weekend. Now the two referees that will legislate the two conference championship games this weekend are also in place.

According to Mike Pereira of FOX Sports, Gene Steratore and Tony Corrente will be the head officials for the AFC and NFC Championship games on Sunday. Steratore will man the NFC game between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. Corrente will get the AFC battle between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos.

Steratore has not yet been assigned to work a Super Bowl in his time as a referee. Corrente was the head referee for Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears. Corrente also worked the 2009 AFC Championship game between the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts and the 2000 NFC Championship between the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants.

Corrente battled throat cancer in 2011 that forced him to miss time during the season to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Steratore and Corrente will not have their normal crews working with them this weekend. Officials for conference championship weekend are all mixed with officials that graded out strongly during the regular season. Those officials drawing conference championship assignments consist of those rating as the highest two overall percentages at each position of any not already working the Super Bowl.

As per league rules, we already know the referee for the Super Bowl will be one of the four that worked in the divisional round last week. Clete Blakeman, Terry McAulay, Carl Cheffers and Pete Morelli worked the four games last weekend and one of them will take the field in three weeks at MetLife Stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII. All officials that will staff the Super Bowl crew worked in games last week.

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27 Responses to “Gene Steratore, Tony Corrente to referee league championship games”
  1. osiris33 says: Jan 15, 2014 1:32 AM

    It would be useful to know if either of these guys worked any of the teams games this year and how many flags were thrown. For instance, did Sterratore work any Seahawks games?

  2. usdcoyotesfan says: Jan 15, 2014 1:38 AM

    At least Lance Easley isn’t calling the NFC Championship.

    Golden Tate: I know I had the ball.
    ESPN reporter: Did you push off?
    Tate: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    What a joke.

  3. 4949centennial says: Jan 15, 2014 1:48 AM

    Expect holds galore in Seattle as Steratore called least number of PIs of any crew this year.

  4. hockeyflow33 says: Jan 15, 2014 2:00 AM

    Ugh

  5. favresweiner says: Jan 15, 2014 3:07 AM

    Gene Steratore has been getting his referee shirts from Ed Hochuli.

  6. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 15, 2014 3:07 AM

    “Famiglia!”

    “Godfather!”

  7. packman15 says: Jan 15, 2014 3:32 AM

    I don’t see Jeff Triplette’s name…..shocking!

  8. mi6agent says: Jan 15, 2014 4:31 AM

    Steratore and his crew better watch out for those Seahawks defensive backs as they love to cheat by holding, grabbing and pushing the opposing receivers past 5 yards. Although they got away with it many times this season but still leading the league with 15 PIs.

  9. kc114 says: Jan 15, 2014 4:32 AM

    Are these guys qualified or do they fit the profile?

  10. hmpennypacker says: Jan 15, 2014 4:57 AM

    Glad to hear Steratore got the NFC game. I think he’s the best official, Shame its not with his crew though.

  11. petehemlock says: Jan 15, 2014 5:33 AM

    League championship games? Can’t wait to see who the pennant winners are.

  12. bricketh says: Jan 15, 2014 6:16 AM

    Wow, how bad were the other ref ratings when the poster child of bad calls this year, Clete Blakeman, was considered an “all star ref”?

  13. conseannery says: Jan 15, 2014 6:37 AM

    Steratore’s a solid ref. Corrente’s not bad, either.

    If it’s between Blakeman, McAulay, Cheffers and Morelli for the Super Bowl, I’d prefer Morelli or Cheffers – both of them seem to keep the flag in the pocket and keep the game moving.

    I suppose as long as it’s not Hochuli, I’ll be happy. How he is a fan favorite is beyond me. Every time his crew calls a false start, I have to hear a ten minute dissertation on the relative merits of free market capitalism versus a centralized economy.

  14. jgedgar70 says: Jan 15, 2014 7:23 AM

    Fine, as long as Jerome Boger isn’t anywhere in sight. He is the worst football official in the world, on any level. I couldn’t believe it when I saw him on the field for last year’s Super Bowl. I’m still mad at him for his stunt in the 2012 Panthers-Raiders game, when Cam Newton was flailing himself all over the field, upset over a blown call, and Boger leaned toward Cam so that Cam would contact him, enabling him to throw the flag on Cam he had been so desparate to throw all day. He is total trash as a ref.

  15. osiris33 says: Jan 15, 2014 9:05 AM

    Mike Carey is worse.

  16. nesuperfan says: Jan 15, 2014 9:22 AM

    I understand that every officiating position is based on merit, but I think that method of selection is partially wrong.
    Fine, take the best ref, but then take his ENTIRE crew…or judge the entire crew as a whole unit, and take it in its entirety. Breaking them up to make sure that you have the “best” back judge, or linesman, seems counter productive, and asking for more blown calls. A crew that has been working together all year, should stay together for the Super Bowl too.

  17. seattlesue427 says: Jan 15, 2014 10:13 AM

    I don’t think ANYONE should have this information prior to the game. Which officials are covering which games should be completely confidential right up until the first coin toss. There are many times that I’ve felt the refs have been bought and paid for prior to a game. If no one knows who they are, then they can’t be bribed.

  18. lastdukestreetking says: Jan 15, 2014 10:25 AM

    Steratore doesn’t call PI penalties downfield, the officials watching the downfield play do so it’s not relevent if his regular season crew called the fewest. He’ll be working with different officials although I suppose it’s possible that some are part of his regular season crew.

  19. Isaiah Webster III says: Jan 15, 2014 10:29 AM

    Clete Blakeman’s going to get the Super Bowl. Though Morelli would be good, too.

    Cheffers pretty much eliminated himself after the horrible officiating in the SF-CAR divisional playoff game. And Terry McAulay is known for questionable penalties that decide games.

  20. lanman11 says: Jan 15, 2014 11:13 AM

    Nice to know Manning is getting a ref that has been favorable to him in the past. Did Peyton approve this personally?

  21. stopthehate15bowdown says: Jan 15, 2014 11:51 AM

    No Bill Vinovich is the worst ref. So glad he got punished for his terrible performance in the ravens-broncos game last year. Refused to call PI all game except against denver. I like mike carey the best. The worst refs are the wishy-washy ones who wait until the scrum is unpiled and spend hours consulting with each other. Make a call and let replay fix it if necessary

  22. ratsfoiledagain says: Jan 15, 2014 12:01 PM

    4949centennial says:
    Jan 15, 2014 1:48 AM

    Expect holds galore in Seattle as Steratore called least number of PIs of any crew this year.
    ********
    Nice to know you single out one team while the other gets away with it just as often.

    Both S.F. & Sea defenses have gotten away with holds, grabbing, etc. throughout the year. What else is new. Both defenses are very aggressive, and do very similar things while the play is ongoing.

    It will all depend what the refs call, and how often.

    Defenses will have to adjust accordingly.

  23. richc111 says: Jan 15, 2014 12:05 PM

    Does it really matter all of these ref stink!. I still go back the replacement refs and how the world was ending because they were costing games. Every weekend these refs turn the game. The biggest problem they have now is as you get deeper into the playoff you run into all the teams that the Ref have a hard time call a PI on. Sure its easy when it is Cleveland or Jacksonville against NE but what now. I bet that NE has a play called in the plan call PI. What the play is when they really need it they just toss the ball up deep and get a PI call, Happens every game for them. I would like technology to do this. Play a game and have refs watch from the booth calling the game. Than have a computer changes the jerseys and have them call the exact same game. Almost ever game ticky tack calls are made that run games. But unlike the replacement refs there is not national TV reporting claiming the game is being ruined.

  24. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 15, 2014 12:25 PM

    The ref for the NFCC has only called 13 PIs all season.

    The ref for the AFCC has called 26 PIs this season.

    I see massive whining by Harbaugh and the 9ers on PI non-calls in the NFCC.

    I see massive whining by fans over ticky tack PI calls in the AFCC.

    Maybe we could get the league to switch the game each ref is supposed to get.

  25. beastmode5150 says: Jan 15, 2014 1:46 PM

    Ref’s don’t win or lose games, players do. Setup the whining all you want niner fans. Plus, Holding and PI are two different things, and his crew called the least PI’s.

  26. jeffbye says: Jan 15, 2014 2:57 PM

    It’s not like the 49ers ever get called for their constant offensive holding anyway.

  27. kac360 says: Jan 17, 2014 5:53 PM

    Steratore has become the Mills Lane of the NFL. I assume he never gets the Super Bowl because that would take away from his other job of working 3-4 Big Ten/Big East basketball games per week.

    Does Hochuli get the Pro Bowl again?

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