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Report: Clete Blakeman to call Super Bowl 50

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 13: NFL referee Clete Blakeman signals a field goal as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play against the Philadelphia Eagles October 13, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Eagles won 31 - 20. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL is really not holding the whole flip-or-no-flip thing against Clete Blakeman.

According to, Blakeman has been tabbed to referee Super Bowl 50, his first shot to officiate the final football game of the year.

Blakeman just worked the divisional round game between the Packers and Cardinals, and raised some eyebrows by making the executive decision to toss the coin at the start of overtime again when it didn’t actually turn over the first time.

Of course, there were some egregious pass interference calls down the stretch of that game which should probably should get more scrutiny, but Blakeman has graded out as one of the league’s top tier of officials.

He’s officiated in the NFL for eight seasons, six of them as a referee. He only missed the playoffs one year he was eligible, and has worked two divisional round games previously.

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27 Responses to “Report: Clete Blakeman to call Super Bowl 50”
  1. walker615 says: Jan 20, 2016 3:43 PM

    I actually thought he did a good job in that game, all things considered. Handled the coin toss thing admirably in the heat of the moment.

    I’d certainly take him over Hochuli/Steratore/Triplette.

  2. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Jan 20, 2016 3:51 PM


    I agree. For some reason people want to blame him for the NFL giving him a souvenir china plate to flip instead of some semblance of a coin.

  3. mongo3401 says: Jan 20, 2016 3:57 PM

    Best ref in the nfl

  4. patsfan1820 says: Jan 20, 2016 3:58 PM

    Meh at least it wasn’t Streatore, Boger or Triplette. Like I said in a previous post I would have rather had Wrolstad ref the Super Bowl, but this isn’t a bad choice.

  5. nfl4dummies says: Jan 20, 2016 4:03 PM

    Did the right thing IMO. Its a coin toss. Lets move on from it already.

    BTW, hes been an NFL “ref” for only 6yrs and he’s handling the SB. Out a possible 16 crews. Says a lot about today’s officiating doesn’t it?

  6. spungy says: Jan 20, 2016 4:06 PM

    How cute of you guys to think that ref grading has anything to do with getting calls right.

  7. joker65 says: Jan 20, 2016 4:07 PM

    You know, the way the players acted when the coin didn’t flip was atrocious. Rodgers is waving his arms and yelling “what was that?”. The other players weren’t any better. I think Clete did the right thing. and handled it pretty well. Oh, and you don’t get to re-call it Aaron.

  8. brettfavrecellphone says: Jan 20, 2016 4:10 PM

    Good ref for Cards vs Pats in a couple weeks.

  9. billsfan says: Jan 20, 2016 4:13 PM

    Best ref in the nfl

    And, someone who is bad, is the “best” of the lot, when bad, worse, and worst are the choices.

  10. mmack66 says: Jan 20, 2016 4:14 PM

    joker65 says:
    Jan 20, 2016 4:07 PM

    You know, the way the players acted when the coin didn’t flip was atrocious. Rodgers is waving his arms and yelling “what was that?”.

    I didn’t see any of that. I did see them rightly point out that for maybe the first time ever in the long history of coin flips, the coin didn’t flip.

  11. texansfan82 says: Jan 20, 2016 4:14 PM

    Well deserved. I have always really respected him.

  12. shaggytoodle says: Jan 20, 2016 4:15 PM

    I suppose all those extra coins for collecting getting made with the SB 50 logo only need one side stamped now think of the money that will save the league. Heck they might be able to use that as a kickstarter for a team in London in a couple years.

  13. dlindstedt2 says: Jan 20, 2016 4:34 PM

    Well some Super Bowl team is getting screwed.

  14. selfpromotingqb says: Jan 20, 2016 4:36 PM

    Forget about the coin toss. This guy tried to give the game to the Packers.
    He also screwed over the Bears vs Packers in 2013. Looks like Manning is going to get his Superbowl.

  15. realfootballfan says: Jan 20, 2016 4:38 PM

    Well, let’s cap off another season of bad reffing with a guy who did a horrible job in just the last game he called. Good job NFL.

  16. selfpromotingqb says: Jan 20, 2016 4:38 PM

    Blakeman Is The NFL version of the Cooler
    He will stop any teams momentum at will.

  17. selfpromotingqb says: Jan 20, 2016 4:39 PM

    Blakeman is bad news for the Patriots

  18. Patskrieg says: Jan 20, 2016 4:59 PM

    How did Clete Blakeman magically become one of the highest graded referees? He’s been at the bottom of the gradings for years and constantly makes enormous screw ups.

  19. upperdecker19 says: Jan 20, 2016 5:09 PM

    NFL Playoffs Officiating Ineptitude Power Rankings

    5. Ron Torbert (how did this guy get a playoff game?)
    4. Bill Vinovich (see above)
    3. Ed Hochuli (see above)
    2. Any 2013 Replacement Ref
    1. Dean Blandino

  20. PFT-made-me-change-my-handle says: Jan 20, 2016 5:15 PM

    He’s proven he will let O linemen get away with holding the entire game. (See Green Bay last week).

  21. footballboozer says: Jan 20, 2016 5:18 PM

    He was the Referee in the deflate gate game.
    If the Pats make it, he will be instructed to screw the Pats over!

  22. genericnflfan says: Jan 20, 2016 5:24 PM

    Patriots might as well not go to the SuperBowl if they win Sunday.

  23. aballinhighgrass says: Jan 20, 2016 5:27 PM

    He was the back up referee in Deflategate. He’s been tabbed to screw the Patriots.

  24. imodan says: Jan 20, 2016 7:07 PM

    Quid pro quo for the attempted framing of Brady and the Patriots. Anyone who thinks differently doesn’t believe air shrinks in the cold. He is prominently mentioned in that hideous Wells report as one of the officials assigned to measure psi in the Pats and the Colts balls. Of course he botched the process so the NFL gives him one more chance to stick it to Brady and the Patriots. The NFL will go to any extreme to stop the disastrous look of Goodell handing the Lombardi to Kraft, Belichick and Brady. I for one can’t think of a more apropos ending to the whole fiasco.

  25. johnnyb1976 says: Jan 21, 2016 5:57 AM

    I’m guessing since the steelers won’t be there John Perry didn’t get a call. Bengals fans know all about John Perry.

  26. jgedgar70 says: Jan 21, 2016 9:07 AM

    Funny how the Pats fans are sure that this assignment means the NFL has it in for the other team. Surprised I haven’t heard any NE screaming about the MNF game in ’13 when this same ref picked up the flag in the end zone against the Panthers, and Brady called the ref every filthy name in the English language as loud as he could. I would think the tin foil hat Patriots fans would be citing this assignment as a sign the NFL is ready to give the Pats a makeup call in the Super Bowl if the Panthers are the opponent.

  27. usdcoyotesfan says: Jan 21, 2016 10:49 PM

    PFT-made-me-change-my-handle says:
    Jan 20, 2016 5:15 PM

    He’s proven he will let O linemen get away with holding the entire game. (See Green Bay last week).
    I agree, if you are talking about the Packers being allowed to be held repeatedly on the Cardinals’ go-ahead drive. The fact that he gets to ref the Super Bowl tells me all I need to know about what Goodell thinks of the Packers.

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