Carl Cheffers to receive first Super Bowl assignment

ByKevin Seifert ESPN logo
Thursday, January 19, 2017

Carl Cheffers will be the referee for Super Bowl LI, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

It will be the first Super Bowl assignment as a referee for Cheffers, who joined the league as a side judge in 2000 and has been a referee since 2008.

The NFL has not yet made a formal announcement. The website Football Zebras also confirmed Cheffers' assignment.

Cheffers was the referee for the Pittsburgh Steelers' 18-16 victory Sunday night over the Kansas City Chiefs, a game that included a controversial holding penalty on Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher. The penalty wiped out a two-point conversion that would have tied the game at 18 with two minutes, 43 seconds remaining in the game.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was livid about the call after the game. Referring to Cheffers' jersey number, Kelce said: "Referee No. 51 shouldn't even be able to wear a zebra jersey ever again. He shouldn't even be able to work at f---ing Foot Locker."

On Monday, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he also disagreed with the call. Reid suggested that the block looked worse than it was because Steelers linebacker James Harrison slipped in the wet conditions while engaged with Fisher.

"There are certain things you agree with and don't agree with during games,'' Reid said. "It really doesn't matter now that we're sitting here. I don't want to be fined any money but I would tell you I was probably leaning the other way. I thought Fish did what he needed to do on that particular block to get that done, and the problem is when [Harrison] slipped it can look worse than it is.

"I know Fish is going to have a lot of eyes on him for that call, and I'm not sure I completely agree with what took place, but it did. The call was made and we live with that.'"

Here are the other officials who will work the Super Bowl, assignments the NFL makes based on regular-season grades.

  • Umpire: Dan Ferrell
  • Head linesman: Kent Payne
  • Line judge: Jeff Seeman
  • Field judge: Doug Rosenbaum
  • Side judge: Dyrol Prioleau
  • Back judge: Todd Prukop
  • Replay official: Tom Sifferman

Related Video