With the teams in place for the conference championship games set over the weekend, all that remained was for the NFL to announce the officials.
According to Mike Pereira of FOX Sports, Gene Steratore will head the crew officiating the NFC championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, while Tony Corrente will be at Mile High to referee the clash between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots.
Corrente has experience of refereeing the biggest games, having been the head official for Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears, and has worked the championship games in 2009 (AFC – New York Jets vs Indianapolis Colts) and 2000 (NFC – Minnesota Vikings vs New York Giants). Steratore has yet to officiate a Super Bowl.
Neither official will be working with their normal crew this weekend. The officiating crews for conference championship weekend are made up of the officials who received high grades during the regular season, with the top ranked official for each position being assigned to the Super Bowl crew.
The referee for the Super Bowl will be one of the four that worked in the divisional round, which means it will be one of: Clete Blakeman, Terry McAulay, Carl Cheffers or Pete Morelli. All of the Super Bowl officials also worked that weekend.