Ref tabbed for AFC Championship has Deflategate ties and Patriots fans are irate

CBS Sports

The NFL has officially announced the officiating crew that will be working the AFC title game on Sunday (6:40 p.m. ET, CBS, stream on CBS All Access) and it appears that Patriots fans aren't too happy with the league's choice. 

The NFL has tabbed Clete Blakeman to serve as referee, and although that name might not sound completely familiar to everyone, it's definitely a familiar name to Patriots fans and that's because Blakeman played a key role in Deflategate. 

Way back in January 2015, Blakeman was working the AFC title game between the Colts and the Patriots as an alternate official, which usually isn't a very exciting job. However, after accusations started to fly that the Patriots were letting air out of their footballs, Blakeman's job suddenly became very important: He was one of the officials in charge of measuring the air pressure in each football. As noted in the Wells Report, Blakeman's job at halftime was to measure the air of 11 Patriots footballs and four Colts footballs. Although every Colts ball passed the air pressure test, Blakeman noted that all 11 Patriots football were below the 12.5 PSI threshold. 

#football, #professional

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