Tina MacIntyre-Yee /Rochester Democrat and Chronicle / USA TODAY NETWORK

NFL Reveals Referees For Both Championship Playoff Games

We’re just six days away from NFL Championship Sunday, a crucial day when the two teams that will compete in this season’s Super Bowl will be decided.

In the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs find themselves in their sixth consecutive AFC Championship, a remarkable feat. They will be going head-to-head with the Baltimore Ravens, who are making their first appearance in this prestigious game in over a decade.

Over in the NFC, the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers are once again in the conference title game, marking their fourth appearance in the last five seasons. On the other side, the Detroit Lions are making a long-awaited return to this stage after an impressive 32-year hiatus.

The referee assignments for these highly anticipated championship games have been revealed. In the AFC Championship, Shawn Smith and his experienced crew will be in charge, while the NFC matchup will be overseen by Clete Blakeman and his team.

Shawn Smith has been a respected NFL official since 2015 and took on the role of referee in 2018. Although he has officiated in the playoffs every year since 2019, this will be his first time officiating a championship game. However, it’s worth noting that Smith previously served as the umpire in the 2017 NFC Championship Game between the Vikings and Eagles.

Clete Blakeman has an impressive tenure as an NFL official, starting in 2008 and becoming a referee in 2010. He brings a wealth of experience to the NFC Championship Game, having previously served as the referee for three conference championship games and even officiated Super Bowl 50.

Football fans can mark their calendars, as the AFC Championship Game is set to kick off at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, airing on CBS. Following that, the NFC Championship Game will take place at 6:30 p.m. ET, and football enthusiasts can catch it on FOX. It’s shaping up to be an exciting Championship Sunday as we edge closer to crowning the Super Bowl contenders.

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