Carl Cheffers

Carl Cheffers

Cheffers in Green Bay in 2013
Nationality  United States
Occupation NFL official (2000–Present)

Carl Cheffers is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 2000 NFL season, who wears uniform number 51.[1]


Carl Cheffers is married and has two children.[2] Cheffers' father also was a football official and worked in the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10).[1][2]

Officiating career

As a college student, Cheffers became interested in officiating through his father, and decided to work intramural sports to make additional income.[1] Enjoying the experience of student sports, he sought assistance from his father to officiate high school football games to begin a career.[1] Starting in 1980, he worked several high school playoff games, and two high school championship games.[1] By 1995, Cheffers began officiating in the Pac-10 where he worked for five seasons before being hired by the NFL.[2] During this time, he also worked in the Western Athletic Conference.[2]

Since entering the NFL, Cheffers has worked as a side judge, most recently on the crew headed by referee Larry Nemmers.[3] Cheffers was promoted to referee (crew chief) beginning with the 2008 NFL season following the retirement of Nemmers and referee Gerald Austin.[3]

In his promotion to referee, NFL officiating director Mike Pereira said of Cheffers, "Carl has been extremely successful on the field as a side judge. He is very knowledgeable of the rules, a good rules guy. Strong presence. He was part of Larry Nemmers' crew and he was clearly a crew leader. When we first saw Carl, we saw referee experience from him even though he had refereed basically at the small-college level."

Cheffers was selected to be the alternate referee of Super Bowl XLIX, which was played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on February 1, 2015.[4]

In December 2015, Cheffers was responsible for a controversial call in a match between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, which led to the "Miracle in Motown" occurring on the subsequent play. Cheffers defended his call when interviewed by reporters in August 2016.[5]

Cheffers' 2016 NFL officiating crew consists of umpire Ruben Fowler, head linesman Kent Payne, line judge Tim Podraza, field judge Brad Freeman, side judge Scott Novak, and back judge Jim Quirk.[6]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Carl Cheffers, officiating among NFL and NFL Europa". National Football League Italy. 2006-12-03. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Carl Cheffers - NFL". Football Official's Camp. Archived from the original on 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
  3. 1 2 Sando, Mike (2008-04-01). "NFL promotes Cheffers, Riveron to referee". ESPN. Archived from the original on 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
  5. Rothstein, Michael (20 September 2016). "Carl Cheffers set to work as referee for Lions-Packers game at Lambeau". ESPN. Retrieved 21 September 2016.

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