Clete Blakeman, who had key role in Deflategate drama and oversaw disputed 2013 finish, will work Patriots preseason game Friday

August 27, 2015 - 6:37 pm
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[caption id="attachment_96191" align="alignright" width="350"]Clete Blakeman will work Friday's Patriots-Panthers game. (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) Clete Blakeman will work Friday's Patriots-Panthers game. (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)[/caption] Clete Blakeman will work as the referee for Friday's Patriots-Panthers preseason game in Charlotte, according to Footballzebras.com. Blakeman has a bit of a past with New England, to put it mildly. He was the alternate official for the 2014 AFC title game between the Patriots and Colts, and is mentioned prominently in the Wells Report as the official who took the air pressure measurements in the footballs before the game. In addition, he was the referee on a disputed non-call in a November 2013 contest between the Patriots and Carolina in Charlotte. On the play -- which was really the jurisdiction of the back judge and the umpire -- Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly grabbed tight end Rob Gronkowski in the end zone on a pass attempt, a play that should have been whistled for defensive holding, or simply pass interference. Back judge Terrence Miles threw a flag, but it was waved off by Blakeman. The no-call fundamentally ended the contest -- a 24-20 win for the Panthers -- and as Blakeman ran off the field, Tom Brady cursed out the official. (For a complete breakdown of the play, click through to this explainer.) For more on Blakeman's record as an official, check out his page at Pro Football Reference. For the complete list of officiating assignments this week, click through to to our friends at Football Zebras. And for more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots. DraftKings Kick off this football season with the biggest fantasy football contest ever on DraftKings! Prizes worth $10 million are up for grabs, including $2 million for first AND $1 million for second! PLAY IN THE WEEK 1 MILLIONAIRE MAKER, CLICK HERE.