With conspiracies swirling over the rigged nature of the NFL, Sunday night could prove to be a frustrating night for Detroit Lions fans who buy in.

Of course, many people are on the bandwagon that the NFL has already decided that the Super Bowl LVIII matchup will be the Baltimore Ravens vs. the San Francisco 49ers. This is mostly due to a conspiracy surrounding the color choices of the Super Bowl logo, which match up with the two teams - never mind the 49ers and Ravens are the two most stacked rosters in the NFL, but hey, social media is gonna do its thing.

Still, those conspiracies will only be exaggerated for Lions fans if the Lions run into more trouble with the officials in charge of the NFC Championship.

The NFL has selected Clete Blakeman as the head official for the NFC Championship. While few names would likely make Lions fans happy, Blakeman is one with whom the Lions have a poor history.

Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams
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While the 16-year veteran official has officiated 20 Lions games over his career, the most damning performance was in 2019 against the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football. The Lions lost this game 23-22 due in large part to some highly questionable missed calls against the Packers, unnecessarily calling Trey Flowers for hands to the face and missing a blatant pass interference call.

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Overall, Blakeman's crew is rather straight down the middle in 2023. His crew, which is shaken up for the playoffs, threw nearly 11 penalties per game this season. His crew has always always thrown more penalties against the away team and the home team typically wins. In 2023, home teams in his games won 62.5% of the time.

Super Bowl 50 - Carolina Panthers v Denver Broncos
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One of those games was the Lions' home victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. The Lions were penalized five penalties for 55 yards to the Raiders four times for 40 yards.

Blakeman officiated one 49ers game this year, in San Fransisco. The 49ers were penalized four times for 21 yards to the Arizona Cardinals nine penalties for 55 yards. The 49ers won that game handily, 35-16.

Of course, Blakeman is much better to hear for Detroit than say, Brad "Number 70 Didn't Report, But Taylor Decker Did And I Don't Care" Allen.

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