Brad Allen's crew will work Saturday's Steelers-Ravens game

Referee Brad Allen couldn't get more famous unless he started bench-pressing Buicks and wearing really tight shirts.

Adam Schefter of, who has cornered the Brad Allen beat of late (i.e., someone who doesn't like Brad Allen has been spoon-feeding Schefty), reports that Allen's crew has been assigned Saturday's nationally-televised game between the Steelers and Ravens.

We've asked the league how and when these assignments are made. Ideally, all 18 weeks would be determined before the season starts. That would make travel plans more efficient and certain.

Also, performance has only ever been an issue when it comes to postseason assignments. Unless an official is bad enough to get fired during the season, that official — and the crew on which the official is working — should in theory be eligible for any regular-season game, no matter how impactful it might be or when it's being played.

Allen has acquired specific notoriety through Saturday night's two-point conversion snafu, given the perception that he made a mistake when approached by three different Lions linemen as part of an effort to confuse the Cowboys as to which one was eligible to catch a pass. The crew also whiffed on a key tripping foul, calling it on the Cowboys and not the Lions.

Previously, Allen crew missed multiple key interference penalties, most notably the blatant interference committed by the Packers against the Chiefs during the final drive of a Sunday night game.

While it's highly unlikely that we'll see Allen working a playoff game this year, his status as a referee makes him eligible in theory to work any regular-season game. It's possible that he was assigned to Steelers-Ravens before it was scheduled in a standalone window.