Skip to content

Mike Carey says game “unquestionably” will be different with replacement officials

Getty Images

For the most part, NFL officials are seen and rarely heard.  Don’t be shocked if we hear more and more from them in the coming weeks and months.

Referee Mike Carey, one of the most respected men to wear the striped shirt, recently addressed the lockout of the officials during an interview on XX 1090 in San Diego, via

Asked whether the game will be different with replacement officials, Carey was an concise and unequivocal as he is when explaining a decision to the fans:  “I think unquestionably.  You just don’t walk out on a field and contend with that speed and size and impact and the complexity of the NFL rules.  It’s a completely different game.”

Carey doesn’t know any of the details of the negotiations, given that he’s no longer a member of the NFL Referees Association’s board of directors.  But he does know how replacement officials would be treated.

“I don’t think they’d be invited to any of our parties,” Carey said.

For now, the replacement officials will be too busy to hang out with the locked-out officials, or anyone else.  Once hired, the replacement officials will be getting up to speed, presumably attending training camp practices and scrimmages and then working preseason games and ultimately working regular-season games.

We continue to believe that the NFL and the officials need to work this mess out.  If the best of the best officials already are employed by the league, whatever we get will be something other than the best of the best.

If the NFL officials aren’t the best of the best, then the NFL should fire them and hire better officials.

Permalink 46 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Top Stories
46 Responses to “Mike Carey says game “unquestionably” will be different with replacement officials”
  1. Ghost Rat says: Jun 11, 2012 2:27 PM

    The NFL cannot afford to let the product on the field (not to mention player safety) be adversely impacted by replacement officials. Get this done!

  2. swingondeesenuts says: Jun 11, 2012 2:28 PM

    How could they possibly be any worse than most of the decrypted mutts they have now? This notion that some younger, new guys couldn’t do the job is foolish. Go get some of the top DI refs to replace this greedy, lazy fools.

  3. norseyapper says: Jun 11, 2012 2:28 PM

    If all the refs were as fit, fair, and professional as Carey I’d support them 100%. Unfortunately, he is one of the very few present officials who can keep up with the game physically and aren’t so full of themselves that they refuse to admit mistakes and correct them.

  4. jettmartinez says: Jun 11, 2012 2:29 PM

    So the summary is “Man thinks he’s better at his job then people trying to take his job.” Shocking, that.

  5. thingamajig says: Jun 11, 2012 2:31 PM

    “If the NFL officials aren’t the best of the best, then the NFL should fire them and hire better officials.”

    Easier said than done when you’re dealing with a union.

  6. bigjdve says: Jun 11, 2012 2:32 PM

    While I would think that we should want some of the current refs back. However if we are going to deal with errors, I would prefer to know that it is younger refs that are learning the system than the more experienced refs just not getting it done.

  7. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 11, 2012 2:33 PM

    Negotiations are being held in strict confidence, but the NFL is concerned there may be a whistleblower in the Referee’s Association.

  8. hwatt says: Jun 11, 2012 2:34 PM

    is Carey the dramatic one? Every time there’s a call that could go either way he does this dramatic pause and the pops out his arm and exclaims what side it’s against. good stuff, lol

  9. swingondeesenuts says: Jun 11, 2012 2:35 PM

    Amen norseyapper! Give some new blood a chance…plenty of college officials would love a shot at the NFL.

  10. ecarlso8 says: Jun 11, 2012 2:35 PM

    the game could be better with replacement officials……

  11. klutch14u says: Jun 11, 2012 2:39 PM

    Miss Carey’s dramatic “personal foul” along with the ultra dramatic arm throw I won’t.

    Same goes for ol’ Ed Hercules, I used to like the guy but ever since his moment in the spotlight and he found out that people often like his explanations for a call he now decided to go in movie sequel mode and give ultra ultra long winded explanations for EVERYTHING

  12. swingondeesenuts says: Jun 11, 2012 2:41 PM

    Remember back in teh day when the baseball umps all handed in resignation letters in an attempt to get more money but the MLB simply accepted them and got rid of half the fat, lazy umps in the process? Let’s hope the NFL Referee’s Association tries a similar tactic. About 60% of the current refs need to be replaced.

  13. noahbird says: Jun 11, 2012 2:42 PM

    I’ve been saying small college conference refs won’t be able to handle the game in the same way.

  14. jokendave says: Jun 11, 2012 2:44 PM

    Pardon my spelling. Too much in a hurry. Sorry.

  15. ravensgrl says: Jun 11, 2012 2:46 PM

    Did he say it with malice in his heart?

  16. nflsecurity862 says: Jun 11, 2012 2:46 PM

    I’m completely fine with replacements officials looking to prove themselves. I’m sure they can do just as crappy of a job that the regular ones do!!

  17. thegronk87 says: Jun 11, 2012 2:49 PM

    isn’t this the “eli was in the grasp” referee?

  18. patriots55 says: Jun 11, 2012 2:50 PM

    Not that hard to do!!!!!

  19. polishkingski says: Jun 11, 2012 2:52 PM

    these guys do remember what happend to mlb officials right?

  20. m2karateman says: Jun 11, 2012 2:55 PM

    The game is played by the players, and therefore it won’t change. The product on TV may suffer due to the replacement officials’ inexperience. But the fact is that the NFL will continue on without the regular officials. Mike Carey is one of the best officials, so I respect where he’s coming from. Unfortunately not all the “professional” officials are as good as he is.

  21. nebster21 says: Jun 11, 2012 3:10 PM

    games will eithe not be determined before kick off or the new officials will make it noticably fixed.

  22. truthfactory says: Jun 11, 2012 3:13 PM

    … Says the guy who gets paid a minimum of $75,000 to work at most 25 Sundays out of the year

  23. rodge1 says: Jun 11, 2012 3:14 PM

    Sounds like great news to me!… So does this actually mean the end of terrible calls deciding the end results of games? Can’t wait!!!!

  24. youdownwithjpp says: Jun 11, 2012 3:19 PM

    “Different” does not necessarily mean worse off. Then again it, may.

    What I do know is that some refs need to be replaced, due to being consistently inconsistent in their penalty calling.

    Jerome Boger
    Pete Morelli
    Jeff Triplette
    Ron Winters

    …..all come to mind.

  25. thegronk87 says: Jun 11, 2012 3:26 PM

    sorry i meant to clarify, isn’t this the “eli was in the grasp but i forgot to blow the whistle” referee? he has zero credibility.

  26. crazybeardedjack says: Jun 11, 2012 3:27 PM

    Let’s be realistic – there are only a few calls the officials actually make anymore that they have to stand by. With the review process changed to include plays in the scoring window it takes the official’s ability away from that scenario as well. Replacement officials are going to be working twice as hard to not only prove themselves, but to prove statements like this one from Carey are untrue.

    Personally, as long as Ed Hochuli isn’t on my TV posturing and explaining everything to the Nth degree, I’m perfectly fine.

  27. JohnnyTwoTimes says says: Jun 11, 2012 3:33 PM

    Maybe should bring in the Vegas Boxing Judges to Referee NFL Games…..

  28. 52crabcakes says: Jun 11, 2012 3:42 PM

    and maybe it will get better!

  29. r8rsfan says: Jun 11, 2012 3:42 PM

    So will the new refs be trained to be biased against the Raiders too?

  30. east96st says: Jun 11, 2012 3:50 PM

    Whatever it takes to get Bill Leavy out of the game, do it! The fact that Leavy spend 5 minutes under the hood watching the same replays we all saw at home and STILL said Jennings did NOT fumble in the playoff game against the Giants, means he’s either incompetent or crooked. One of the worse officiated playoff games this century. Leavy did it all he could to throw that game. No way you can convince me that a college ref could do worse than that performance.

  31. dexterismyhero says: Jun 11, 2012 4:06 PM

    Man would I like to go to the NFL Referee’s Party! Wow, that would be awesome. What movies would they be watching? Are they sponsored by Coors Lite? Natty Lite?

  32. 4thqtrsaint says: Jun 11, 2012 4:08 PM

    I must be in the minority here. I want the refs we have. No ref is ever gonna get everything right. But newbies definitely won’t. Crucial calls can be challenged & reviewed by the booth, so a lot of bad calls have a chance to be righted. With new guys that don’t know what they’re doing, good night!!

    For every person on here complaining about the refs they have, wait until the new guys cost your team a game or two. Wait until your team misses the playoffs on a blown newbie call. Not because they didn’t get a good look at the play, but because the rules are too complex for them to remember at NFL game speed.

    And I personally love Ed Hockaloogie. I’m convinced he was a tunnel rat in Vietnam & and a calvary man in the War of 1812.

  33. 13curtjp says: Jun 11, 2012 4:13 PM

    “I don’t think they’d be invited to any of our parties,”

    Ok mike….I’m sure they’re missing out.

  34. sb44champs says: Jun 11, 2012 4:29 PM

    I remember when they had the last lock out and replacement refs and they were WAY BETTER THAN THE REGULAR REFS!!!! They actually LET THEM PLAY WITHOUT TICKY-TAC CALLS!!!!!!! THEY’RE NOT OUT TO MAKE A NAME FOR THEMSELVES LIKE THE REGULAR REFS ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. pleasantsurpriselefty says: Jun 11, 2012 4:30 PM

    Everybody in every sport thinks the games can’t go on without them. News flash: they can! These guys make a lot of walking around money for a part time job. Their wives won’t be happy with less cash to spend not to mention having them around all weekend bitching about the guys that took their jobs. Cut the best deal you can and move on.

  36. sb44champs says: Jun 11, 2012 4:31 PM

    “And I personally love Ed Hockaloogie.”
    He actually stinks at his job though!!!

  37. j0esixpack says: Jun 11, 2012 4:53 PM

    Let’s get the NBA officials in for training.

    No one has more trust and respect than they do.

    Is Tim Donaghy done with his parole?

  38. ilovefoolsball says: Jun 11, 2012 4:56 PM

    Carey went on to say: “We thought it was bad when only Ed Hochuli wore a tight shirt to display his bulging biceps. Wait till they get this new crop of show boating refs, they’ll be wearing colored thongs that you’ll be able to see through those white pants.”

  39. bilbo1000 says: Jun 11, 2012 5:00 PM

    These negotiations with the officials is the time to get them to accept a replay official in the booth to watch all the TV feeds the viewer is watching so replay decisions can be made quickly and accurately instead of the dog-and-pony show of an on-field official “going under the hood.” It’s just so much more efficient that way.

  40. bsizemore68 says: Jun 11, 2012 5:36 PM

    The league is responsibly for the officials, they get rid of a few every year, so replacement will not be better then the ones they have now, and don’t forget, they will be a cancer on the league, because they are scabs, and scabs will stab you in the back. Bill

  41. bradmoss1 says: Jun 11, 2012 5:49 PM

    “The graveyards are full of people the world could not do without.” – Elbert Hubbard

  42. watermelon1 says: Jun 11, 2012 5:51 PM

    I have a hard time believing the officiating could be much worse. I’m definitely for seeing some new officials out there.

  43. tdk24 says: Jun 11, 2012 5:54 PM

    I for one and looking forward to scab refs. It would be nice for a change to see a Raider game ref’d by dudes who don’t confuse the 2012 Raiders with the 1970’s Raiders.

  44. bigbadass says: Jun 11, 2012 5:58 PM

    So what is the hold up? Do they want free prescription eye care? How about they get the same % increase that the average american got on their salary last year? No, my guess is they want a lot more money or they’ll do their best to ruin the product as we get it. Hire replacement refs and allow another challenge by coaches. I don’t care if the game goes 5 minutes longer, that’s ESPN and Fox who do.

  45. 4kebart says: Jun 11, 2012 6:00 PM

    It is time for the league to hire full-time officials. Hire guys at 20 train them for 5 years (cardio, films, mock games) then let them officiate the games for 20 years the retire them. There is no need for 60 year old men being out of position and making the wrong calls!

  46. giantsfanlewis says: Jun 11, 2012 6:42 PM


    By the name I’m guessing your a saints fan so I can see why you wouldn’t want the refs to change. Pats, steelers(not harrasion fans), packers and saints fans love current refs. Now on to my other point.

    I’m a giants fan. In 2002 or 2003 the current refs did just that to my giants in a game vs the 49ers. In 2001 they did that to the raiders in the playoffs. In 2007 they helped the pats go undefeated. In 2011 they tried doing the same for the packers. Watch the first giants game. In the playoffs they tried to help the packers go to the superbowl. Watch the game unbiased and you will see.

    These new refs can’t be any worse then that

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!