CBS defends the work of expert official Mike Carey

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If there’s a controversial call in Super Bowl 50, CBS will pitch it to former referee Mike Carey.

And while there’s a seemingly good chance Carey will get that call wrong, his bosses defended his work leading into next week’s broadcast.

“I’ve seen some of the criticism, and I think some of it is very hurtful, quite frankly,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said, via Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today.

You mean like this, Sean?

While Carey’s a stationary target, in fairness to him it’s entirely possible the crews on the field are screwing it up on a regular basis while he’s the one getting it right.

But his penchant for saying the opposite of what transpires moments later has become a fixture of CBS broadcasts.

“But Mike is learning his craft and, I think more often than not, he has gotten it right,” McManus said. “But I’ll also say that he has disagreed a number of times in some very high profile situations with what the [replay] officials have come back with. . . .

“It’s funny, the vast majority of the calls that Mike has made have been correct. I sit there on Sunday afternoon, and he’ll do sometimes, a dozen different cut-ins to our various regional games, and he’s almost always right.”

McManus did admit that Carey may have gone too far on some calls, and that exuberance my have led to some problems.

“Mike has perhaps gone out on a limb more than he should in trying to guess or speculate what a call will be, but all he is giving is his opinion of what he would call if he were on the field,” McManus said. “And if it’s a different result, I think people get frustrated. But I think people would understand that Mike is only giving his opinion.”

Which is the same thing we’re doing, when we say we must not be getting the majority of the CBS broadcasts when Carey’s nailing it.

84 responses to “CBS defends the work of expert official Mike Carey

  1. More likely than not did not cut it in deflategate, more often than not is not acceptable for a ref either.

  2. I’ve noticed two times where he has neglected the first step a receiver makes and assumed almost three steps is almost two.

    Good if you want to feed the storyline “no one knows what a catch is”. Bad if you sit there and are screaming: “Look again! You have to count the first step too!”

    Still I think he was better in 2015 than 2014. So thats progress.

  3. It might have to do with the penalty calls being so inconsistent in games that even an “expert” has no idea. We have all seen penalties called on one team, yet not called after the exact same infraction is repeated. Or better yet, the timing of holding calls, when it could literally be called on every play.

  4. Eh, he’s not bad. While his position is largely unnecessary, he’s right more often than he’s wrong, and on very controversial calls involving obscure rules (say, the illegal bat controversy in SEA vs. DET) it’s nice to have a second set of eyes to walk you through the rules and explain process they’re using to determine their decision.

    And when he’s wrong, well, just take it as comedic relief. I certainly always get a laugh out of it.

  5. @dukeearl says:
    Jan 29, 2016 12:34 PM
    More likely than not did not cut it in deflategate, more often than not is not acceptable for a ref either.
    ==================================
    WAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!

  6. Not sure it’s rational to expect them to say “We hired a guy who missed more than his share of calls while he as a ref, and he’s keeping his track record intact.”

  7. It’s pointless to have this guy come on. He’s too timid to say anything real. He speaks like he’s still working the NFL and he’s afraid he’s gonna get in trouble by Blandino.

  8. VenerableAxiom says:
    Jan 29, 2016 12:37 PM

    It might have to do with the penalty calls being so inconsistent in games that even an “expert” has no idea. We have all seen penalties called on one team, yet not called after the exact same infraction is repeated. Or better yet, the timing of holding calls, when it could literally be called on every play.
    ========================

    We are talking about replay review. Penalties are not reviewable, so I don’t see how it is relevant to the fact that however Mike Carey interprets the ruling, you can guarantee the official on the field will rule the opposite. I thought he was a decent referee when he was on the field, but I think its safe to say the game is better off with him being on television

  9. He’s horrible. Of course, a catch is not a catch anymore so perhaps having an “expert” on a cluster-F of a rule book… nobody hates Dez Bryant more than I but that was a catch.

  10. @dukeearl says:
    Jan 29, 2016 12:34 PM
    More likely than not did not cut it in deflategate, more often than not is not acceptable for a ref either.
    ———————————————————–
    “more likely than not” is a legal term. you never say this will or won’t happy or this did or did not happy. More than likely and more likely than not are common legal terms.

  11. He was the worst official and now he’s the worst expert official. Only in the NFL and politics do you see rank incompetence rewarded.

  12. I think hes pretty good at it tbh. He explains what the rule is , breaks down the replay, and states if he had the deciding role what hed rule it as. Nothing wrong with that, if its different than what happens who cares hes doing what hes paid to do, commentate.

  13. if he was any damn good he would be on the field.
    hell he was apparently drunk on air one game, they said he was ‘under the weather’, sounded like he was under pepe lopez to me

  14. Why is Mike Carey willing to cover the Washington Redskins for CBS, but wasn’t willing to officiate their games for the NFL?

  15. Everyone loves to trash commentators, analysts, and referees. CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN – doesn’t matter. They are all incompetent bums. But they all pale in the disdain directed to one other – the NFL.

  16. Lets make this politically correct and just say that he gets it right 100% of the time. What a bunch BS!!! Most are incompetent.

  17. Tell me this….is it Carey’s job to say what he thinks the right call is? Or say what he thinks the game refs will say?

    How do you know he is wrong simply because he doesn’t know what the game refs will call?

  18. voiceofrealism says:
    Jan 29, 2016 1:15 PM

    Tell me this….is it Carey’s job to say what he thinks the right call is? Or say what he thinks the game refs will say?
    —————————–

    He’s there to say what he thinks the right call is.

    Since he was ref for years, one would think that what he thinks and what the game refs decide would be the same more often than it is not, which isn’t the case.

    Which is why CBS feels the needs to defend him.

  19. I think they should hire Jeff Triplette and Jerome Bogar for the day for a ménage a tois of officiating from hell!!!!

  20. At least now he’s only getting calls wrong off the field. That’s an improvement over all the guys getting them wrong ON the field.

  21. Did anyone else notice that there were no offensive holding calls in the Bronco-Pats game, despite the Pats line being historically bad, and the Broncos line being mediocre at best?

  22. Technically, the production value of when they do throw it to Carey is awful. His mic is either not turned up, not turned up enough, or he’s not close enough to the mic. That’s on the technical end of the CBS crew.

    Of course, that has nothing to do with his flawed opinions. It just makes for a very clunky transition.

    I would recommend listening to the national radio feed of Kevin Harlan on Westwood One and turning down the CBS audio entirely for the Super Bowl.

  23. Last week during a critical moment we heard not one word from Carey. They can say whatever they want but the silence told you all you need to know.

  24. We joke about him at our house…there are only three certainties in life, death, taxes, and Carey getting it wrong…a blind person unfamiliar with the game of football would do a better job!

  25. Not sure what people expect. He was a crappy ref. This is the same guy who didn’t call Eli in the grasp during the 2007 SB and actually said after “I was going to blow the whistle because he was in the grasp but then he got free.”. Think about it. That is like saying “He was traveling but then he started to dribble so I didn’t call it.”

  26. “But Mike is learning his craft and, I think more often than not, he has gotten it right
    ___________________________________

    Wait, what? Carey is a retired referee and he’s just learning his “craft”?6 of 10 is more often than not, but, in this game, it’s unacceptable.
    Unlike when he was on the field, Carey has a control booth full of replay angles, slo mo, 6 commercials, and a ham sandwich, for every call….and he still has trouble!
    “Learning” should have already happened years ago! Frankly, I think Carey and Pereira are an embarrassment, as are their counterparts on the field.

    It’s a crap shoot who gets it right, and crap is winning!

  27. fanofsportsman says:
    Jan 29, 2016 1:23 PM
    What did he say about Brady’s three intentional grounding in the last 2 mins the officials missed last week?
    —————-

    That you don’t know the rule.

  28. collectordude says:
    Jan 29, 2016 1:28 PM

    I hate the former officials in the booth. Just slows everything down.
    ——————–

    How does it slow anything down? It’s not like the NFL is waiting on him.

  29. It’s not just about the fact that he gets calls wrong; he’s terrible on TV. He speaks like a freshman who just walked into his first public speaking class.

  30. fanofsportsman says:
    Jan 29, 2016 1:23 PM

    What did he say about Brady’s three intentional grounding in the last 2 mins the officials missed last week?
    —————————

    Nothing, because there weren’t any. You been told that numerous times already. I would have thought it would have sunk in by now.

  31. Phil Simms, Dan Fouts, Mike Carey.. CBS won’t hire anyone for the NFL crew unless they are incompetent.

  32. The standard against which Mike Carey is compared is Mike Pereira at FOX. FOX created the ‘second guess’ position with Pereira, and CBS thought it would be easy to copy FOX by inserting Mike Cary. The difference between the two is that, for the most part, viewers feel comfortable that confident Pereira gets the call right, whereas timid and uncertain Carey either gets the call wrong, or avoids giving a definitive answer until the call is announced on the field.

  33. Mike Carey to me seems to give the right call as he sees it. Fox has Mike Pereira who gives vague explanations and tries to justify what the referee called either way. Still seems like a company man.

    Give me the guy that shoots straight. Carey has given multiple calls different from what they do on the field. He stands by his and I have felt his calls were correct. NFL going to head office and Blandino – I have serious questions about them.

  34. The collective IQ of the haters is lower than the PSI of Brady’s game balls says:
    Jan 29, 2016 12:53 PM
    VenerableAxiom says:
    Jan 29, 2016 12:37 PM

    It might have to do with the penalty calls being so inconsistent in games that even an “expert” has no idea. We have all seen penalties called on one team, yet not called after the exact same infraction is repeated. Or better yet, the timing of holding calls, when it could literally be called on every play.
    ========================

    We are talking about replay review. Penalties are not reviewable, so I don’t see how it is relevant to the fact that however Mike Carey interprets the ruling, you can guarantee the official on the field will rule the opposite. I thought he was a decent referee when he was on the field, but I think its safe to say the game is better off with him being on television
    ——-
    Allow me to spell out for you. I’m referring to the calls in general, as well as those which are reviewed and commented on by Carey. Moreover, I have no issue with Carey. It shouldn’t require much of an IQ to comprehend the comment without further explanation.

  35. davikes says:
    Jan 29, 2016 1:27 PM
    Did anyone else notice that there were no offensive holding calls in the Bronco-Pats game, despite the Pats line being historically bad, and the Broncos line being mediocre at best?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Did you notice that the quarterbacks for both teams were under siege the entire game? Neither offense got called for holding because neither team’s lineman could keep the defense in check long enough to hold them.

  36. From day one, Carey has always sounded unsure of himself on air. In fact, at the start, his on air presence was about as bad as it gets. After two years, he really hasn’t improved that much. If you compare him to Mike Pereira, it is a day and night difference.

  37. About that backward pass in the broncos/patriots game….before the replay ruling on the field by Hoculi, CBS showed views of the play with bad angles, and Carey commented that there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the call on the field (which was an incomplete forward pass). So then Hoculi overturns the call on the field, and immediately CBS shows an angle pretty much right across the line of scrimmage.

    It sure seemed weird at the time. Given that CBS showed that view right after Ed changed the call, it almost seemed like they were waiting for Ed’s call before showing the view.

  38. If we are having a discussion about CBS covering football, the discussion should be about how Simms gets the marquee games. He’s awful. There are drinking games based around his gaffs.

    I wouldn’t know how bad Carey is because I can’t get past Simms messing names up or just saying stupid crap like it’s good to call a timeout because it stops the clock.

    I don’t need big names or attractive faces calling a game. I need a knowledgeable person willing to do pregame research who can add some insight with a non-grating voice. It’s not that high of a bar, but you wouldn’t know it from watching CBS.

  39. The only thing more meaningless than having either of those two bozos give their opinions, is having Head Bozo Blandino come out in the middle of the week and confirm that the refs blew some calls.

  40. I don’t think NBC has one of these experts on staff, but I would love for them to go to a shot of someone like will Ferrell on his couch watching football and saying “I don’t care what the rule is, that’s obviously a catch.” He’d be just as likely to get it right as the experts.

  41. dawn of food says:
    Jan 29, 2016 2:25 PM
    If we are having a discussion about CBS covering football, the discussion should be about how Simms gets the marquee games. He’s awful. There are drinking games based around his gaffs.
    ————
    I thought Simms was ok until I heard him call that Bengals Steelers playoff game. He and Nantz were looking for every reason for the police to come arrest bengals players. “Let’s look at that hit on Ben again, you’re sure that’s legal? Let’s look one more time. It sure looked pretty rough to me. These bengals players are so dirty”

  42. Get rid of the official in the booth entirely. CBS doesn’t have to do it just because Fox is doing it. It clearly adds nothing to the broadcast and has no impact on the calls. It’s like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay predicting picks. The real professionals disregard everything they say.

  43. Carey’s performance is constrained by the fact that the replay official may have access to more and better replays than Carey does. Having said that, Carey seems to have a presumptive attitude towards reviewing replays. He works backwards from a judgment rather than simply saying things like what the relevant rules are and what the officials are looking for.

  44. but I would love for them to go to a shot of someone like will Ferrell on his couch watching football and saying “I don’t care what the rule is, that’s obviously a catch.”

    I think you’re on to something. Replace Mike Carey with Ron Burgundy.

  45. Ah… so now I know why Jason La Canfora is still employed by CBS. The people making the hiring/firing decisions are blind and dumb. I mean whose decision was it to put Bart Scott on TV?

  46. I trust Mike Carey more then most of the refs on the field. He’s been right quite a few times in my opinion when the replay officials have had a different view.

    In the end, why would we need commentary from an expert if they were just going to always agree with what happens on the field. If that were the case then they could just play commercials until the review comes back.

    To me it just shows how much games could be changed depending on the officiating crew that calls them. Inconsistencies in officiating mean that the officials are affecting the outcome of close games and by association tie breakers, playoff seeding, homefield advantage, and the odds of who will win the Super Bowl. Not saying they are controlling those things purposely, just that they have too much of an impact on them.

  47. Venerable, while you are referring to “calls in general”, the other 80 comments are about Mike Carey’s inability to get it right when they are reviewing a play. I get your point about penalties, and it is valid, but it isn’t relevant to this discussion. The fact that you are the ONLY one talking about calls in general, should spell it out for you

  48. metalman5150 says:
    Jan 29, 2016 3:10 PM

    Bart Scott is a smart and decent person. Why you hating a B Scott?

    ——————-

    Bart Scott is pretty good on TV. Have to admit. I really didn’t like him as a player. Just a total mouthpiece like Joey Porter or Warren Sapp. Sapp was also good on TV until he got himself into trouble.

  49. To assert he’s right more than he’s wrong, he only needs to get, say, 51 correct out of 100.

    That’s more calls right than wrong. Not a ringing endorsement.

  50. One of the local radio guys said his first SB prop bet was Mike Carey would get a call wrong. Seems like a sure bet to me.

    This man was an onfield ref only a couple of years ago. Sure explains a lot.

  51. jm91rs says:
    Jan 29, 2016 2:40 PM
    dawn of food says:
    Jan 29, 2016 2:25 PM
    If we are having a discussion about CBS covering football, the discussion should be about how Simms gets the marquee games. He’s awful. There are drinking games based around his gaffs.
    ————
    I thought Simms was ok until I heard him call that Bengals Steelers playoff game. He and Nantz were looking for every reason for the police to come arrest bengals players. “Let’s look at that hit on Ben again, you’re sure that’s legal? Let’s look one more time. It sure looked pretty rough to me. These bengals players are so dirty”
    —————————————————————–
    And rightfully so. The Bengals played dirty throughout the game, and it ultimately cost them a game that they appeared to have in the bag.

  52. I think Carey probably knows what he is talking about, but doesn’t seem to be great on TV. He isn’t always very clear in his explanations and perhaps gets a bit nervous. I like the guy on Fox better, but don’t really care for either of them.

  53. These former refs are useless to a broadcast, juas as are the plethora of “anakysts” on pregame, postgame, and during the week broadcasts.

  54. CBS football broadcasts are painful when you have Nantz/Simms/Carey all blabbing at once. The Super Bowl is going to be horrendous.

    Eagle/Fouts are a pretty good team. Gumbel/Green and Harlan/Gannon aren’t too bad, either, but they’re pretty much the only tolerable CBS teams on the network. Carey adds very little to any of it.

  55. The collective IQ of the haters is lower than the PSI of Brady’s game balls says:
    Jan 29, 2016 3:12 PM
    Venerable, while you are referring to “calls in general”, the other 80 comments are about Mike Carey’s inability to get it right when they are reviewing a play. I get your point about penalties, and it is valid, but it isn’t relevant to this discussion. The fact that you are the ONLY one talking about calls in general, should spell it out for you
    ——-
    With all due respect, allow me to try and simplify where you can grasp the premise of the comment and why it is relevant to this discussion. The obvious point, at least to about 90 readers, is that “Mike Carey’s inability to get it right” is predicated on the fact that there is no consistency in the calls made on the field to begin with. Therefor, the premise is that the determination of the calls are innately subjective (hence inconsistent), so determining the validity of the calls will also be inherently inconsistent. Sorry for the big words, but I’m not going to take it down to grade school comprehension level.

  56. Bravo people! An actual comment section filled with insight and ,mostly ,reasoned arguments. Personally , I find Mike Carey to be wrong more often than not. However, even as a pats fan, I agreed with him on the lateral call. Until cbs finally showed a decent angle. He gets a pass on that ONE.
    As for naantz and Simms , they love the pats so I can’t hate them but I understand why some do.

  57. All these in studio refs just back the bad calls being made on the field. They were planted on these networks by the NFL so the fans would accept the bad calls easier. It didn’t help NFL.

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