CBS calls Mike Carey departure the result of a mutual agreement

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Some will say it’s the first correct decision Mike Carey has made in two years.

Via Richard Deitsch of, CBS has confirmed Carey’s departure, calling it a mutual agreement to part ways.

Carey, who began working for CBS as a rules analyst in 2014, consistently struggled to interpret and apply rules to specific situations in a concise, clear, and accurate way. Before Super Bowl 50, CBS tried to circle the wagons, and Carey tried to offer up flimsy excuses for his performance, at one point comparing his mistakes in analyzing the rules to people incorrectly predicting the outcome of games. After Carey made a clear blunder regarding a replay review in during Denver’s win over Carolina, the wagons stopped circling — and Carey never again appeared on the air.

If happened when coach Ron Rivera threw the red flag to challenge a ruling on the field that receiver Jerricho Cotchery had failed to catch the ball.

“I think this is a good challenge by Carolina,” Carey said. “The receiver goes up, he’s going to the ground. So he must maintain control of the ball, which he does. If I was in the booth, I would reverse this to a catch. The ball never hits the ground. Even though there’s a bobble inside, maintains good control, up off the ground. He rolls over, keeps it off the ground at the end.”

The problem was that the ball did hit the ground. The other problem was that Carey ignored the standard that applies to replay review: Calls on the field are overturned only if indisputable visual evidence demonstrates that the ruling was incorrect. In that specific case, the evidence of an error on the field was far from indisputable.

If Carey were being truthful, he’d surely say he’s relieved to no longer have to do something that he simply isn’t suited to do. At a deeper level, some may wonder how suited he was to be a referee, especially when he was required to perform a replay review. Although he was able to communicate effectively and authoritatively (and concisely, Ed) the information that teams, fans, and media needed to know, it’s hard not to wonder whether the flaws the world witnessed during his time with CBS manifested themselves in some capacity when Mike Carey was wearing a white hat.

Still, it’s on CBS for putting a guy on the air who had no business being on the air. CBS compounded the error by keeping him on the air, with or without aggressive efforts to coach him to improve. Ultimately, whoever made the decision at CBS and Mike Carey were the last two to realize that Carey should have never been there in the first place.

16 responses to “CBS calls Mike Carey departure the result of a mutual agreement

  1. Darn. He was the best booth review guy in the game. He was always wrong, which meant you always knew what the replay call was going to be. The guys who get it right 80% of the time still leave a lot of room for error. Carey left no room for error and just got it wrong every time. Every. Single. Time.

  2. Mike Carey became a side judge in 1990, and a ref in 1995.
    If he was unsuited to be a ref, then how did he last 19 years?

    >. At a deeper level, some may wonder how suited he was to be a referee, especially when he was required to perform a replay review.

  3. That ball never hit the ground in last year’s super bowl.

    Mike Carey got fired for looking at the game and rules purely and without the influences of politics and money.

    Big mistake.

  4. Yeah, I never understood this hire. He was consistently one of the worst, most confusing, time wasting refs in the game. Whenever I saw he was reffing a game, I knew there would be at least a few blown calls. and that coupled with his explanations would leave me thinking that I could be a decent NFL ref. His TV work leaves me thinking I have a future in television.

  5. “At a deeper level, some may wonder how suited he was to be a referee, especially when he was required to perform a replay review.”

    On the field Carey was as good an official as the league had and better than most, although that’s not saying much. There will be a lot of piling on here because the TV gig didn’t work out well but there were comparatively few complaints about him when he was wearing the white hat.
    Who wouldn’t rather see him over Hochuli right now? Who among Blakeman, Boger, Corrente, Morelli, McAulay, Torbert, Vinovich, Wrolstad would you rather have officiate a game over Carey?

  6. I think the actual TV announcing team telling us about the replay results, are the major problems.
    Sims and Nance are particularly horrible

  7. delhommed says:
    Jun 12, 2016 9:54 AM
    Carey got the call right. The ball never hit the ground! If it is so clear, show us a pic

    And as everyone who watched the Super Bowl saw, the game came down to one play. Other than that Carolina was right in it. Ha. The only difference would have been that two plays later, instead of falling on the ball in the end zone, Jackson or Ware would have picked it up and ran it in since no Panthers were anywhere near it. Poor Panthers fans, hanging there hopes on what ifs. How about this what if. What if just caught the ball cleanly instead of bobbling it and hoping for a call?

  8. Mike Carey was a good on the field Ref. but as a replay expert, he did indeed struggle at times. I think it’s best the two part ways. I really don’t see the need for a replay expert to begin with. All they do is tell me what I can clearly see on my own. And in the case of Mike Carey, I would think his percentage of getting the call right from New York was unacceptable to CBS.

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