So why is Terry McAulay abruptly retiring from his gig as an NFL referee? According to Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com, McAulay will become the rules analyst for NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Asked by PFT — which falls under the NBC umbrella — for comment, NBC declined. (As I’ve said time and again, they only wake me up for the unimportant meetings.)
Seifert also reports that others auditioned for the gig, including referee Clete Blakeman. Which means, obviously, that Blakeman would have retired/resigned, if he’d gotten the job.
Blakeman joins Jeff Triplette as the latest former NFL officials turned rules analysts. It remains to be seen whether they’ll be more like Mike Pereira (who is excellent) or more like Mike Carey (who was not).
This year, the position becomes arguably more important than ever, given the changes to the catch rule and the kickoff formation. Likewise, the new rule prohibiting players from lowering their helmets to initiate contact may necessitate plenty of explanations.