CBS is back in the officiating analyst game, having hired former NFL referee Gene Steratore to work on the network this season. The last time CBS hired a former NFL referee, Mike Carey, things did not go well.
At least, that’s how the vast majority of us remember it. CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus would argue that Carey wasn’t so much bad at his job, as that the rest of us gave Carey a hard time.
“I think people made the mistake that Mike’s job was to predict what the official on the field was going to rule, and his job really was to give his opinion and his interpretation of the rules with respect to a specific play,” McManus told Richard Deitsch of The Athletic. “When he disagreed a number of times with the officials, I think he was unfairly maligned on social media and it became a running theme. It was a shame and I think it hurt his ability to be considered an expert in this area, which I don’t think was fair.”
McManus is definitely correct that maligning Mike Carey became a running theme on social media. But if it was unfair, CBS should have stuck with Carey through the down times and kept him on board, rather than moving on from him after the 2015 season. The reality is, Carey just wasn’t as good at his job as Mike Pereira, who was doing the same job at the same time on FOX, and CBS decided that if it couldn’t beat FOX, it was better not to compete in the officiating analysis department. Now CBS is hoping Steratore can live up to the standard Pereira has set.