CBS thinks Mike Carey was “unfairly maligned” as a rules analyst

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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.

56 responses to “CBS thinks Mike Carey was “unfairly maligned” as a rules analyst

  1. Carey was a terrible referee and a terrible analyst.

    Steratore was an excellent referee and will be an excellent analyst.

  2. “Let’s check in with Mike Carey. Mike, it seemed like they broke the plane of the goal here, but the official has been under the hood for a while.”
    “Definitely, it’s possible that the runner’s knee was down, and also that there were four extra orange players on defense.”
    “…I think those are pylons.”
    “Using these chicken strips as examples, we can plainly see how four extra players would-“
    “Thanks Mike.”

  3. Listening to Carey arrogantly botch every call on CBS gave a window into how bad the relationship had to have been between him and the players and coaches. He came across like an arrogant SOB on and off of the field! Good riddance!

  4. Someone check what McManus is putting in his coffee each morning before making a statement of support for Carey like that. The guy was flat out brutal, no other way to put it.

  5. Mike Carey was actually a good ref.

    Kinda funny how Goodell gets exposed by a good ref and then the broadcast company is forced to fire good refs, only to bring in a company mouth willing to toe Goodell’s cheating line.

    It’s just unreal watching the league destroy itself.

  6. The analysis will always be the call going the way of the larger market team. Not a lot of grey area.

  7. canedaddy says:
    June 28, 2018 at 11:24 am
    Carey was a terrible referee and a terrible analyst.

    Steratore was an excellent referee and will be an excellent analyst.

    3 13 Rate This


    Millennials have awful taste in a lot of things, mainly music and movies, and what’s funny and what isn’t, as well as judging officials, amongst other things like knowing what a library is for and what a primary source is. But, that’s a whole other discussion.

    Let me be real clear with you: Prior to Goodell coming in to ruin the nFL, the refs from that started from the previous regime (Tagliabue), including MIke Care, were generally very good. There was no controversy every week, confusion, not knowing rules, not knowing what a PI is, holding, etc. Any controversy was few and far between.

    The refs were not the start of the show, but Steratore is one of those that wanted to be the star, along with an Ed Hochuli type. Hochuli USED TO BE GOOD until he started starting at himself in a mirrort working on his biceps with his midlife crisis.

    It’s only since these refs developed an attitude, started lifting weights and ordering tighter jersesy to make sure they looked good for the camera, while not knowing NFL rules, has the league gotten WORSE because of it.

    Steratore SUCKED. He also sucked in the SB with a couple of wink winks from Goodell to help Philly win the fricking game with those 2 free TDs.

    I have never seen two easy scoring calls on replay before be completely missed in a SB. Never seen it.

  8. Everyone knows the NFL referees just make up the rules as they go anyway… now we have to have someone analyze their bonehead calls too?

  9. It’s funny to see that fans say that the analyst is wrong because he disagrees with the review officials. This is basically saying the the review officials are always right. And we know that’s wrong.

  10. He was not unfairly maligned. He was, however, an example of the league’s inconsistency. Not only are the referees on the field capable of watching a play and seeing two completely different things but Carey’s comments showed that they could read the exact same words in the rule book and decide on outcomes that are complete opposites. That cannot happen and that is likely why the league went to centralized replay decisions but that only added to the suspicion that the league itself was using officials to alter game results so a preferred team wins. They have handled everything about officiating and replay review in the dumbest possible way. So dumb that it must be intentional.

  11. This will probably be an unpopular take but to me Mike Carey was the best official of that era. His games were always under control and never controversial. To me he did get a bad wrap on TV as many of those calls were subjective. His interpretation was different from the guy calling the game. It’s not cut and dry right and wrong as people want to make those calls.

  12. Carey’s “ruling” was often different than what was called on the field, although I frequently agreed more with Carey than the refs based on the wording of the rules. Many rules are somewhat ambiguous so you can reach different conclusions depending on what assumptions and biases you have. For example, is it more important to follow the letter of the rule or follow the spirit of the rule? Different people will have different opinions about this, and none of them are “wrong.” This is why everyone has so much heartburn about all of the various iterations of the catch rule. Getting rid of super slo-mo frame by frame replay would clear up a lot of the BS in NFL officiating. Using it in the broadcast for highlighting incredible plays is fine but using it for officiating ruins things. Replay for officiating should be game speed only. Would solve a lot of the problems. It would allow them to correct for obvious errors or instances when the ref didn’t have a clear line of sight but eliminate the nitpicking and keep the game moving.

  13. I think it was more that he looked extremely uncomfortable in front of the camera. The image he projected was one of uncertainty and that made him look like he had no idea.

  14. It would be more interesting if they had the analyst NOT viewing the game, and NOT knowing what the call was before they viewed the replay. Just look at the replay and give the ruling.

  15. ha….seems I’ve been here long enough that I can read some of the comments and will know who the commenter is before I even look at their handle.

  16. It won’t be surprising to continue to watch the mass exodus of experienced officials that don’t believe the NFL league office should have any involvement on game day, but then again perhaps this is what the owners want anyway as they transition the NFL toward a WWF “entertainment” business.

  17. can’t wait to see them explain the new helmet rule that really has no explanation.

  18. I think more than anything that this exposes a fundamental flaw within the NFL, in that the rules are in fact so open to interpretation. This is a multi billion dollar industry in which so much rides on winning and losing and the difference can boil down to which referee is working that day.

  19. Remember during the 1st quarter of the DEN – CAR Super Bowl when Carey was so sure a pass play would be overturned and ruled a catch? He blew it on the main stage, and the announcers were left speechless. He must have been fired during the game because CBS never asked his opinion after that.

    Of course all Panther fans and Von Miller remember what happened on the very next play.

  20. I think this is more of an indication of how screwed up the NFL rule book has become rather than how pathetic the officials are when it comes to interpreting it.

  21. I don’t understand why people had issues with the 2 TD’s in the superbowl?

    Corey Clement caught the ball in the endzone and kept two feet in (almost three steps). Play over, TD.
    Zach Ertz caught the ball and broke the plane. Play over, TD.

  22. The problem that I had with Mike Carey as a rules analyst was that he was passive. Mike Pereira always jumps in right away, makes a stand, and explains why. Carey just gave a weak opinion. And then when the call went contrary to his opinion, he backpedaled and explained why the call went a different direction. So basically he added no value, that is why he was worthless.

  23. i thumbs down your comment says:
    June 28, 2018 at 1:22 pm
    I don’t understand why people had issues with the 2 TD’s in the superbowl?

    Corey Clement caught the ball in the endzone and kept two feet in (almost three steps). Play over, TD.
    Zach Ertz caught the ball and broke the plane. Play over, TD.


    Clement bobbled the ball slightly, which would have been overturned during the regular season.

  24. Dear TyLawpick6,
    Next time you call out a whole generation of people, you should check your grammar and spelling. And stop crying about a SuperBowl that a team won fair and square. You sound like a big fat baby to me my dude.

  25. I can’t wait until there is a review over the spot of the ball and Steratore gives his 2 cents on it. Raider fans know exactly what I’m referring to on this.

  26. I seemed like every game, I watched, in which they went to him to interpret a call, he got it wrong.

  27. Too bad Casey Stengel passed away. He would be the perfect analyst and there would no longer be any confusion on what is or is not a catch.

  28. canedaddy says:
    June 28, 2018 at 11:24 am
    Carey was a terrible referee and a terrible analyst.
    Steratore was an excellent referee and will be an excellent analyst.


    I thought Carey was a great referee. He doesn’t have the personality to be a great analyst. He’s too soft spoken and boring.

  29. Oh please. Mike Carey was an embarrassment as a referee and he was laughable as a rules analyst. Everyone who has paid attention knows this, why do we have to pretend otherwise?

  30. Just like a bureaucracy.
    Instead of clarifying rules or making them easier to understand, they end up using legalese which requires more people telling other people what they just saw.
    Instead of the moronic announcers telling us their opinions, run commercials and reduce the otherwise TV timeouts

  31. When are they going to abide by their own rules and stop overturning calls where the evidence is not conclusive?

  32. Well, if his job was to give his expert opinion as a former ref, wouldn’t you expect that opinion to be a prediction how other refs would view the matter?

  33. Nobody likes Pereira either. That’s the mistake these networks make. Too much junk talk.

    Carey’s main problem was that he sounded uncomfortable. People will jump all over you if they perceive you as weak.

  34. Carey was horrific. If he were a pilot he’d be walking up and down the aisle greeting passengers asking them ’Where ya going?’

  35. Couldn’t CBS just let Carey dress up like a referee and go to him to offer his opinion on a play; the truth will always be the opposite of his opinion, so the reality is that Carey will be able to get paid doing what he did as a ref without harming the game; he could be the wrong way Rain Man.

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