Former NFL referee Mike Carey has been a member of the NFL on CBS’s broadcast team for a few years now and, with CBS holding the rights to Super Bowl 50, he’ll be a part of the network’s broadcast next weekend alongside Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. Buckle up.
Let’s be honest here, Carey’s first few years haven’t exactly gone so hot. He’s gained a reputation of being constantly wrong in his analysis of the rules, and he’s basically become an Internet punching bag in the process. Admittedly, I’ve thrown a few jabs of my own.
But again — being honest here — the criticism isn’t exactly undeserved. Not only is Carey often significantly wrong, he also often comes off as flustered and uncomfortable when he’s brought in to provide analysis.
CBS, however, seems very pleased with the work that Carey has contributed to their broadcasts thus far, and they would like for everyone (including me) to stop being such a mean jerk to him. CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus relayed that message to the media this week.
“I’ve seen some of the criticism, and I think some of it is very hurtful, quite frankly,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said Thursday on a conference call with reporters.
“But Mike is learning his craft and, I think more often than not, he has gotten it right”…“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.
“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. 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.”
To be fair, McManus may be right. I can’t tell you the exact percentage of the calls that Carey has gotten correct, but I’m sure he’s nailed a bunch of them. Maybe even most of them! But the fact that he has whiffed — and whiffed spectacularly — enough for people to notice and turn it into a running joke probably isn’t great.
Fox has the NFL’s former VP of Officiating, Mike Pereira, as a part of their broadcast, and he doesn’t get nearly the criticism that Carey receives in a similar role with CBS. And, spoiler alert, there’s a reason for that; it’s because Pereira is much better at his job.
Again, Carey is still relatively new to the broadcast world, so, although there are plenty of areas where he needs work, there may still be hope. In the meantime, though, CBS can just save their breath trying to convince us (or themselves) that he’s great at his job.
(Via USA Today)