What's better: officiating an NFL game on the field or being on a broadcast second-guessing those calls?
Mike Carey couldn't pass up the opportunity to do the latter.
Carey, an NFL official for 24 years including the final 19 as a referee, is hanging up his whistle to join CBS' Thursday night and Sunday telecasts, according to the Associated Press.
Carey became one of the most recognizable referees in the game over his long tenure as an official. He reached the pinnacle of his trade in 2008, when he was the referee for Super Bowl XLII between the Giants and Patriots. He made history that day as the first black referee for a Super Bowl. That day he also was involved in one of the biggest plays in NFL lore, as he held off on blowing a play dead when it appeared the Patriots might have had Eli Manning wrapped up, and the Giants quarterback threw the famous "Helmet Catch" to David Tyree that set up the championship-winning touchdown (h/t FootballZebras.com).
The chance to be a part of CBS' broadcast might bring a little less stress to Carey's life. Fox has done a tremendous job having former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira explain controversial calls or offer opinions on replay rulings before the referee announces his decision. Carey will have a similar role on CBS, which should be a nice addition to their telecasts.
Carey grew to be recognizable during his time as a ref, but he should get even more attention explaining rules and calls as they happen on TV. And he won't have to deal with the fans' ire or angry coaches after he rules against their team anymore.
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