Football fans won’t have Mike Carey to kick around this season. The former referee who served as CBS’ in-game officiating expert for the past two seasons was dropped by the network a few months ago, and CBS would like to remind everyone that it was all those big meanies on their couches that cost Carey his job.
Speaking to Newsday.com about the decision to jettison Carey, CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus bemoaned the football-viewing public’s supposed impatience:
“It takes some people a while to develop into good broadcasters, and the viewing public was not as patient as I thought they might be,” McManus said of Carey’s relatively brief term on TV.
“The issue that I didn’t anticipate was the reaction he would get when he disagreed with the official,” McManus said. “For some reason it’s OK for Jim Nantz or Joe Buck or Cris Collinsworth or Jon Gruden to disagree with an official, but when Mike disagreed, with all the years of experience he had, he used to get criticized, pretty roundly.
This is basically the same thing McManus had to say in January, when he had to defend Carey’s job performance on a conference call with reporters. As we acknowledged back then, McManus wasn’t wrong to point out that some of the criticism Carey received was undeserved, but there’s no denying that he struggled mightily on air, both in terms of analysis and on-camera competence.
In the end, it was McManus’s decision to fire Carey, and he can’t just blame internet jerks for things not working out. Carey’s pratfalls becoming a running joke certainly didn’t help things, but if CBS and McManus truly believed that he was good at his job, they would have kept him. The unfortunate truth is that he just wasn’t.