Maybe including Mike Carey on this list is harsh. He only refereed college ball for a few years before making a career in the NFL.
If you are considering the long-believed stereotype that referees are blind as bats, and would therefore make terrible committee members, I cannot help but think of Carey.
At one point, Carey was one of the most recognizable referees in the business. When he retired, CBS Sports hired him to be their NFL replay analyst to give viewers some insight into what the officials were looking at when there was a review.
The problem was that the network wanted Carey to predict the outcome of the replay based on his expertise. In this capacity, Carey simply was awful. I don’t have any statistics on his accuracy, but it became laughable how often he would get the replay predictions wrong.
Unsurprisingly, Carey’s stint as an analyst lasted one season before he was let go.
I bet Carey is a good guy, but he became a symbol of how wrong referees can be considering how important their jobs are, and in that regard it doesn’t matter what level we’re talking about.
A little secret about the eye test: unless we are color-blind or aren’t wearing corrective lenses, our eyes all see the same thing. It’s how our brains interpret what we see that varies. Carey saw the same thing as everyone else and became famous for how often he interpreted it wrong.
Next: Paul Finebaum