Mike Carey (American football)
|Education||Santa Clara University
(Bachelor's degree, 1971)
|Occupation||NFL official (1990–present)
Co-owner, Seirus Innovation
|Children||Danica and Drisana|
Michael "Mike" Carey (born c. 1949) has been an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1990 NFL season. His uniform number is 94. Prior to his officiating career, he played college football as a running back for Santa Clara University (SCU).
Carey is a respected official in the NFL for his thorough pre-game preparation, professional demeanor, and fair play. In a poll conducted by ESPN in 2008, Carey tied with referee Ed Hochuli for most "best referee" votes among NFL head coaches. He has also ejected the most players in the league among current referees, as of 2002, including incidents involving Sean Taylor and Terrell Suggs. Beginning his seventeenth year as referee with the 2011 NFL season, Carey's officiating crew consists of umpire Chad Brown, head linesman Dana McKenzie, line judge Tim Podraza, field judge Mike Weir, side judge Boris Cheek and back judge Kirk Dornan.
Carey was designated as referee of Super Bowl XLII between the New England Patriots and New York Giants, becoming the first African American referee to receive the prestigious assignment. Carey officiated the same two teams when they played each other during the final week of the 2007 NFL season.
Carey is one of the two senior referees in the NFL, along with Walt Coleman. Carey was promoted in 1995 when the league added the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars and thus needed an extra officiating crew to handle up to 15 games per weekend instead of 14, which had been the case between 1976 and 1994.
Carey attended and later graduated from Santa Clara University in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in biology. While at SCU, he played running back for four years until an ankle injury ended his playing career. The injury continues to impact Carey today as it limits his running ability. He only allows himself to run on days he is scheduled to officiate games.
Carey currently resides in San Diego, California along with his wife, Wendy. Wendy, also a graduate of SCU, is the Chief Financial Officer of Seirus Innovation. The couple have two daughters, Drisana and Danica. Mike Carey's older brother, Don Carey, is also a NFL official, working as a back judge since the 2010 NFL season; before that, he was a field judge from 1995 to 1997, a back judge from 1998 to 2008 and a referee in 2009.
Entrepreneur and inventor
Mike and Wendy Carey founded Seirus Innovation, a privately held company that manufactures ski and snowboarding gloves, face protection, and other cold-weather accessories, in 1979. In September 2007, Mike Carey was named Chairman of the Board for SnowSports Industries America (SIA). As chair, his goal is to "get the suppliers, retailers, reps, media and resorts to come together as one community and work together, then we can create synergy to help strengthen the snow sports industry as a whole."
Carey is an inventor who owns or shares eight ski apparel patents, including "Cat Tracks," a device which he created at age 30 to slip over the sole of a ski boot to provide increased traction when walking.
Carey began officiating football in 1972 working Pop Warner football games in the San Diego, California, area after a suggestion by a friend. Progressing to the college level in 1985, he joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). In the WAC, he officiated three bowl games.
National Football League
Carey was hired by the NFL in 1990 as a side judge, before being promoted to referee for the start of the 1995 NFL season. He became the second African American referee in NFL history after Johnny Grier in 1988. In addition to being selected as referee in Super Bowl XLII, he served as an alternate for Super Bowl XXXVI. In addition to the Super Bowl, he has officiated two conference championship games, four divisional playoffs, and eight wild card games throughout his career as of the conclusion of the 2007-08 NFL playoffs.
Carey has worked memorable games throughout his career, most notably during the 2005 NFL season. On October 3, 2005, Mike and Don Carey became the first brothers to officiate an NFL game together when they were assigned on the same officiating crew for the game between the Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers.
The following week of the 2005 regular season on October 9, 2005, Carey was involved in a game between the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions, which featured the ejection of two Baltimore players. In the third quarter with Detroit possession from Baltimore's 6 yard line, Terrell Suggs was penalized for roughing Detroit quarterback Joey Harrington following an incomplete pass. Suggs then quickly approached Mike Carey to argue the call and was immediately ejected from the game. Television replays were inconclusive to determine if contact with an official was made. After the game, Carey spoke to reporters and said, "He bumped me with malice in his heart and he was gone. He said a number of things to me."
Two months later at the start of overtime during a game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers in December 2005, Carey was unable to locate a coin to use for the coin toss. He had given his coin to a child, who served as the Packers' honorary captain, at the game's opening kickoff. The field judge was able to supply Carey with a penny.
Carey was the referee during a 2005-06 playoff game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins. At the conclusion of a play during this game, Redskins safety Sean Taylor spat in the face of Buccaneers running back Michael Pittman. Pittman retaliated with a slap to Taylor's helmet. Carey could be heard through a live microphone immediately ejecting Taylor from the game. Head linesman Steve Stelljes conferred with Carey over Pittman's actions, but Carey decided not to penalize Pittman. When questioned about taking no action against Pittman by Redskins players, Carey said in response to being spat upon, "What would you do?" Mike Pereira, the vice president of officiating, approved of Carey's handling of the incident saying that "offsetting personal fouls would not have been appropriate". Pereira added, "If anybody didn't eject somebody for spitting in somebody's face, I'd be disappointed."
Nearly two years later, Carey was named referee of Super Bowl XLII. On working the NFL's championship game, Carey said it was a "personal honor" and understood the historical significance of being the first African American referee. On the significance of the event, he said it was a "great sign of the evolution of our society that all barriers are eroding". During the fourth quarter, Carey's judgment was a factor in one of the important plays of the game. On third down, with just over a minute left in regulation, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning received the snap in a shotgun formation and looked to pass the ball. New England Patriots defenders Richard Seymour, Jarvis Green, and Adalius Thomas grabbed and attempted to tackle Manning. Manning escaped the two defenders and threw a 32-yard pass to wide receiver David Tyree. Under NFL rules, officials are required to stop play when a player is "in the grasp and control" of the defense. Carey determined that "grasp and control" was never achieved since Manning's forward momentum did not stop. Speaking about the play, Carey said, "I anticipated a sack. I didn't assume that was going to happen, but rarely do you see a quarterback escape when he's got that much weight on his back and being dragged by two or three guys who had a hold of him. I could see [Manning's] head was just straight ahead. He was trying to break free with desperation. Then all of a sudden he spun out and then he started to come right back at me."
- "Mike Carey Keynotes SCU Convocation" (Press release). Santa Clara University. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
- Sando, Mike (2008-07-11). "Rating refs touchy subject for NFL coaches". ESPN. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
- Attner, Paul (2002-10-07). "Showing their stripes". The Sporting News. Retrieved 2006-08-21.
- 2011 NFL officiating crews
- "Carey to be first black referee in Super Bowl". Associated Press. 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- "Super Bowl officials announced". The Sports Network. 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
- "Carey brothers mark NFL milestone". Associated Press. 2005-10-03. Archived from the original on 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2006-09-01.
- "Industry Veterans Join The SIA Board Of Directors, New Chairman Appointed" (Press release). Transworld Media. 2007-09-17. Retrieved 2008-01-16.
- "Super Bowl Notebook". CNN Sports Illustrated. 2002-02-02. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
- Hensley, Jamison (2005-10-10). "Total meltdown". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
- "Can't Have Coin Toss Without Coin". The New York Times. 2005-12-13. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
- "Videotape Shows Taylor Spitting at Buc". The Washington Post. 2006-01-13. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
- "Exclusive Mike Carey interview". National Football League. 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
- Vacchiano, Ralph (2008-02-07). "Referee: I almost sacked Eli Manning". Daily News. Retrieved 2008-02-17.