Carey To Make History At Super Bowl XLII

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: January 30, 2008

NEW YORK — Last year, Indianapolis’ Tony Dungy and Chicago’s Lovie Smith made history as the first black head coaches to reach the Super Bowl. This year, Mike Carey will become the first black referee in Super Bowl history.

Carey, in his 18th year as an official, was notified by the NFL office last week he had the assignment for the Feb. 3 game in Glendale, Ariz. The NFL officially announced the assignments Wednesday.

Super Bowl officials are chosen on merit, with the highest ranked at each position getting the assignment. Carey, who runs a skiing accessories company, has been among the NFL’s top crew chiefs for a decade and has been a Super Bowl alternate, but has never been the referee.

Black officials have been increasing in number over the years. This season there were 26 on the 17 crews, a single-season high.

They also have been well-represented in the Super Bowl at other officiating spots. Among them was Burl Toler, a former player who worked several early games.

Carey served as the alternate referee in Super Bowl XXXVI. The Santa Clara University alum has officiated in 14 playoff games — two NFL championships, four divisional playoffs and eight wild card games.

Carey was the referee when the Giants and Patriots met last December 29 at Giants Stadium in the teams’ regular-season finale, a 38-35 New England victory.

Under the NFL officiating program’s evaluation system, the highest-rated officials at each position with the appropriate experience earn the right to work the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl officials must have five years of NFL experience and previous playoff assignments.