Mike Carey was notified today that he has been given the assignment of a lifetime on February 3rd, 2008.
In the NFL.com report, it says the officials for the Super Bowl are chosen on merit, with the highest ranked at each position getting the assignment.
Over at refchat, they have analyzed Carey's stats for the season:
In the regular season, Mike was a good referee for visiting teams. Home teams only won 40% of their games with Mike's crew, which was second-worst of the 17 referee crews.
Mike was 6th (of 17) in total points scored per game (45.0), 4th in visitors' points (23.5) and 12th in home team points (21.5).
Mike was middle of the pack (9th) in penalties per game at 11.8. Ranked 10th in penalty yards per game (90 yards per game). Ranked near the bottom (14th) in average penalty yards per penalty at 7.6. Mike was tied for the highest in the percent of his games where the visiting team had more penalties called than the home team (70%). He is not the only referee where most games had more penalties called against the visiting team yet the visiting teams did well in his games. The same quality of usually more penalties called against the visiting teams yet the visiting teams nevertheless usually winning the games also applied to Ron Winter this year.
Well, we know there are no "home" or "away" teams in the Super Bowl so those stats shouldn't mean too much in Arizona. The stat that stood out to me was the fact that Mike and crew averaged only 11.9 penalties per game - couple that with the fact that the Giants and Pats are averaging a combined 8.7 penalties per game in the playoffs and we're looking at a possible low number of penalties for the Super Bowl. In my opinion, that's a good thing.
As I have mentioned before, Carey is one of my favorite officials, and I think he does a fairly good job on the games that I have seen him officiate. However, every official can have bad games and of course they need to have a good team behind them as well. As we saw just 2 years ago when the Seahawks played the Steelers, just because you may have had the best merit's during the regular season, doesn't mean you will call a great game during the Super Bowl.
Carey has been a Super Bowl alternate many times, but has never been the referee.