Mike Carey might be the most unique person in snow sports.
Yes, Shaun White can snowboard and he's not bad on that skateboard either.
And, yes, Gene Simmons can rock out any arena, and he once unveiled a line of winter apparel.
But Carey has to stand out. After all, how many people can say they own a major equipment company - Seirus Innovation - and work NFL games as a referee. He has had a hand in 18 patents, including 11 current and three pending, and became the first African-American referee to officiate a Super Bowl when the Giants and Patriots last played in XLII.
Carey is in his early 60s, but can pass for someone 20 years younger. Yes, he does not move the way he might want to - an ankle injury as a running back at Santa Clara University limits his running to game days - but his calm but matter-of-fact demeanor makes his games as smooth as his turns on the hill and keeps him one step ahead of the players.
And his products keep everyone warm and stable.
Carey, a Californian, founded Winter Mountain, a manufacturer of snow sports essentials, in 1979. He is the inventor of one of Seirus Innovation’s original products, Cat Tracks, a boot-sole preserver.
During a ski trip in the 1970s, Carey realized that his boots needed a little affection. The product adds traction and extends the life of boot soles, while keeping them free of dirt and gravel.
He merged his company with Joe Edwards and Edwards Ski Products in 1984. Edwards is best known for developing The Masque face protector. It's the only nose-to-chin face shield many snow sports enthusiasts would consider wearing because of its comfort, breathability, kindness to goggles and warmth.
Seirus is also known for its warm, durable glove line.
Carey even applied his officiating skills to winter sports while serving as chairman of the board of SnowSports Industries America from 2007 to 2010. It is the major retail trade group for skiing and snowboarding.
When asked for what he would throw a penalty flag at the industry, Carey said the slowness to retain new enthusiasts.
"Delay of game on SIA and NSAA (the National Ski Areas Association) in ramping up a united effort to create more snow sports enthusiasts," he said. "While we have had recent record-setting years at resorts for skier visits from those ages 8 to 80, we better get going on replacing those 80 year-olds before they are all gone. It’s going to take a coordinated effort between SIA and NSAA to succeed. It is not an easy process to foster new and permanent snow sports enthusiasts."
How about any applications for heated gloves in the NFL?
"We think the sideline personnel will be attracted to Seirus’ lightweight, FormFit HeatTouch gloves," he said. "For on-field personnel, we are testing different materials to find something capable of withstanding a level of punishment that fortunately is not encountered on the slopes."
So those answers, in a nutshell, represent Carey the ref and Carey the exec.
Upon further review, he seems like a good fit for both.