After the Conference Championship rounds this past weekend, I think we can all agree that the NFL will be looking at expanding replay review during the off season meetings.
The economics of pro sports already drive games to be longer than necessary. Many argue that an expansion of replay review would only make games longer and less appealing to TV viewers. I think to an extent that is true, but the bitter disappointments from bad/non-calls during games (often acknowledged by the league after the fact) have to be factored into the 'fan experience' part of the equation. Sure, die hard fans will never leave, but marginal ones? They might leave with a bitter taste in their mouths that could effect, in the long run, revenue (and let's not fool ourselves that it's the #1 driving factor in a lot of decision making by the league's big brass).
Personally, I'm a bit put off by the whole situation and realize there are no easy solutions, but I'm not leaving the fan kingdom completely (I can't stand to watch regular season pro-basketball anymore).
I like the NCAA football system. Each play is reviewed by officials in the booth, and coaches get one challenge (re-filled if you're proven correct).
That leaves the issue of what's reviewed and what's not reviewed. We all know that there is holding on every play, and often times it does effect the outcome of a play and is not called, but TYPICALLY, the holds don't influence the outcome of the play. So I'm for not reviewing them (on the line) but keep an eye out for holding on receivers running their routes.
Looking at bottom line again, the NFL would have to have more referees to be booth officials to keep the games moving. So they can review plays as they're happening. You can't do a 'pool' set up like MLB where they call the guys in NYC to look at a single play.
Tough problem, interested to hear if other folks have solutions. Personally, I want to see the right called made in a reasonable amount of time. If they show the replay once, and then use the 'review' time to show commercials that would normally be shown (and slow the game down) at other times (like after a kick off/extra point) I don't think it would slow the game down too much.
I wanted the Rams to win (and the Chiefs, too) but you can't tell me those Saints fans didn't have a dagger plunged into their hearts.
It’s been pretty interesting to see the amount of outrage over the Rams/Saints NFC Championship game the past few days.
I’m not exactly sure what the solution is, Hoff.
Like you, I’ve been an NFL fan since my earliest days in grade school (I’m a Denver Broncos fan), but in recent years, some of the “drama” surrounding the game has been something of a turnoff for me.
The question is whether the purity of the game erodes as additional technology/reviews/officials are introduced into the model.
I mean, it’s probably inevitable.
But what’s interesting to me is that with all of the changes that have been made in the NFL the past 25 years, they still missed a pass interference call.
This is somewhat similar to the conversation we are having in the hockey forum - https://mavpuck.com/Hockey/7012323.
Many have suggested the integrity of the Super Bowl is in question. It’s kind of funny that lawsuits are being filed. Some have called it “the most egregious missed call in the history of football.”
So now people are calling for a new rule that would allow that call to be reviewed. But where do we stop?
Part of what makes sports so interesting and compelling is that the narrative you want is rarely the narrative you get.
Part of what makes sports so compelling is that there are missed calls.
I was just watching an ESPN 30-for-30 documentary titled “Catholics vs. Convicts” about the Oct. 15, 1988 game between Miami and Notre Dame in South Bend. There was a blown call during that game in the end zone — something Lou Holtz said he had never seen in the 30 years since the game.
But the missed call is part of the story. A blown fumble call in the national title game between Nebraska and Florida State in the 1994 Orange Bowl has become part of that game’s lore.
The question is whether “sanitizing” every sporting event ultimately makes the game “better.”
As you mention, there is holding on nearly every play from scrimmage in the NFL.
I dunno what the solution is. I just don’t know if “over-regulating” everything is the answer.
While there are plenty of voices saying the refs are human, just like the players, and a ref making a bad call (human error) is the same as someone dropping an easy pass in the end zone (again human error) - both potentially affect the outcome of the game.
BUT - the game is a game between the players. The refs/umpires aren't supposed to be part of the game. The discussion in the hockey forum about the 'wiggle' room, even in the 'absolutes' of the written rule book, can be a two edged sword - allowing more 'play' but also allowing rule violating hinderance to play too, based on judgement.
Probably a perfect solution isn't available, but I'm still a firm believer that if you can get the call right without overly delaying the game, then lets get the call right.