Mike Pereira, the former NFL V.P. of Officiating who now works as an analyst for FOX, has a warning for football fans regarding the new instant replay rules of 2011: Get ready for longer games.
This year’s new replay rule takes challenges out of the hands of coaches on scoring plays and dictates that every scoring play is automatically reviewed by the replay assistant, who will then buzz the referee if it’s a close enough call that it merits a full review. That will presumably mean that more scoring plays will be reviewed, and Pereira notes in his latest column for FOXSports.com that delays are the down side of that.
“Sounds good, but there will be an unintended consequence,” Pereira writes. “There will be a lot more replay stoppages in 2011, and the length of games will increase. Neither of those is good for the game.”
Until we see the new replay rules in action, we won’t really know how much longer they’ll make the games. If the replay assistants are conservative about when to buzz the referee to get a play reviewed, the games won’t be delayed very much — but if they’re too conservative they’ll probably fail to review some plays that should be reviewed. If the replay assistants are quick to buzz the referees, they’ll surely correct some game-altering mistakes. But also make the games noticeably longer.