The NFL has passed a new rule that it hopes will make instant replay more effective.
League owners voted today to allow the referee to consult with members of the NFL officiating department during replay reviews. The referee will be able to speak with head of officiating Dean Blandino at the command center in New York, who will help in reviewing a play.
Although the referee technically still has final say, for all intents and purposes this means it will be Blandino making the call: If you’re tasked with making a split-second decision, and you’re on the phone with your boss who tells you which way to go, are you really going to go against him?
And it should mean a better replay system going forward. This rule doesn’t guarantee the calls will always be right, but it is a step toward making replay reviews more accurate.