Skip to content

NFL refs will talk to officiating office during replay reviews


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.

Permalink 41 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Top Stories
41 Responses to “NFL refs will talk to officiating office during replay reviews”
  1. ajgreenhof says: Mar 25, 2014 11:01 AM

    Isn’t this similar to what the NHL does? Sounds like a smart move.

  2. jpherling says: Mar 25, 2014 11:04 AM

    That’s great. Now we’ll only have to wait half an hour for each decision.

  3. buzzlightner says: Mar 25, 2014 11:06 AM

    Well when they bring in blandino in on video during challenges he is usually pretty accurate so i like this

  4. upperdecker19 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:06 AM

    Uh….they already do.

    The Tuck Rule Game

  5. wannabear says: Mar 25, 2014 11:09 AM

    As long as Blandino don’t have to talk to Goodell to make the final call

  6. dgimbz says: Mar 25, 2014 11:10 AM

    NHL has the decisions made by the home office, the ref just sits on the line waiting for the decision. The NHL model is the model NFL should go to, not this hybrid model.

  7. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Mar 25, 2014 11:15 AM

    Maybe they should consult with 50 guys in a bar during replay reviews. They have a better idea of what the call should be than the refs do.

  8. gripless says: Mar 25, 2014 11:15 AM

    Do it like college! Fast, relatively accurate and fair

  9. renbutler says: Mar 25, 2014 11:16 AM

    The NFL monitors live games closely from New York, so this shouldn’t add to the time required for a review process.

    The only question I have is what happens when two games go to review at the same time. Will somebody with Blandino’s level of authority be able to handle the second review?

  10. pem34 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:18 AM

    I like this – what would make it GREAT though is if they aired the audio of the ref discussion on the broadcast.

  11. tvjules says: Mar 25, 2014 11:19 AM

    This is a good move, so long as Triplette isn’t the guy in the booth.

  12. Patskrieg dot com says: Mar 25, 2014 11:21 AM

    Smart move. We can’t have anyone blowing the point spread on a careless call. I’d suggest cutting out the middle man and having the call go straight to the Caesar’s Palace casino floor. Ask Jerome Boger, he’s got their number.

  13. turtlehut says: Mar 25, 2014 11:22 AM

    Does this mean Jeff Tripplett might have a tougher time changing the course of a game via bad calls?

  14. sportsnut101 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:24 AM

    Why pay refs 6 figure salary
    When they can call penalty from the tv
    Just have them phone it in from home

  15. joetoronto says: Mar 25, 2014 11:30 AM

    The NFL has gotten so big, it can’t even move anymore.

    They keep working on a solution, over and over again, that’s enough now.

  16. shatho1 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:31 AM

    well this should be fun. just wait until there’s two games going at the same time and both have two different replays at the same time its going to still delay games when both refs are on the lone with blandino

  17. sidneyz says: Mar 25, 2014 11:31 AM

    Great! This will keep refs like Walt Coleman from butchering the instant replay call. Tuck U Walt!

  18. Klover Jane says: Mar 25, 2014 11:32 AM

    Some how, some way, leaving it up to them, they’ll still find a way to screw it up.

  19. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 25, 2014 11:32 AM

    This isn’t even close to being a half-measure towards solving the replay and officiating problems. This is extremely disappointing to hear.

  20. hodous says: Mar 25, 2014 11:33 AM

    The NFL games will no longer be a three hour tour… a three hour tour…

  21. benismoney says: Mar 25, 2014 11:33 AM

    The fix is in!

  22. Klover Jane says: Mar 25, 2014 11:37 AM

    Looks like Blandino and his mantourage are gonna be busy making stuffed shells and taking phone calls. “HEY VITO, WAS IT A CATCH? “

  23. 16to87 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:38 AM

    NFL talking to ref’s, smells like the fix is in.

  24. raiderbob56 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:40 AM

    Why are we paying refs? Shouldnt they get their heads out of there a$$es and make the right call? Or maybe they dont know the rules, in which case, this decision is more telling.

  25. johnc714 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:45 AM

    Good idea as long as it doesn’t add even more time to the review. What happens during Sunday afternoon and late games though if there’s coincidentally there are several reviews from different games simultaneously? Do the refs have to hold until Blandino finishes the previous call?

    I’m for it as long as it helps speed it up and get the calls right.

  26. billsin20xx says: Mar 25, 2014 11:48 AM

    No, thils will just add time to the review. Why can’t they just do it the NHL way and let a central person make all the rulings so they get some consistency? It’s working great in the NHL.

  27. robert831 says: Mar 25, 2014 11:50 AM

    Great so now the league can centrally fix games as it sees fit to league ratings.. Bad move, keep all reviews independent.

  28. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Mar 25, 2014 12:07 PM

    And this just in, NFL games are expected to last for about 6 hours each in 2014…

  29. gburr75 says: Mar 25, 2014 12:10 PM

    Meh….they’ll still manage to screw this up! Like it said in the article ( This rule doesn’t guarantee the calls will always be right, but it is a step toward making replay reviews more accurate) Ha Ha Ha!

  30. markpugner says: Mar 25, 2014 12:21 PM

    This is Roger Goodell’s fault. We need to bring back Paul Tagliabue.

  31. kvgrekop says: Mar 25, 2014 12:36 PM

    The biggest problems with the refs are that 1) there are too many rules to keep up with 2) The league “emphasizes” certain areas, but don’t always convey that to the public and 3) are only human.

    If we didn’t have something to gripe about it would be boring. It’s always fun to watch until it’s your team. That being said they should go to the NHL way. nuff said.

  32. cursedvikings1998 says: Mar 25, 2014 12:52 PM

    This will make it much easier for Good-hell to rig games so that the “right teams” win.

  33. bestbadteamaround says: Mar 25, 2014 12:56 PM

    I get that they want to avoid getting the call wrong during a replay review… but how about just making sure every official knows every rule? If that’s not possible, your rulebook is awful. The man on the field should be able to know what call to make when he has access to slow-motion high-definition replays from every available angle.

  34. abedinedabears says: Mar 25, 2014 1:05 PM

    Great job nfl, but what would be even better is if we only had to wait two minutes to find out what the ruling of the play was! So smart

  35. bobman2 says: Mar 25, 2014 1:31 PM

    “This rule doesn’t guarantee the calls will always be right, but it is a step toward making replay reviews more accurate.”

    I agree it’s a step, but not quite all the way where we need to go. Also, maybe not more accurate, but at least more consistent. I think a ref sitting on Park Ave, seeing multiple views of ten seconds in a game he has not been immersed in will have a clearer perspective. God, I hope so… though it sounds like the full-NHL model might be better.

    Slightly off topic, but how are Triplette and Coleman still employed by the NFL? One of them even got a playoff game last year? Obscene. Of all the things in the league that should be reviewed, THAT should take top priority.

  36. poweri26 says: Mar 25, 2014 1:47 PM

    Blandino will conference in Tim Donaghy to see which way Vegas needs the call to go. Nice and tidy. Move along now.

  37. phuriousjorge says: Mar 25, 2014 2:02 PM

    Just put it all in the hands of the central office! They can be working on the call while the ref is still walking to the booth. In most cases they should have a decision by the time the ref dons the headset.
    As stated, works in the NHL, and now also MLB. Why has it taken so long for NFL to get this right?

  38. winged warrior says: Mar 25, 2014 3:48 PM

    the call will be made to depend on how it affects the atva ratings …gotta protect the product.
    this reminds me of the NBA lottery drawing being held in secret. ah well we know the score

  39. poweri26 says: Mar 25, 2014 4:12 PM

    So every Sunday there will be approximately 32 contestants battling out the games in 16 different districts that are directed and manipulated by the Capital. Got it….

    May the odds be ever in your favor.

  40. 12thlegion says: Mar 25, 2014 5:41 PM

    In theory, it sounds good.
    But are we all ready for 4 hour games???
    I’m not…but I don’t like squeeze bottle ketchup.
    To each his/her own.

  41. stoolerz says: Mar 25, 2014 5:48 PM

    At least Ralph Wilson won’t have to see his beloved NFL nosedive into obscurity

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!