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Mara says replay reviews eventually could be conducted in command center

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For 2014, the NFL has decided to allow the league office to talk directly to the referee before and during a replay review.  The direct involvement of the league office could be the first step toward removing the replay function from the stadiums entirely.

“I think we’re moving toward a system where replays are going to be conducted by the command center in New York,” Giants co-owner John Mara tells the team’s official website.  “I don’t think we’re there yet, but I see us moving in that direction.”

Mara explained that the involvement of the league office will be the first test of technology that potentially could facilitate the entire replay process.

“I think we’re going to experiment this year with communication between the command center and the referee,” Mara said.  “I think there is a feeling on the part of some people that the referee still needs to be involved.  Other people would argue that the system in college works quite well, the referee doesn’t have any involvement and that decision gets made upstairs.  In the NHL, those decisions get made in their command center, the referee really isn’t involved in that.  I can see us being in a position someday where our replay calls are done from the command center.  We’re just not there yet.”

There’s no reason to keep the replay function in the hands of the referee, if the technology proves to be reliable.  When it comes to properly applying the standard for overturning or upholding rulings on the field, the referees haven’t been reliable.

While it’s one thing to make a mistake while trying to dodge 300-pound armored men in real time, it’s another to bungle the examination of a video monitor during a delay of the game that can take five minutes or longer.  Having the same people in New York handle the review process in a setting where factors like weather, the home crowd, the coach, and the overall background noise won’t be an issue will promote consistency — and accuracy — in the rulings.

“I think you get more consistency, because you have the same two or three people making the calls all of the time,” Mara said. “I think in terms of interpretation and consistency, it would improve in that area and possibly it would be more efficient. You wouldn’t have to wait for the referee to run all the way over to the sideline and get under the hood and crank up the machine.  You’d have the decisions made much faster.  I think in college the decision gets made faster.  We originally had that system that they used in college back when replay was first introduced but we didn’t think that it worked well because the people that we had in the press box making the call were basically retired officials.  We didn’t think we had enough capable people to have that system work very well, so we moved away from it and got back to just the referee making the call on the field.  You still have up to 16 different referees working on any given weekend.  That sometimes leads to calls that some people would view as being inconsistent and having inconsistent standards. If we can come up with a way to have it done in the command center, maybe it would lead to more consistency.”

There’s no “maybe” about it.  With V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino and one or two others making the decisions in real time all the time, the rulings would be a lot more consistent than they are now.

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25 Responses to “Mara says replay reviews eventually could be conducted in command center”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 25, 2014 3:00 PM

    The decisions will be made at the new control centre located in India.

  2. jayhawk6 says: Apr 25, 2014 3:02 PM

    What would George Orwell think of this advancement in technology?

  3. axx1 says: Apr 25, 2014 3:03 PM

    So does this mean that every single holding that goes uncalled will now be penalized????

  4. leftlaneisforpassingonly says: Apr 25, 2014 3:03 PM

    Because it’s working so well for baseball? Just dump replay and deal with the few bad calls. It’s time get back to more playing and less standing around.

  5. ronarch13 says: Apr 25, 2014 3:04 PM

    Way to catch up with the NHL. They have it right, all plays that are in question of being a goal are reviewed at the headquarters. Yes it takes a little bit of time but not longer than the system the NFL currently has in place (which may or may not be a $$ scheme with commercials). How this wasn’t the process from the beginning, I will never understand.

  6. backdapack4evr says: Apr 25, 2014 3:12 PM

    None of the Viking plays are worth reviewing!!

  7. nebster21 says: Apr 25, 2014 3:21 PM

    why is Mara the one doing all of the talking.

  8. jbaxt says: Apr 25, 2014 3:21 PM

    Why does the referee need to be involved? More than half the time the head ref doesn’t make the call, other refs make the call, and signal the head ref. this should
    Be no different.

    My guess is the nfl likes the revenue generated from the head 60 year old man having to run across the field, twice. Thus creating more commercial time.

  9. fissels says: Apr 25, 2014 3:26 PM

    If it would speed up the process, I’m in favor of it. The way it is right now, there is too much of a delay in getting the call right and resuming play.

  10. baddegg says: Apr 25, 2014 3:41 PM

    I think Mara was misquoted in this article. Actually, he said:

    “I think we’re moving toward a system where replays are going to be conducted by the command center in the New York Giants Headquarters. This will be to ensure ‘competitive balance’ throughout the league.”

  11. bigdogsolec says: Apr 25, 2014 3:49 PM

    HMMMM ,8 games + played at the same time ,8 + people watching these games. heck i’d love to be 1 of those 8 +people.get to watch 8 + differnt games all at the same time ” 8 + differnt TV’s ”
    BUT ,lets say 1 game is more exciting to watch than another, so the person watching the BORING GAME, pays attention to the more exciting game. time lost,game extended ” longer games”.

  12. corkspop says: Apr 25, 2014 3:52 PM

    Length of reviews would likely be about the same. But there would be more consistency. And that would be GREAT.

  13. norseyapper says: Apr 25, 2014 3:56 PM

    It is a fact that there is a huge difference between the willingness of various referees to overturn a call made by their crew. This would take the pride and ego of the head ref out of the equation, and that would be good step.
    Next, ALL reviews should be given at most one minute of official revue. The way this was written is that the call is only overturned with “indisputable visual evidence.” When you are taking 5-6 minutes to micro-examine every angle you are defeating that intention. If it isn’t immediately obvious, move on!

  14. restorativejusticeprogram says: Apr 25, 2014 3:57 PM

    When the NHL can do with, but the NFL has not you just know they are dragging their feet to allow crooked refs to pocket more money from gamblers before the change is made. The NFL gets a cut of that, right?

  15. iamdinguskhan says: Apr 25, 2014 5:02 PM

    Mara will find some way to make this a bad thing on other NFC east teams # Mara=cheater

  16. kev86 says: Apr 25, 2014 5:35 PM

    Mara is the best. Wellington would be proud.

  17. thegronk87 says: Apr 25, 2014 5:39 PM

    Not sure why john mara is all of a sudden a spokesman for the NFL,e’s not even an actual owner, his mother is.

  18. ohnoflorio says: Apr 25, 2014 5:50 PM

    Why does Mara think he is the commish? He’s a joke. His father would be rolling in his grave if he could see what an absolute tool his son turned into…

  19. blueballz77 says: Apr 25, 2014 6:21 PM

    NHL!??? what in the world does that mean..must be some weird European sport.

  20. justintuckrule says: Apr 25, 2014 7:06 PM

    My man Mara comes from a bookmaking family. Just like the Rooneys. They have been angling for this for 30 years. Once a “command center” can influence a game, you might as well have the WWF.

    I’ll be for it as long as the “command center” posts on TV and at the stadium the best still photo of the play that they used to render their decision. Otherwise….can you say “FIX IS IN”?

  21. gammynomnom says: Apr 25, 2014 11:29 PM

    Pretty sure Goodell is going to let Mara review all calls in Giants games and give them 12 timeouts for each one they win.

  22. dannyabramowitz says: Apr 26, 2014 12:43 AM

    Do we really want Goodell and his cronies in New York controlling the outcomes of games? I can definitely see calls favoring whichever teams brings more “revenue” to the NFL.

  23. 49erlifer says: Apr 26, 2014 1:13 AM

    Not if its aldon smith….did the giants cut LT? I mean he was sniffin rails during halftime.

  24. charmcitychampions says: Apr 26, 2014 1:50 AM

    Just another way for the NFL Front Office to manipulate the games to suit their corporate needs. How long until the fans turn this sport off entirely? Revenues are up. Game’s integrity is long gone. Sucks as a die hard fan. But this….this is not Football anymore.

  25. corvusrex96 says: Apr 26, 2014 12:59 PM

    A centralized replay review right under the nose of the league office = more chances to ensure that the “right” team wins . I guess New York, Dallas , Pitt, New England and Denver must be happy

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