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.

25 responses to “Mara says replay reviews eventually could be conducted in command center

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.”

  6. 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”.

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

  8. 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!

  9. 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?

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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”?

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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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