Last month, the NFL announced its roster of game officials for 2014. With veteran referee Mike Carey taking a job with CBS, the league needed to amend the list. And in lieu of bumping up a current non-referee into the job, the league has gone to the college ranks and hired a referee.
The NFL has announced that ACC referee Brad Allen will replace Carey, moving the number of new officials to a lucky 13. A participant in the league’s advanced training program in 2013, Allen was assigned during his apprentice period to Carey’s crew.
The other two new referees, Ronald Torbert and Craig Wrolstad, were elevated from other NFL officiating positions.
“Our first-year officials were all among the best in college football, including Brad Allen, one of our new referees,” NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino said in a release. “Brad was an outstanding referee for many years in the ACC and we are excited about having him on the field. Ron and Craig have proven to be outstanding NFL officials and they also are ready to assume the referee position.”
Assuming the position is something that various NFL teams and coaches will do from time to time when on the wrong end of inevitable bad calls. Regardless of the quality of the officials, the human eye can only see so much in real time, especially when the human eye resides in a body that is trying to preserve itself amid a swarm of large men wearing layers of plastic armor.
That’s why, in addition to finding the best possible officials, the league should embrace all available technologies that would allow calls to quickly and efficiently be reviewed after the fact — or ideally to be made in the first place.