NFL: There’s been no change to the replay standard

Getty Images

The NFL recently changed the buzz words for overturning a decision via replay review from “indisputable visual evidence” to “clear and obvious evidence.” The actual standard is still the same.

And despite curious application of the standard in recent weeks, the NFL says that the standard has not changed.

During a Tuesday media briefing, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart addressed the decision of senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron to overturn a Week Eight touchdown catch by Bears tight end Zach Miller. In multiple videos published last week, Riveron claimed that the evidence showed the ball striking the ground. At very best, it’s difficult to see it. (At worse, it’s not there.)

“I don’t think there’s been any change in rule and/or standard here,” Lockhart said. “I would point you back to the video where I think Al explains his position on the rule quite clearly.”

Riveron definitely explained his position on the rule. But that doesn’t change the fact that the explanation seems inaccurate. And with no layer of public accountability above the guy who makes the decision, there will be no way to obtain real transparency on these issues, absent Riveron deciding to admit that he made a mistake.

In this case, he made a mistake. And the league should admit it. Blindly circling the wagons and peddling alternative facts, as we’ve learned over the past year, doesn’t work.

13 responses to “NFL: There’s been no change to the replay standard

  1. Spot on analysis. To get around this, how bout this? Allow refs on tough calls to say “We’re not sure.” Then automatically replay and make the best decision with the video evidence. That way you’re not held to the “indisputable evidence” standard which clearly they aren’t going by to begin with.

  2. I have definitely noticed a sharp decline in the broadcast of replay angles that show all the empty seats. Clear and obvious evidence that the plan is working, whatever it is.

  3. birdmantd says:
    November 7, 2017 at 12:51 pm
    Spot on analysis. To get around this, how bout this? Allow refs on tough calls to say “We’re not sure.” Then automatically replay and make the best decision with the video evidence. That way you’re not held to the “indisputable evidence” standard which clearly they aren’t going by to begin with.

    _______________________________

    No. The refs could say “I’m not sure” on almost every play.

  4. The ball CLEARLY touched the ground as Miller rolled over and his hands moved lower on the ball. Did he lose complete control? Probably not, but the rule is specific in that the ball MUST be fully secured in his grasp. Anything less is an incompletion.

  5. Come on NFL just pony-up the money and get Mike Pereira back. At least he could clearly explain the rules & why the decision was made. Hell he even admitted when mistakes were made. Of any of the recent VPs I would be most comfortable with him having the final say on replays.

  6. Wait a minute – this is just moronic. Who cares what “buzz words” are used – all that matters is what is in the RULEBOOK regarding replays. Anything else is just couch-potato lawyers arguing about nonsense “buzz words.”

  7. AL Riveron is terrible at his job. The many errors in judgement he has committed has done something I didn’t think was possible, which was make the officiating even worse than its been in the past. These many high profile blunders aren’t doing the NFL any favors in term of public opinion at a time when the NFL already has enough to worry about and the easy fix is to move on from him and hopefully replace him with someone capable of using their eyeballs with some semblance of logic and intelligence.

  8. akira554 says:
    November 7, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    The ball CLEARLY touched the ground as Miller rolled over and his hands moved lower on the ball. Did he lose complete control? Probably not, but the rule is specific in that the ball MUST be fully secured in his grasp. Anything less is an incompletion.
    ——————-

    The rule is that there must be indisputable evidence to overturn the call on the field, and there clearly wasn’t.

  9. “To get around this, how bout this? Allow refs on tough calls to say “We’re not sure.” ”
    ________________

    How do you challenge a blown call when the replay review is what produced the blown call? Also, a rule like that would put huge pressure on officials to NEVER make a call for fear they might be wrong but video wouldn’t be clear enough to fix it. And once that started you’d have a replay stoppage every series and games would take all day.

Leave a Reply

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