Instant replay could be changed, again


When the NFL owners meet next week in Florida, they’ll consider (as they usually do) a long list of rules changes.  Two of the proposed rules relate to the instant replay system.

Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay said during a Wedesday media conference call that the committee has proposed expanding the automatic use of replay to all turnovers:  interceptions and fumbles.  This means that any plays involving a turnover would be subject to automatic review, without a challenge.  (Of course, it also means that the coaches wouldn’t be able to throw the red flag and force a full-blown replay review.)

But the expanded procedure, if adopted, apparently wouldn’t include plays that were ruled on the field as not being turnovers, but that would be a turnover if reviewed via replay.  (The same donut hole applies regarding plays that would result in a score, if reversed.  Currently, an incomplete pass in the end zone currently isn’t subject to automatic review.)

Another more significant (and, frankly, necessary) change would come from a proposal made by the Bills — moving the entire process to the replay booth, and dumping the time-consuming, protracted dog-and-pony show that currently unfolds on the field.  We’ve been advocating such a change for months, if not longer.  It’s a waste of time to force the referee to walk to the sideline, assume the Dukakis-in-a-tank-helmet look with those huge headphones, talk to the replay assistant, peer under the hood, watch the video, emerge from the hood, talk again to the replay assistant, remove the huge headphones, talk to the coach, talk to his crew, walk to the center of the field, turn on his microphone, and announce the final ruling.

For all proposed rule changes, a 75-percent supermajority is needed.  In other words, 24 of 32 owners must approve the revision.

32 responses to “Instant replay could be changed, again

  1. I’m sure this has nothing to do with the possibility of extra commercial breaks during games = more advertising money = happier, richer NFL brass. Very sure.

  2. In the NHL, all reviews are handled through an office in Toronto, not even on site of the game. Up in a booth is good, but putting a replay office in NYC would be better.

  3. I hate instant replay. It takes the human element out of the game. Calls go for and against my team and I’m good with that. I hate the fact that they already slow the game down with the current replay system.

  4. All “potential” scoring plays need to be reviewed by the booth real time. It’s embarrassing when an entire national TV audience sees 2 feet down in the end zone and the refs blow the call.

  5. td40 says:Mar 21, 2012 4:07 PM

    I’m sure this has nothing to do with the possibility of extra commercial breaks during games = more advertising money = happier, richer NFL brass. Very sure.

    bingo. watching an nfl game nowadays flat out blows thanks to the incessant commercials. personally, id rather pay

  6. This is ridiculous. If you’re going to review scoring plays and turnovers, then you have to review potential scoring plays and turnovers also. Either review it all or not.

    Not reviewing potential scoring and turnover plays puts referees on the hot seat and makes them err on the side of calling it a turnover or score and let it go to replay instead of calling it like they see it.

    Why does the NFL not grasp this?

  7. If the refs could get calls right on instant replays then none of this would be needed.

    Like when the replay shows a clear fumble yet the ref STILL says it’s not.

  8. Why not go the NHL route and have a single “command center” that reviews and rules on all instant replay plays. That way there will the most amount of consistency, city to city and week to week.

  9. if you took it to the booth, that would cut down on TV timeouts and Ad Revenue….good look convincing Goodell

  10. Not sure how “extra commercial breaks during games = more advertising money = happier, richer NFL brass” TV contracts are already in place the only ones possibly benefiting would be the networks broadcasting games.

  11. I actually agree with the author, for once. If they’re going to have instant replay they can accomplish it easier from upstairs.

  12. Leave it in the hands of the officials. Game is becoming too cumbersome. Also, calls coming from a booth… sounds potentially fishy…………

  13. Why is everything in the NFL so damned difficult? Replay every play in the booth with a set of NFL officials. If the play needs to be reversed they will buzz the head umpire who will reverse the call, ,no need to get “under the hood” let the crew tell the ump weither the play is good or not, wont take much time and in fact should speed up the game compared to todays ugly replay rules.

  14. Just amazing. The league has some of the brightest minds that can come up with mind boggling rules for salary cap, creative offensive and defensive schemes but they cannot figure out if a play is a touchdown or not OR the rules to determine when to review.
    Sheer incompetence. Maybe Fuhrer Goodell should spend a little more time looking into this aspect of the game?

  15. I’m OK with this under a couple of conditions:

    1) All game officials, field and booth, are full-time employees that spend at least 25 hours a week watching film and making sure they know all the rules forwards and backwards.

    2) Once you make all the officials full-time, ensure there is a standard performance appraisal system to ensure the most competent people are doing the job. If I recall correctly, one of the drawbacks to the first incarnation of instant replay was that the 1,000-year-old men masquerading as replay booth officials couldn’t communicate effectively with the 80-year-old field officials.

  16. Too little. Still need to review:
    1. Interference penalties – should take 5-10 seconds, save a team 50 yards on a bad call.
    2. Personal Fouls – these guys are flying around 500 mph, no way can the refs get every one of these right…also no need to flag the guy who hits back. A review would show who threw the first punch, giving the penalty to the right team.

  17. Please, please, please let these dingdongs adopt the Bills’ suggestion. Enough with the interminable stepping-under-the-hood nonsense. How bright to you have to be to see that’s an ineffective method of reviewing plays that slows down the progress of the game?

  18. Another thing they need to do is let plays play out before blowing the whistle so fasts. I’ve seen games to where there was a fumble and the officials blow the whistle, making it a dead play and not able to be challenged

  19. It’s simple. If a knowledgeable fan can make the call, half tanked in their living room, with limited views of network feeds…..It would seem a ref or two in a booth with multiple screens could make the call and radio down to the field before the next snap. How many times do you hear the fans make the right call when it comes on the Jumbotron? I also don’t think the booth guys should have any limitations as to what type of calls they can make as long as they call down before the next snap. If a guy breaks a 35 yard rumble because of a hold that a ref missed on the field, why would you not want someone to call that? Especially when it’s blatantly obvious. It makes the game and the refs look foolish. Why didn’t they call that? Well, the rules don’t allow for a replay on THOSE types of blown calls…….what is that?

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