Replay review still could end up being done only at league office

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When the NFL changed the replay rules in 2014 to permit the league office to be involved in the process of reviewing a call on the field, the end result happened only after it appeared that the league would take the function completely out of the stadium and move it exclusively to 345 Park Avenue.  That still could occur.

Giants co-owner John Mara recently explained that the league office may assume full control over the replay system in the future.

“We had discussion about whether those reviews should be made from the command center in New York and the final decision made there or whether it’s made by the on-field official,” Mara said regarding the 2015 Competition Committee meetings.  “I still think that we’re heading closer to a situation where those calls will ultimately be reviewed and determinations made by the command center, but I don’t think we’re quite there yet.  But I think we are getting there.”

It’s a change that would make plenty of sense.  With every referee potentially applying a different standard for assessing whether indisputable visual evidence exists to overturn the call on the field, having one central location for assessing the calls and making the decision ensures that a referee won’t surrender to the temptation to re-do the decision instead of giving it the extreme deference that the replay standard provides.

Of course, business considerations may result in the referee still having a role in the process.  With Microsoft and Bose paying the league millions for sponsorships based in large part on product placement, having the referee grab a tablet and slap on a set of headphones during the replay review could advance the bottom line, even if the referee eventually becomes a bystander.

10 responses to “Replay review still could end up being done only at league office

  1. At least this way, the decisions would (at least in theory) be consistent.

    They might be consistently wrong, but…

  2. With every referee potentially applying a different standard for assessing whether indisputable visual evidence exists to overturn the call on the field, having one central location for assessing the calls and making the decision ensures that a referee won’t surrender to the temptation to re-do the decision instead of giving it the extreme deference that the replay standard provides.

    That will still be an issue at one central location.

  3. This is one of the few things the NHL has gotten right….why this wasn’t done previously is beyond me.

    Why wouldn’t you take the bias of the Official, whose buddies made the call or himself, out of the equation?

  4. OMG….who will foot the extra expen$e$ of linking 345 Park Ave with 32 Stadiums? The poor owner$ cannot afford it. The for the 32 cities to float a Taxpayer Bond to help pay for it!

  5. joetoronto says:
    Apr 17, 2015 8:42 AM

    Just follow the NHL system, it works flawlessly and there’s no shame in it.
    —-

    My thoughts exactly. It is not very often that the NHL leads the professional leagues in anything, but with their replay system, they got it absolutely right. Take it off the field, and into the main office, and worry about getting the calls right instead of worrying about anything else.

    After all, it’s all about the integrity of the on-field product, right?

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