Roger Goodell explains to fans how new replay system will work

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In a move that feels a lot like a President making his case for legistlative change to the people before the House or the Senate cast a vote, Commissioner Roger Goodell has sent a letter to fans outlining various changes that will be considered by the owners next week in Arizona.

The letter from Goodell with the salutation “Dear Fans” presents the proposals in a way that suggests the changes are a done deal, even though the changes won’t be finalized until at least 24 owners vote in favor of them. This means either that Goodell has polled enough owners to conclude that at least 24 votes are coming — or that he has concluded that enough owners are on the fence to justify an effort to work the public in advance of the vote. Why else, frankly, would he feel compelled to tell the fans about the changes only one week before the changes become actual changes?

As it relates to the centralization of replay review, a topic that has been a sore point for multiple coaches and team executives who worry that this will allow the league office to make decisions aimed at reaching outcomes desired by 345 Park Avenue, Goodell outlined the new procedure that would be adopted: “Instead of a fixed sideline monitor, we will bring a tablet to the Referee who can review the play in consultation with our officiating headquarters in New York, which has the final decision. This should improve consistency and accuracy of decisions and help speed up the process.”

It also should allow Microsoft to get even more bang for its product-placement buck, with the peep-show approach replaced by an official using the official tablet of the National Football League, complete with that distinctive electric blue case.

Apart from the obvious change to the appearance of the replay review process, the new approach would result in the referee losing final say over the outcome, with the league office having the power to overrule the ruling on the field.

So why involve the referee at all? Doing so eliminates the sense that the decision is being made remotely (and possibly arbitrarily). In fairness to the league, it also allows for an extra set of eyes, which is never a bad thing. And, as mentioned above, it provides for greater integration of the Microsoft tablet into the presentation of the game. Which makes that partnership even more valuable to the league.

Especially when the time comes to put the official tablet sponsorship out for bidding.

61 responses to “Roger Goodell explains to fans how new replay system will work

  1. Again….all Goodell cares about is making $…which is fine, but please don’t insult the fans intelligence by acting like this is for THEIR betterment. Just another way to put another coin in the owner’s pockets.

  2. It makes sense that replay is handled by people sitting in an office with large screens and good lighting. Why should a game referee go “under the hood” in bad lighting on the field to look at a small screen which doesn’t have great replay controls?

    Is the central office going to rig a call? Sure, it’s possible, but I doubt it. Every viewer can see the replay for himself. If the central office starts favoring or hurting the Broncos, Raiders, Dolphins, Packers, Chiefs or any other team it will be obvious to the viewers.

    Will this speed up the game? Probably. It’s probably a lot easier for someone sitting in front of a large screen with good controls in a comfortable temperature office to quickly review a play.

  3. “In fairness to the league, it also allows for an extra set of eyes, which is never a bad thing.”

    An extra set of OBJECTIVE eyes is never a bad thing. An extra set of eyes belonging to someone at 345 Park Ave can’t possibly be expected to fit that criteria. The only way that ‘review’ process could have any credibility is if the person at the other end is an official themselves and not some league minion. As can be plainly seen by anyone just reading comments here the average fan is probably more inclined to place their trust in a used car salesman or politician than anyone from the league office and for good cause.

  4. looking forward to seeing the refs stare at a tablet during rain and snow games. can someone please tell me how this moron became the commissioner of the NFL

    the nfl head office will have final say on all replays, why not just make all calls go to the league office where they have quicker access and better screens to view the replays

    the calls could be made before the tablet even gets to the ref as most of us sitting at home have seen several replays before the ref even gets under the booth to review

  5. Brought you by the same people that botched BountyGate. And then DeflateGate. Nothing could possibly go wrong go wrong go wrong go wrong….

  6. “Possibly arbitrary”??? Of course it’s arbitrary. And by arbitrary, it means the obvious: All teams are not equal and neither are the time slots. Big-name teams and prime-time games will get more scrutiny.

    Also I find it amusing that the commish favors a so-called neutral replay official who can overrule a referee’s original call on the field.

    Isn’t that what Goodell considers a ‘non-negotiable’ for himself alone? He’s the one who calls the discipline, hears the appeal, and then makes the final decision on the punishment.

    But we dear fans are supposed to buy how a neutral party will better – when we all know he doesn’t even believe in it.

  7. Will be interesting to see how that works on a bright sunny day in Miami, a blizzard in Green Bay or a driving rain storm in Seattle.

    How about just getting some VR Goggles for the ref?

  8. In the great debate between a 3 hour game where my team loses on a bad call, and a 3 hour 10 minute game where everything is called correctly, I’ll waste 10 more minutes of my life, thanks.

  9. Goodell does exactly what his employers tell him to do.

    I just don’t get the bashing. Why not blame the Owners that can move your team to a new city in the dead of night, that charge you a week’s pay for tickets and concessions, that saturate the airwaves with the NFL as often as possible, and that want to expand to Great Britain.

    Is that asking too much?

  10. To ensure total transparency to the fans the league office should release a detailed transcript of the conversation between the officiating headquarters and the referee as to how they came to their decision after each game…..

  11. Hire another official to work in the booth at the stadium who can quickly overrule bad calls on the field – just like college did for years. It worked much better/faster than anything the NFL has tried. Centralizing calls doesn’t make anything better – it just takes longer!

  12. Who cares if he sent out a note before it was voted on? If it makes officiating quicker and more accurate, people should be in favor.

    BTW, are the 400 Pats fans dislikes on any post about Goodell automatic or do they actually click the thumb?

  13. The biggest problem with IR is that there are restrictions on what can be reviewed. Honestly it takes about 15-30 seconds to review a play with modern technology and besides all fans care about is the right call being made.

  14. What he really means is that a replay official from Denver, for example, and who is a Bronco fan, will be able to decide calls when Denver plays, which is exactly what happened during SB 50. 345 Park Ave. will be deciding who wins the games, not the teams on the field.

    TomTravis76 asks a good question above: will the names of the central office officials be named for game days?

  15. how about for every week of the season, they have a fan lottery and the winner gets a free surface pro and gets to be the third set of eyes on challenges and reviews? then all three sets of eyes get to look at plays, and it takes 2 out of 3 votes to overturn a play.

  16. Dear Roger,

    Thanks for the letter. I didn’t read it since these new policies haven’t even been approved yet.

    But hey, since you are communicating directly with the fans, how about you share the last two years of PSI data with us?

  17. Is every article for the next four years going to have a political reference in it? I hope not. I come here to get away from that stuff…..

  18. Thats a bold move trying to do your product placement at these NFL games. These guys definately spell equipment troubles. And whether its the internet connection, the local network or whatever all people will see on camera is a the tablet not doing what the guy wants. Then Microsoft and the NFL spend all week doing press releases about how its not the tablet’s fault. But no one will care enough to change their mind from what they feel they saw on TV.

  19. peytonwantsaflag says:
    Mar 22, 2017 7:09 PM
    I’m a fan. I didn’t get a letter. Did you get a letter?


    For some reason the NFL cant release the actual letter. But they say they wrote one.

  20. pittsburghdamned says:
    Mar 22, 2017 7:03 PM
    Love all the hate for Goodell from the same clowns who support Trump


    Why do you only love half of it? What about ftom the people that dont support Trump? Actually, how did it even become a for/against Trump issue?

  21. pittsburghdamned says:
    Mar 22, 2017 7:03 PM
    Love all the hate for Goodell from the same clowns who support Trump

    I am not a fan of either one but I am curious what you think they have to do with each other

  22. They should hire some Canadians to handle the replays in the home office. Teach them the nuances of the NFL rulebook. Make sure they ARE NOT fans of any NFL teams. My main problem with this is that the people in the NFL head office, located in New York City, are much more likely to be fans of the two teams who play nearby in New Jersey.

    This new system just seems set up for rigging by the home office. I can imagine a conversation right before week 17…..let’s see, if Detroit and Cincinnati win this week they are in the playoffs, BUT if the Giants and Jets win, they are in the playoffs. Who do you think will get the benefit of the close calls?

  23. bluenose1965 says:
    Mar 22, 2017 5:57 PM

    BTW, are the 400 Pats fans dislikes on any post about Goodell automatic or do they actually click the thumb?


    Im not sure you can tell which team each voter roots for actually.

  24. What’s next Rog?
    Video editing/delays, to secure the best possible outcome for the Sponsors?
    This game is getting much too Politically motivated by advertising revenue.
    How about a few more camera angles that connect directly to those Jumbo-Tron boards in each stadium?
    Then, those in attendance can voice a consensus view in real time.

  25. This from a guy (Goodell) who sold tickets to a Super Bowl for seats that did not exist, presided over a Super Bowl where the lights went out, presided over a Hall of Fame Game that had to be called off because the field melted, allowed a criminal into THREE Super Bowl winner locker rooms to steals jerseys and helmets, presided over DeflateGate and Bounty Gate. What could possibly go wrong?

  26. This will makes any need for the refs obsolete. Why not just bring back the days of the Colloseum and let fans vote thumbs up or thumbs down by internet.

  27. In truth, a runner will deliver a tablet to the ref so he can entertain himself with some porn while Las Vegas decides how the call on the field will go.

  28. The college game has so many things right. First is replay review, where the booth can buzz down to stop a play to review the prior play; second, the overtime rule in college. Wish the NFL would adopt these rules.

  29. It’s a baby step. The whole replay process should be centralized. Most times the outcome could be determined by the time the ref gets the tablet.

  30. This is another great idea. The NFL just set a new all time record for revenue, yet they’re still improving their product. At $35 million per year, Roger Goodell is grossly underpaid.

  31. Goodell and Trump both stand in front of the podium and profess blatant lies to the public. That’s what they share in common.

    Funny for some to say Goodell is a fraud and a liar but those same people either voted for, or don’t see the same thing in Drumpf

  32. I am not a fan of either one but I am curious what you think they have to do with each other


    It’s not a mystery. Trump supporters cannot blame that lying fraudulent clown at the top for anything so they always blame somebody else like….Clinton.

    Same here. The NFL owners are driving this league into the ground and the ‘fans’ blame league employee and stooge Rodger Goodell for the poor judgment of ownership.

  33. Expect the internet to mysteriously go down in Foxboro any time the original call was in favor of the Patriots.

  34. thejetssuck2001 says:
    Mar 22, 2017 7:19 PM
    how about for every week of the season, they have a fan lottery and the winner gets a free surface pro and gets to be the third set of eyes on challenges and reviews? then all three sets of eyes get to look at plays, and it takes 2 out of 3 votes to overturn a play.


    Better yet for the NFL a panel of fans for that third vote who are then aggregated to that single third vote. And of course as a reward for participating they get to keep their surface pro after they participate (the cost of the individual tablets is negligable to NFL and Microsoft). Dont have one big contest, have a bunch of mini contests embedded in all of the games. And the means to win your chance into the final drawing involves entering codes that are displayed halfway through commercial breaks. So suddenly guys are watching them.

  35. I am all for Goodell sending letters. A child’s comprehension increases more rapidly the more often they write their thoughts. It’s time that Goodell gets with the program.

  36. Somehow I didn’t receive my letter. I guess he doesn’t consider me a real fan. And exactly what else is this except what he says it’s not. I have seen many instances on TV where Dean Blamdino will comment and the referee on the field comes back with a different decision. This Park Avenue getting their way. In the end I believe it might be better. Several times I definitely didn’t agree with the call on the field.

  37. I agree. It’s inevitable they’ll continue to get it wrong because they make up the rules as they go. I used to know what a catch was, I also used to know what forward progress, down by contact, arm going forward, intentional grounding and numerous other questionable calls. I’ve come to two conclusions, don’t leave it up to the refs and don’t leave it to the coaches (Ex: Garrett, Cowboys) they’ll blow it every time.

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