The referee who called this year’s Super Bowl says if the new rule allowing replay to review pass interference had been in effect, a potentially game-altering play would have changed.
John Parry, who retired from refereeing and now works for ESPN, says that if he and the league’s officiating office had been able to use replay at the Super Bowl, they would likely have reversed the crucial incomplete pass when Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore grabbed Rams receiver Brandin Cooks with four and a half minutes to play. A pass interference there would have given the Rams first-and-goal while trailing by seven points, meaning the Rams would have had an excellent opportunity to tie the game in the closing minutes.
“I think video would show that his arm was contacted and restricted enough to bring a flag and create a pass interference,” Parry said. “And that would have been in New England’s red zone. So it would have extended the drive and maybe they put points on the board with four minutes to go. That would be a pretty impactful decision.”
Parry said he believes slow-motion replay will spot a lot of pass interference penalties that the officials miss in real time.
“Unless they change it all up,” Parry said. “They’re going to use slow motion. They’re going to use frame-by-frame. They’re going to be technical.”
And that’s going to be a very big change in the NFL.