Ten minutes elapsed during lengthy replay Monday night

AP

No one expected Monday night’s Dolphins-Steelers game to be a good one, but one part of the game in particular, at the end of the third quarter, was so bad that it should cause the league office to take notice of what a mess officiating has become.

That was the moment when the Steelers challenged the spot on a run by Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and the ensuing delay lasted 10 minutes.

That’s right: Ten minutes between Fitzpatrick’s run, which was reviewed and overturned on replay, and the start of the next play. Halftime in the NFL lasts 13 minutes, and the delay at the end of the third quarter was basically another halftime.

On fourth-and-1, Fitzpatrick ran the ball and was initially ruled to get a first down. The clock ran down to the end of the fourth quarter.

But then Steelers coach Mike Tomlin challenged the spot, and it was ruled that Fitzpatrick was down short of the line to gain. So it was Steelers ball, first-and-10. This should have taken maybe a minute to review, but for some reason it took much longer.

The referee re-spotted the ball, then brought the chains out to measure, and signaled that the Dolphins were short.

As the on-field officials talked and the referee communicated with the officiating office, the review kept going, and going, and going. It shouldn’t have taken more than another minute to see how much time was on the clock when Fitzpatrick went down and to give the Steelers the ball there, but it did.

The operative word in “instant replay” should be “instant.” The league office needs to use the available technology to fix bad calls quickly and get the game going again. A replay review should never take 10 minutes. Referees should have a sense of urgency to keep the game moving. Officiating in the NFL is a mess, and the league doesn’t seem to feel a sense of urgency to fix it.

77 responses to “Ten minutes elapsed during lengthy replay Monday night

  1. The Unknown Comic at a Steeler game?
    So that’s where he’s been since The Gong Show got canceled.

  2. If anyone had been watching the game that might’ve been an issue.

    Like most people this article is the first i heard of it.

  3. Replay is ruining sports. I do like that in hockey if you challenge a call and you’re wrong, you get a minor penalty. Do it again and you get a double minor.

    Maybe the NFL should give a 15 yard penalty along with the loss of time out when a challenge is denied. Make it more rare to get stuff challenged and get these games moving along.

  4. They need to put a two minute limit on any replays if they can’t figure it out the play stands (actually they should remove replay from everything but turnovers and maybe add a ref or two), but it takes a little longer to get the calls from Roger on who he wants to win.

    With GPS chips they can easily solve this problem, but then that would take away Roger’s ability to manipulate the outcome.

  5. How about if they can’t come up with an answer within 30 seconds, the play stands? This is a ridiculous expectation that every call has to be 100% right. People need to get over the fact that not every element is controllable and that trying to control every element leads to silly outcomes like this. If kids are able to have fun playing football without refs on a playground, then I think the NFL can get along without indulging the replay obsession. Your team lost because of a bad call? So what — there’s always next year. IT’S JUST A GAME.

  6. Unwatchable. And what of the terrible OPI call prior to the Steeler’s touchdown to close out the first half? And I hate the Steelers, but that was just a bad call that took a great play off of the board. We are being robbed of some greatness and entertainment in some situations. Ugly and honestly, disconcerting that this is where we are.

  7. They obviously have no idea what they’re doing but what does the NFL do?

    They fine you for talking bad about them, what a joke.

  8. You don’t have to fix the officiating or anything else when everyone complains and still show up. Not only still showing up people are buying team gear, watching on tv all sports are making a killing and we all complain and still support it.

  9. NFL officiating is a sad, pathetic joke. The league doesn’t even have full-time officials. That’s how little they care about getting the calls right. It’s simply unacceptable.

  10. I admit, I watched Wallace and Grommet instead of the game.
    I’ve been a fan of the NFL since 1972, and it really is becoming unwatchable.
    Between the ads, the penalties on 2/3 of the plays, and the damned reviews. . . No thanks!

    I still watch Patriot games, because that is what I’ve always done, but this NFL is nonsense.

    Dancing robots, and Fantasy crap rolling across the bottom of the screen; make-believe yellow lines across the field (for fans that can’t count to 10). The actual game-play takes third, or fourth fiddle to the ridiculous splattering of greed across my screen!

    Thank goodness for hockey.

  11. I was watching the game till this fiasco happened. After brushing my teeth it was still going on so I just turned off the TV….Replay isn’t the issue. It’s the incompetence of those doing the review to get it done efficiently. And correctly. It’s week 8 and the officials still have no clue on either. Good job Al.

  12. That replay lasted longer then the time most people spent watching the game lol what a boring game MNF has turned into….

  13. bobmillion says:
    October 29, 2019 at 10:02 am.

    With GPS chips they can easily solve this problem, but then that would take away Roger’s ability to manipulate the outcome.

    ———–

    How exactly? Knowing where the ball is doesn’t tell you when a player’s knee or elbow are down…… So please explain how this would work

  14. The best part of this was seeing Flores absolutely wearing the officials out on the sideline. I haven’t seen a coach get into officials like that in a long time.

  15. The Dolphins tank job is so obvious.
    Wouldn’t be shocked to find out that Miami bribed the refs to call penalties in Pittsburgh’s favor.

  16. How can the commentators and home viewers see a replay seconds after a play ends and know a call needs to be reversed, yet it takes minutes for the NFL to make that happen. Put a ref in the booth who can see these things and call in the results live to the on field officials. I don’t need another commercial break so the 80 year old ref can trot to the sidelines to see that the runners knee was down before losing the ball. Someone can let him know immediately on the field and the game can resume. Why can’t the NFL figure that out?

  17. It’s almost like they have part time employees doing a professionals job.

    —————————————————————————

    Honest question: how would making them full time employees improve the officiating? Would they be watching film all week and be tested every day for the entire season? And in the off-season, what would they be doing then? The same thing? Technology exists to improve the game by taking it out of the referees hands. That’s what they should be doing.

  18. “johnnycantread says:
    October 29, 2019 at 9:50 am
    The Unknown Comic at a Steeler game?
    So that’s where he’s been since The Gong Show got canceled.”

    That went over the head on over half the people on this message board.

  19. “Maybe the NFL should give a 15 yard penalty along with the loss of time out when a challenge is denied. Make it more rare to get stuff challenged and get these games moving along.”

    Its not the challenges its the league procedures that are the problem

  20. “How exactly? Knowing where the ball is doesn’t tell you when a player’s knee or elbow are down…… So please explain how this would work”

    Multiple chips in the player pads and unis along with the ones in the ball. Could be implemented but the initial expense would make the cheap billionaires cry like 3 year old kids who just dropped their ice cream in the sandbox

  21. SWFLPC.INC says:
    October 29, 2019 at 10:13 am
    bobmillion says:
    October 29, 2019 at 10:02 am.

    With GPS chips they can easily solve this problem, but then that would take away Roger’s ability to manipulate the outcome.

    ———–

    How exactly? Knowing where the ball is doesn’t tell you when a player’s knee or elbow are down…… So please explain how this would work

    ————————————————-

    Easy! Chip implants in everyone’s elbows and knees!

  22. He was short. That said, there were several things wrong with that scenario. Why does everything freeze for a TV timeout at the change in quarter? Tomlin initiated the challenge AFTER they came back from the TV TO. What the heck was he doing for the 2-3 minutes of commercials? Then they spent too long looking at the replay because there was no definitive angle that showed where the ball was when his knee was down. By their standard that should mean play stands but they can’t do that because they KNEW he was short but didn’t know WHERE he was short at. Then, the measurement fantasy happened. The chains moved way back before the clock hit 0. The chain placement is a WAG on any play that is not specified by rule (touchback, kickoff OB). They made another WAG before they brought the chains out so that we could all watch the dog and pony show that was based on nothing but the guess of the guy holding the stick. Stop the madness. They are trying way too hard to give the appearance of being legit and accurate.

  23. SWFLPC.INC says:
    October 29, 2019 at 10:13 am
    bobmillion says:
    October 29, 2019 at 10:02 am.

    With GPS chips they can easily solve this problem, but then that would take away Roger’s ability to manipulate the outcome.

    ———–

    How exactly? Knowing where the ball is doesn’t tell you when a player’s knee or elbow are down…… So please explain how this would work

    ______________________

    I’d argue the ref could put a timestamp on the moment he deems a player is down, and then they could cross-reference the physical location of the ball based off of the chip(s).

    Not sure how else they could come close to any accuracy.

  24. johnnycantread says:
    October 29, 2019 at 10:13 am
    The Dolphins tank job is so obvious.
    Wouldn’t be shocked to find out that Miami bribed the refs to call penalties in Pittsburgh’s favor.

    The only problem was that the refs called more penalties on the Steelers than they did the Dolphins. And they took away a nice TD catch from the Steelers.

  25. the OPI was the right call. I could care less about either team, trust me. But the Pittsburgh receiver clearly grabbed and held the Miami defender’s arm so he couldn’t try and make a play until it was too late.

  26. I actually watched it. .I was amused how bad it got….I did enjoy the announcers and camera man trying to fill the time. I also lived watching the stupified look the ref had while staring at the replay screen.

  27. The objective is to get the call correct. Speed should never be emphasized over making an accurate decision. Ten minutes, thirty minutes, it does matter. The issue is correctness, not expediency.

  28. That was brutal. After the long time it took the ref to watch the video, then there was the issue of the chains. Because they had already moved the chains for the first down, they had to re-position the chains. Now how do they know they positioned the chains in the exact same spot they were before they moved them. The chains need to go in 2019. I always wondered when they bring out the chains for a measurement, how do they know they’re in the exact same spot they were when they were on the sidelines. Then they have to make sure they stretch them out perfectly parallel. They can’t find a way to electronically mark the first down marker that tells whether the ball is over that mark?

  29. FinFan68 says:
    October 29, 2019 at 10:26 am
    He was short. That said, there were several things wrong with that scenario. Why does everything freeze for a TV timeout at the change in quarter? Tomlin initiated the challenge AFTER they came back from the TV TO. What the heck was he doing for the 2-3 minutes of commercials? Then they spent too long looking at the replay because there was no definitive angle that showed where the ball was when his knee was down. By their standard that should mean play stands but they can’t do that because they KNEW he was short but didn’t know WHERE he was short at. Then, the measurement fantasy happened. The chains moved way back before the clock hit 0. The chain placement is a WAG on any play that is not specified by rule (touchback, kickoff OB). They made another WAG before they brought the chains out so that we could all watch the dog and pony show that was based on nothing but the guess of the guy holding the stick. Stop the madness. They are trying way too hard to give the appearance of being legit and accurate.

    Tomlin threw the challenge flag after they signaled the end of the quarter and DURING the TV timeout. When the TV coverage came back, the referees were already set up to start reviewing. They decided that the play would be overturned rather quickly. The problem was figuring out how much time was left on the clock in the 3rd quarter and then figuring out where the yard markers should be reset to.

  30. cobrala2 says:
    October 29, 2019 at 9:56 am
    NFL OFFICIATING IS PATHETIC

    81 3 Rate This

    ————————————————-
    Looks like at least 3 officials browse PFT

  31. Instant replay should only be used to correct clear and obvious mistakes. No replay should take more than 1-2 minutes. If you have to watch the play 17 times from 8 different angles, using slo-mo and side by side comparisons….it really is sucking the life out of the game.The worst though is that every single TD has to get reviewed, you can’t even celebrate until the refs have checked the play.

  32. It took ten minutes because they had to track down where Riveron was having dinner so he could review the play.

  33. Hey, that was Mike Tomlin’s first successful challenge in 3 years. They wanted to stretch it out so everyone could celebrate.

  34. “pftthoughtpolicemostwanted says:
    October 29, 2019 at 10:01 am

    What about the NFL now is better than it was say 10 or 20 years ago?”

    Brady is finally close to retiring ….. I think

  35. “That’s right: Ten minutes between Fitzpatrick’s run, which was reviewed and overturned on replay, and the start of the next play. Halftime in the NFL lasts 13 minutes, and the delay at the end of the third quarter was basically another halftime.”

    “On fourth-and-1, Fitzpatrick ran the ball and was initially ruled to get a first down. The clock ran down to the end of the fourth quarter.”

    Maybe someone criticizing the refs should proofread before posting. 3rd quarter or 4th quarter???

  36. menlow13 says: “Instant replay should only be used to correct clear and obvious mistakes.”
    ————————

    Right. Then you have the same whiners here complaining about a call the day after saying how their team was robbed or how bad the officials for not overturning something in their mind was “clear”.

    Complaining about officiating is just plain stupid.

  37. Didn’t they use to have a time-limit on replays? If it’s not obvious by that time the call should just stand.

  38. kfoyo808 says:
    October 29, 2019 at 10:31 am
    the OPI was the right call. I could care less about either team, trust me.

    =========

    So you DO care – just a little………,

  39. “The objective is to get the call correct. Speed should never be emphasized over making an accurate decision. Ten minutes, thirty minutes, it does matter. The issue is correctness, not expediency”
    __________

    It does “not” matter.

  40. I tried really hard to enjoy this game, but this one specific delay had me flipping over to TCM. Never returned and waited until this morning to see the score.

    Outside of watching the Patriots play, I’m finding other games difficult to watch, primarily due to all the flags, delays and commercials. Yeah, I’ll sometimes tolerate other games just as long as Mahomes, Rodgers and Wilson are playing, but that’s about as far as I can stretch my interest.

    Probably my last year paying for Sunday Ticket.

  41. linemanguy74 says:
    October 29, 2019 at 10:46 am
    When are they going to put real NFL teams on MNF ?

    _____________________

    So true…the only thing worse is the 2 hours that Suzy Kolber and company spend trying to get people excited about the usually horrible match-ups. Unless it’s 2 decent teams,I don’t bother.

  42. If you think OPI was the correct call then prepare to flow that flag on EVERY. SINGLE. PASSING. PLAY.

    Just let things go and only flag the egregious; stop trying to “control” the game.

  43. There was one game happening last night. Why isn’t Al and his band of henchmen in NYC looking at this stuff in real time?

  44. linemanguy74 says:
    October 29, 2019 at 10:46 am
    When are they going to put real NFL teams on MNF ?
    ————————————————-

    I agree with you, but how many “real” teams are there this year?
    6? Can’t rotate 6 teams on MNF. Right?

  45. Officiating has become a terrible mess. The delay and what gets called for defensive or offensive pass interference leads me to believe that these folks don’t know what they are doing. Oh, and let’s not forget the debacle that we call challenging “O” or “D” pass interference. As I write this, maybe they do know what they are doing. This might all be orchestrated on the part of the officials for having the rules changed this past year that allows them to be questioned. The only other possible explanation is the addition of legislated gambling in football.

    Who’s wearing a tinfoil hat today?

  46. Time to get rid of all the replays. Replay should be used for out of bounds & crossing the goal line decisions only.

  47. This is the part that makes me really upset!!! I somewhat agree with the challenge flag but with the ref taking so long to walk over and look at 50 million reviews of the play is stupid. No more than 3 minutes for this to happen or the refs get degraded to call any playoffs! Now this will really speed up the game. Just think coach throws out the flag the ref goes over and has a chat with the head coach. Once the official breaks away from that and says the “play on the field is being challenged” the clock starts. Three minutes from that NY officials have already started the review before all this make the call. Saves countless for brakes and commercials.

  48. Once again, here it is Tuesday and we’re talking about the officiating again. We’re not talking about the World Series. Not talking about NBA season. Not talking about Tiger Woods’ 82nd win. We’re talking about NFL football. The guys running the league aren’t dumb. Cha Ching!

  49. 10 minutes and they still got it wrong. Rule reads unless they can find clear and obvious proof, the play stands, and there was no clear and obvious proof.

  50. The problem has NOTHING to do with Replay and everything to do with officials not doing their jobs properly across the board. If you look at the camera angles and see clear and obvious proof, that doesn’t take 10 minutes. Clear and obvious takes very little time. If it’s not clear and obvious you go back and say “There was not clear and obvious proof of …” and that’s that, next play.

    The worst part to me was the officials ranting about how much the fans hate long delays. Fans don’t hate long delays per se, they hate bad officiating that leads to long delays. They LIKE properly called games. If you take a few minutes to overturn something that should be overturned, nobody is bitching about that. Also, those MNF announcers are by far the worst announcing team in MNF history. What in the hell is the NFL and ESPN thinking?

  51. Good technology still hasn’t entirely overcome incompetent humans. Take a look at the officiating people and then tell me these are the best – from a competence perspective – the league can do. It’s pretty obvious other “qualifications” are more important.

  52. johnodocks says:
    October 29, 2019 at 10:36 am
    That was brutal. After the long time it took the ref to watch the video, then there was the issue of the chains. Because they had already moved the chains for the first down, they had to re-position the chains. Now how do they know they positioned the chains in the exact same spot they were before they moved them. The chains need to go in 2019. I always wondered when they bring out the chains for a measurement, how do they know they’re in the exact same spot they were when they were on the sidelines. Then they have to make sure they stretch them out perfectly parallel. They can’t find a way to electronically mark the first down marker that tells whether the ball is over that mark?
    =========================================
    On a first down, someone on the chain crew puts a clip on the chain at nearest yard line. For example, 1st and 10 at the 28 would mean the clip would be on the back or front edge 30 or 35 yardline, depending on Linesman’s preference. When the chains come out, the officila will place the clip at the 30 or 35 yard line, then the chain is stretched from the clipped portion of the chain to line to gain pole, which should be at the 38.
    I’ve been on chain crews in high school, DII and DI games. It certainly isn’t an exact science at all.

  53. exinsidetrader says:
    October 29, 2019 at 9:58 am

    “Only ten minutes wasted? That’s some impressive clock management”
    — Andy Reid

    __—-_____——_______——–________——–________——-

    Shut down the comment thread, we have the winner….

  54. I never saw a clearly definitive view of where the ball was when the knee touched. Not sure how they overturned that one..

    In typical Pittsburgh fashion, when it seems like the Steelers could possibly lose, the refs have to give them some help… [Immaculate Reception]

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