Good Morning Rumblers,
For today's Joe, I will like to discuss the Instant Replay challenge in the NFL. We all currently know how the Instant Replay challenges work, so I won't bore you with an explanation. However, I want to get your thoughts and opinions on if you feel like the Instant Replay challenge should be altered in any way.
After the jump, I'll add my opinion.
When the Instant Replay challenge was reintroduced to the NFL in 1999, many critics was concerned that stopping the game to review a play will slow the flow of the game, making it less desirable. Not one thought crossed people mind that even with a replay, referees will still get the play wrong. Shall I mention the Music City Miracle? So the NFL inputted certain mandates to insure this wouldn't happen; you only get two challenges, only certain plays could be reviewed, you must use a red flag, etc etc. There was also a rule that said that no review should exceed two minutes. As we all know, that rule never really existed. Which I personally don't mind; as I rather they take more time and get it right, than to rush and get it wrong.
The problem with the Instant Replay challenge has never been the interruption of the game and the time it takes to make a decision, but rather it's been too many instances where the official/head referee got the call wrong even after the played was reviewed. In order for me to continue to support the Instant Replay challenge, a couple things has to change.
1) Let the officials in the booth make the call- On field Referees aren't perfect and they deal with a lot during games. The pressures of making the right call in critical situations, under constant pressure and harasment from fans can cause a referee to make a bad call. Emotions are flying high out there on the field, coaches can say whatever they want to referees, players say what they want, fans say want they want, and the refs just take it. I can't think of one occasion when a coach gets ejected from game or penalize for there comments to a referee. Because of this verbal abuse, refs might be influenced or persuaded to make an incorrect call. They're only human after all. Can you imagine how intimidating it is for a referee to overturn a bad call in Oakland, during a pivotal game. For their safety alone, they might be reluctant to overturn a bad call.
By removing the on field referees from this decision making process, it allows the referees upstairs to make an unbiased decision. They have the technology and other referees at their disposal to make an informed decision.
2) Have a replay expert at these games or available- Mike Pereira of the Fox Network, was the former Vice President of Officiating for the NFL. He was also a game official in the NFL for two seasons as a side judge. Currently he serves as the rules analyst for both college football and the NFL. During Fox telecast football games, the commentators turn to Pereira for rules interpretations and for replay reviews. If a guy like this was available for these referees during game day, there will be far less or maybe zero bad replay calls. It will also bring some accountability to a situation where there isn't any. If a play/call was overturned, and the fans was given a valid explanation on why it was overturned during the game, it will a) immediately address the situation and b) make that one person accountable. This person should be allowed to defend their call and field questions from the media.
I'm curious and anxious to see what you guys think of the current replay system. I'm also curious to see if they are any other changes you will like to see besides the two I mentioned.