If you're a regular here, you know that I'm not a fan of the NFL's replay system. I'm glad they instituted the practice several years ago. I am. To me, getting it right on the field only benefits the teams, the refs and the credibility of the league. But are they getting it right? How many plays go un-reviewed that should have been? A first down, perhaps.
When a team gets the benefit of a blown call, what do they generally do? They sprint to the line of scrimmage to prevent a coach from challenging the play. Why? Once the ball is snapped, the window to challenge the play is over. So let's pretend it's third-and-15 and the quarterback completes a 16-yard pass for a first down on a drive that will eventually score the game-winning touchdown with the game clock stopped at 2:01. The receiver only had one foot in. What? One foot? Yeap. The foot that dragged behind touched the white line first. While the team sprints to the line of scrimmage to avoid having the play challenged, the opposing coach has to make a choice. Does he risk losing a valuble timeout because he didn't have the information presented to make that judgement call? Or do you let it go allowing the winning touchdown?
I know there's a lot of ifs, ands or buts there. The point is that a team should NEVER be forced to risk a timeout simply to correct a blown call on the field that they had nothing to do with.
The refs are under constant surveillance. And they will get plays wrong. The game plays so fast and the angles they might stand from doesn't always allow them a perfect line of sight. It happens. They're human. The most unfair thing the NFL can do is put them on the spot week in and week out. The league, a multi-billion revenue making machine, refuses to apply a system that makes the games credible -- not without controversy. Make the winner of each game earn their win. Not with the assistance of a replay system that even college won't touch.
The game between Cleveland and Baltimore is a clear example. They REFUSED to replay it. They REFUSED to examine the play and make corrections. They REFUSED to make sure the winner, in fact, won. That begs the question to the competition committee and the powers that be: don't you want credibility and validity? Don't you want people to walk away believing that the game, the players and the coaches were the product of the end result? It so happens our carbon-based referees judged the play correctly after initially calling it wrong. I'm sure Ravens fans have their beef and believe there's a controversy here. If this would happen to the Bengals, knowing the over-reaction that Chancellor Goodell applies when ruling on Bengals players, I would be screaming controversy from head to toe. That's just the Bengals homer in me.
Isn't the important thing to get the play right? I would think so. But I'm not purvey to such classified opinion while the league investigates players betting with players to keep the league's most exciting running back below 100 yards. Note to young Packers defense: Do not talk to anyone about anything. In the end, no matter what you say, someone will have a problem with it and investigations start. That's the world today. You talk, you're f'ed. Hence the creation of coach speak and the talking points of each player during wins or losses.
The existing replay system is flawed... big time. It does not protect against bad/missed calls. It's a system where the coach has the sole authority to "challenge" a play, for 56 minutes of the game, risking one of their three precious timeouts. If the refs call the play wrong, why can't the league institute a system that gets the play right without punishing a head coach that must make a split decision like hitting a 95 MPH fastball?
College does it right. They check each play and stop the action if further review is needed or if the play is reversed. Even if the field goal is questioned whether it went through or not.
Isn't the point of replay to get the play right?