NFL Expands Reviews But Continues To Miss The Point

What's always been confusing is that the National Football League, who generates one of the world's biggest revenues in professional sports, simply can't get behind the idea maximizing the uses of technology already installed into the game's culture. It's complete resistance that placates fans and media alike, which we're sure was originally conceived from the idea of not going too late into overtime to affect network primetime programming maintaining the game's flow and keeping a certain human element involved.

When the league brought replay back a couple of years ago, it was used with coach's challenge. Two of them to be exact. And if both challenges were used successfully, then there's a third. As unlikely as it would seem, what if there were a fourth bad call? Luckily questionable calls within the final two minutes of a half were initiated from the booth.

Last year the league passed a rule that made all scoring plays subject to review -- remember, plays that actually led to points. The NFL expanded that on Wednesday, announcing that all plays that leads to a turnover are subject to review on Wednesday, which will probably extend the game that much longer for the ridiculous amount of time it takes to actually review the questionable play.

Also announced on Wednesday was the rejection of having a booth official to review these plays. So rather than have a booth official, who is already sitting at a table with the monitor in front of him reviewing the questionable play the instant a review is requested, the head referee goes to each sideline, chats with the respective head coach(s) and then old-man jogs to the replay television and watches the play (at least it's high definition). Once a decision is reached, the head official may update the other officials, talk about the blonde he noticed in the third row and then announce his decision -- that is if he doesn't chat with the head coaches again. By that time five minutes and an entire commercial break has passed and now we're subjugated to a split-screen picture that's monitoring each coach's reaction.

We're not complaining just to complain. And we're somewhat spoiled by college's version of replay. Though perhaps not 100 percent perfect, each play is reviewed and the noticeable affect of it is when the booth official requires more time for review. Even so the decision is given fairly quick -- long before an NFL official goes under the hood -- to resume play. True there are times that an irregular number of replays are requested, but that's more indicative of questionable officiating than a flawed replay system. Get it right. Get it done. And move on to the next play.

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