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After Further Review: The System Still Fails Print E-mail
by Norm Hitzges    Sun, Jan 15, 2006, 11:43 AM

Having given up on football dumping instant replay, the only hope left is to try to make this flawed system better.

In the system that the NFL now has, you can question whether or not the spot of the ball should be put forward or backward as little as a few inches. You can question the call whether or not a there was possession in bounds. You can ask the official to review a play in which a toe nail brushed the out of bounds marker on a play which conceivably covered 100 yards (like Ladell Betts coast to coast kickoff return). Any or all of these calls and/or reversals could be game changing plays.

Let’s put aside the fact that, as Jerry Jones tells us, 25% of all calls reversed are reversed incorrectly. When you commit to a system, you commit to all of if including major warts like this.

But why in the name of heavens is a call of pass interference not reviewable? ISN’T THIS SYSTEM SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT GETTING IT RIGHT?

The spot of a ball, possession or not possession, in bounds or not in bounds are all officials judgment calls. SO IS PASS INTERFERENCE.

The almost laughable interference call against New England’s Samuel on Saturday dramatically changed the momentum of a quarter-final playoff game. If anything, the interference was against the Denver wide receiver Lelie. That moved the ball from the New England 40 to the New England 1. Denver scored a touchdown on the next play to go ahead 7-3 and never looked back. It’s entirely possible that without that call, New England leads 3-0 at halftime instead of trailing 10-3.

If allowed a challenge New England would have certainly thrown the red flag. Having watched the replay, I am certain that the call would have been negated.

THAT WAS SIMPLY AN OFFICIAL’S JUDGMENT CALL, LIKE ANY OTHER JUDGMENT CALL, THAT SHOULD BE REVIEWABLE.

But that’s the frustration of this bogus system. It promises us fairness, yet every weekend we are left with multiple examples of how incredibly this system can be. In an NFL world where technology can provide obvious evidence that a mistake was made.
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