Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Everything that's Wrong with the NFL

I can sum up everything that is wrong with the NFL in two words: Video Replay!

On Sunday, during the Ravens-Chargers game I was subjected to some of the worst officiating that I have ever witnessed.

Aside from the pass interference and leading-with-the helmet calls that weren't, the highlight of the game was the three-ring circus surrounding the Ray Rice pass reception for 30 yards on a 4th and 29 late during the 4th quarter.

Even with the assistance of video replay, the officials were hard pressed to make the right call. After determining that they spotted the end of the play wrong, they were then confronted with the problem that the first down chains had been moved and it was difficult to determine their correct placement in order to do a check for the first down. After a 15 minute, or more, delay in the game,  the end result of all of the video review and play changing was that the ball was repositioned about 12 inches and the Ravens still had a first down and the game continued. It was more likely that a truly correct reassessment of the ball position and first down markers would have resulted in a change of possession and the game being essentially over with the Chargers winning, 13-10.

Instead the Ravens scored the tying field goal and won the game in overtime, 16-13.

Please do not bring video replay to baseball. We don't need the delay and continued bad calls.

I continue to be amazed that even with video replay and the stoppage in play, officials still get the calls wrong. The TV announcers and even the coaches, apparently upon the orders of the league, cannot comment on the erroneous calls--but too many of them are too obvious to ignore. This is hurting the quality of the product being put on the field week-to-week.

Football, the king of American sports, has lost its competitive spirit. Video replay is not better than when officials were allowed to make the calls without the benefit of video replay. I think it is more fair and the games move faster.

BTW, when is CBS going to figure out that Sixty Minutes is not going to start on time when they are televising a 4pm game? The games have grown longer, it seems, from 3 to almost 4 hours.

And they are painful to watch, even when the my favorite team wins.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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