Notes on the Super Bowl?  

Posted by Frazier

Wait, the 323 returns and now it has comments about pro football?! No. It doesn't.

Well, not really.

The reason I bring up the Super Bowl is actually to discuss instant replay. I will NEVER understand the NFL's ridiculous system. I guess I'll just run down some of the issues:

1: The challenge concept, as a whole, is ridiculous. It seems insane that coaches have to challenge these things when the only information they get to go on is possibly a replay on the jumbotron, or an assistant in the booth who is subject to the whims of the director for ESPN or whoever, who is dialing up the replays. It's easy to make fun of them when they challenge an obviously correct call, but I'm not sure I could do any better if I had to rely on the evidence available to them.

2: Limiting the number of challenges to two. This is always a favorite. There's nothing like having a coach already use his two challenges, and then being stuck living with some horrendously botched call. Even better when they used one of the earlier challenges to successfully overturn an obviously absurd call.

3: Only allowing an extra challenge if you get both of the first two correct. Shouldn't you get an additional challenge for each one you get right? Why are you being punished by losing a challenge if the officials are the ones who screwed up, necessitating the challenge in the first place? I will never understand this. The officials only have to be right 50% of the time but coaches are required to be right every time. Seems a tad unreasonable. Especially considering the conditions under which they are being forced to issue the challenge.

4: Only allowing the booth to review within the last two minutes. No reason on earth why you shouldn't let the coaches challenge in that situation. It's beffudling.

5: Forcing the official on the field to scurry over and tuck his head under a friggin booth. It's ridiculous. It takes absolutely forever. One of the big NFL issues is that replay takes too much time, and yet they utilize the least efficient system imaginable.

6: The entire argument that replay takes too much time. I mean, it's like they're trying to pretend that college football doesn't exist. Millions of people watch a replay system work pretty efficiently in college football, and not delay the game in a really noticeable way. The upstairs official usually does his job in a quick, efficient, and non-controversial manner. Not sure what the problem is exactly. Just because the networks use replay as an excuse to run more ads doesn't mean you have to let them. Force them to stick with the game, and let it run faster. I mean, if the MAC or the Mountain West can figure out how to use replay in a reasonable, fair, and efficient manner I'm not sure why the NFL couldn't do the same. Furthermore, it's not like college football is a whole lot different. It's the same sport, it's a multi-billion dollar enterprise. If anything it should be much more difficult in college because there are so many different conferences, etc.

So, why bring this up? Basically, the last play of the Super Bowl. Look, I'm not sure it was a pass. I'm not sure it was a fumble. I AM sure that if it were a college game the officials upstairs would have taken a look at it, and decided the issue openly and explained the reasoning. It was an absolutely absurd way to end the game. I mean, is it really going to kill you to at least take a look at that thing so that Cardinals fans don't believe that the league had it out for them? In fact, the Super Bowl was incredibly poorly officiated by almost any measure. All it did was remind me how much better the college game is. Not only do I prefer the game on the field, but the way the game is run, especially the replay system, is infinitely better in the college ranks.

Dammit, now I just have to wait until September.


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