One play in a key playoff game . . . and the National Football League goes ballistic!
The NFL has decided to introduce the option of reviewing pass interference calls on the field, in real time, moments after the fact. It’s going to be a one-year trial period.
Call me old-fashioned, but this is a ridiculous idea!
OK, I get that the play in question occurred during a National Football Conference championship game this past season. The Los Angeles Rams won the right to play in the Super Bowl largely on a missed pass interference call in a game versus the New Orleans Saints. The Rams should have been penalized; they weren’t. The Saints lost the chance to win the game and play in the league championship contest against the New England Patriots.
Now the NFL wants to prevent future injustices from occurring on the field? Please. The NFL already allows for reviews of calls involving touchdowns, pass receptions, first downs, those kinds of things. Pass interference calls are considered “judgment calls” that until now had been left for the official to make on the spot.
May I now declare that I detest instant replay? I do. It slows the game down. It disrupts the flow. It robs players of the momentum they might have. I don’t like it any of the major sports where this technology is deployed. Not in baseball or basketball, either.
I know what you might be thinking: This is the same clown — me! — who endorses the use of red-light cameras to deter lawbreakers from running through stop lights at intersections. That’s different. We’re talking about public safety. Thus, I want the cops to have technological assistance to help them do their job to “protect and serve” the public.
Professional athletic events are performed and controlled by fallible human beings. Of all the calls NFL officials make during the course of a game, they get the overwhelming amount of them right. Overwhelming!
I get that they missed a big call in one of the biggest games in anyone’s memory. New Orleans Saints fans are still steamed over it. They’ll never get over the theft that occurred that day late in a playoff game. I’m sorry for them.
But the sun still rose the next morning. Life went on. No one was physically damaged. Sure, a lot of emotions suffered harm.
Hey, it’s a game! Let the players play it and the officials officiate it!