I try not to be a Monday morning quarterback. I find it annoying when people are super impulsive and overreact to anything, especially when it comes to sports. That said, I don’t think I’m alone in saying that the NFL’s decision to make pass interference reviewable was one of the dumbest decisions the league ever made. Through 10 weeks of NFL regular season football, it has proven to be a complete disaster, and one of the most useless additions to the great game of football.
We can all remember why we have this rule: the disastrous no-call in the final minutes of regulation of last year’s NFC Championship Game, where the Saints were completely screwed out of a likely trip to the Super Bowl.
Obviously one of the worst officiating blunders of all time.
This play was the single biggest reason that the NFL decided to make a change to their replay rules. When news of the new rule surfaced, it was met with skepticism. It almost universally seems like a bad idea to make a major change as a reactionary measure, as there are almost always unintended consequences.
Through 10 weeks of football, the main observation I’ve made is that officials are VERY reluctant to overturn, no matter how obvious it seems, one way or the other. Either we’re dealing with the overinflated egos of these refs, or this rule was just created to shut a few people up without actually solving the problem. Perhaps both.
If you’re a head coach, how the hell can you possibly know when to throw the red flag? Anyone who has watched football for a few years knows pass interference when they see it, but nobody knows how to read the minds of the referees. That’s exactly what this rule has become. Guaranteed that some coaches have held their flags when their eyes told them otherwise.
If (and it’s a big if) the league feels the need to allow certain penalties to be reviewable, it should be personal foul penalties. We’ve all seen how many guys get flagged for barely touching the quarterback. Those mistakes can be real game changers. College football may have gotten this one at least partially right with the targeting rule.
While I would like to see some unfairly called penalties get overturned, and bad no-calls get called, this latest experiment has given me a lot of doubt as to how effective any added reviews would be. I basically feel the same way about this as I do the government: they may be well-intentioned, but I don’t think we can trust them to execute properly. Less is better. Adding more replay just further opens up more cans of worms.
Hopefully, the shot-callers in the NFL make the right decision and get rid of this god awful rule. They can’t be this stupid, right?