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Questioning Why NFL Penalties Can't be Reviewed or Challenged
A while back, I applauded the National Football League's decision to make instant replay challenges a permanent fixture. The league recognized the game has gotten faster. So fast, in fact, that referees are going to make mistakes, and teams should have the ability to get those mistakes corrected. The one thing I still won't applaud is the league's decision to prevent teams from challenging penalties.
There are a couple of things that will improve or decrease a team's chances of winning a game. One is turnovers. The other is penalties. A bad pass interference call in the end zone (which results in the team getting a first down at the goal line) or a touchdown that is negated because of a phantom holding call on the offensive line has just as much impact, if not more, than a referee mistakenly thinking a player fumbled the football prior to being tackled. Yet, the latter is reviewable and the other two aren't.
I've heard the excuses. If teams were allowed to challenge every time a flag was thrown, the games would take too long. Or, my favorite, penalties are judgment calls; and you can't challenge a referee's judgment (or something to that effect). And, I still don't buy them. www.redskinsnflofficialauthentic.com/authentic-morgan-moses-jersey.html
First, it won't slow down the game any more than the penalties themselves. By rule, a coach only gets to use two challenges per game (and a third one if he wins the first two). In addition, the team loses a time out if they don't win the challenge. This wouldn't change and you aren't going to see coaches wasting the challenges on a flag if it doesn't affect the score of the game or give an opposing team a huge advantage. Even if it did slow down the game; it's still worth it if it can prevent controversy. As a fan, which would you rather see; Morgan Moses Youth Jersey your team getting a bad call overturned during the game or an apology letter from the league a few days later?
As for the whole "judgment call" thing; that is the worst excuse I've ever heard. First, every call made on the field is a judgment call. Did he have his knee down before the ball crossed Bashaud Breeland Youth Jersey the goal line? Did he have possession of the ball before he went out of bounds? Those are judgments an official has to make and those can be challenged.
Secondly, when an official throws a flag, they aren't working solely from their own opinion of whether a penalty was committed, they have guidelines to use. The NFL rulebook is actually very detailed about what is legal and what is illegal. In fact, if you look under pass interference, you'll http://www.redskinsnflofficialauthentic.com/authentic-bashaud-breeland-jersey.html see clear, precise descriptions of what counts as pass interference and what doesn't. If an analyst in the press box can look at an instant replay, recite the rule and state why they think it was a bad call, then why can't a referee, with a better understanding of the rules, do the same? Again, the game moves at a fast pace. There's no shame in thinking they saw something illegal and, upon further review, realized they were mistaken.
Referees are only human and are going to make mistakes. As a fan, I want to see teams win because they deserve to; not because of human error. While it's not perfect either, the replay technology is available to help prevent bad calls from changing the outcome of a game. We have the technology to make sure that sports officials get the help they need with close calls. Let's use it.
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1 CommentSign in to CommentThe Gov 9/13/2013Spot On. The NFL can make all the excuses they want but is penalty or non penalty calls were challenged with the same current rules for challenges (ie. a specific item to be challenged and 2 3 per game) the game would be more fair because the rules would be applied more. Unfortunately this will never happen because the refs ability to turn a first down that leads to points into a punt is how they keep the games close and make it look like even the worst teams in the league have a chance of beating the best. If the worst teams can really keep a game close with the best on their own, I love to see that form of entertainment.
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