Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated
Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated

Throwing the Challenge Flag on Inconsistency

NFL officials have the thankless job of making real-time decisions after processing information in the blink of an eye. Sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re wrong, but why do the rules always seem to be changing?

By
Greg A. Bedard
· More from Greg·

Game officials are never going to get many holiday cards. They’re easy targets to loathe. The widespread use of replay in HD has made it even easier to take issue with the men in zebra stripes. “How could they not see that, it was blatant?!?” legions of fans scream as they review plays, frame by frame, from their couches.

I view calls like a bad or lucky bounce: it’s part of the game, and they mostly even out. They are the “rub of the green” in golf parlance. In other words, those are the breaks—even if they are sometimes really tough breaks.

But the most maddening part of officiating is one that can, should and must be fixed: the widespread inconsistency.

Take the Cardinals’ 24-21 loss to the Eagles on Sunday. There were two huge defensive holding calls that affected (but didn’t determine) the outcome.

Clinging to a 24-21 lead with four minutes remaining, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was hit as he threw and ended up throwing a terrible interception. But he was saved by a flag on the play. Safety Tyrann Mathieu was called for defensive holding. The interception was wiped away, and the Eagles had a new set of downs.

Here’s the penalty:

eagles-cards-sequence-flag

It looks bad in a still frame, but in reality, Mathieu actually did a poor job of holding Eagles wideout Jason Avant, who ended up getting open after receiving minimal contact.

With 1:42 left to play, Foles was sacked on third down, but another defensive holding penalty was called on linebacker Matt Shaughnessy. Game over. Shaughnessy was correctly called for holding because tight end James Casey had gone past Shaughnessy, who yanked his jersey to prevent him from getting further into his route.

cardinals3

Technically, both calls were correct. But here’s where Cardinals fans (or any fan, really) has a right to moan: the lack of consistency. In between those two Eagles drives, the Cardinals had one of their own. On a first-down pass to Andre Roberts, wideout Larry Fitzgerald and tight end Rob Housler were each contacted beyond the five-yard jam zone. But no flag was thrown.

cardinals4

On a third-down incomplete pass to Roberts, Fitzgerald’s route was again impeded, but again no flag.

cardinals5

Then, on fourth down, wideout Michael Floyd was bear-hugged by cornerback Bradley Fletcher on a pass that—unlike the plays the Cardinals’ defense got penalized for—was actually thrown to Floyd. Still no flag.

cardinals6

I don’t have much of a problem with the officials calling the Cardinals for their defensive penalties because they were technically correct (although I wish the NFL would concentrate more on infractions that actually impact the play; off-ball penalties are so lame). But Cardinals fans should be irate because of the blatant inconsistency.

So should Broncos fans, because Patriots corner Aqib Talib was allowed to grab the jersey of wideout Demaryius Thomas on a key third-down play in Week 12. No flag.

Broncos

Same goes for Chiefs fans, because on Sunday tight end Sean McGrath was held by Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan well beyond five yards on the final fourth-down throw into the end zone.

chiefs

We all know there are going to be calls that aren’t perfect. There’s a human element to officiating, and we can deal with that. But all lovers of the NFL should demand better consistency. Right now, the league doesn’t have it, not even in the same game. The NFL can, should and must do better.

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91 comments
207snowberry
207snowberry

I'm a football fan ,have been for about 40 years,and consider my self an educated fan. The inconsistent officiating is getting worse year after year and the NFL has done nothing to correct it,or at least very little. I think many would agree we want the best teem to win and games not decided by poor officiating. As much as i hate to say it, I think the only way the NFL will do anything to fix this is if we as fans hit the NFL IN THE POCKET BOOK  Meaning boycott the NFL and products . It would not be easy I      really like football, but money talks.

SethFalan
SethFalan

I can tell you of 30 bad calls that have gone against the Lions and I would except the amount of space and the monotony of reading them would provoke to many dislikes But I assure you monday night they were treated better than usual. and even the announcers of monday night football pointed out that the officiating was atrocious and that peoples livelihoods are on the line COME ON NFL BE FAIR!!!!!!

SethFalan
SethFalan

I disagree I think bad calls decide game outcomes more than half of the time.

pemory09
pemory09

Many thanks for this good article. As a long-time Cards Fan I have to admit that they looked shaky in this game and, ultimately, turnovers killed them. Still, it was extremely frustrating to see all the close-calls going for Philly late in the 4th quarter in a game that AZ actually had a chance to steal late. I've seen lots of posts on other boards calling the Cards (and their fans) crybabies and perhaps that's true, but even if you're a Philly Fan, you have to know that this same kind of treatment is likely coming your way and at what will probably be the worst possible time (i.e. in a road playoff game next month). Regardless, whoever lost this poorly officiated game was going to be angry about it.

FootballFanRush
FootballFanRush

Greg you hit the nail perfectly on the head with thus article!

hunsinator
hunsinator

You're right, off-ball calls are lame. The call at the end of the Eagles-Cardinals game was not, however, off-ball. Shaughner ssy was the only Arizona out there and managed to cover both James Casey's route and prevent Nick Foles from scrambling by committing the hold.

That being said, NFL officials are the worst in professional sports. Woefully inconsistent. Part of that is the league's fault. Does anyone, including those in the league office, know what a catch is anymore? Get five refs in a room to review a catch and you'll likely get five different answers. It's a joke. What's a catch? When does the ball move? When does the ground assist in a catch, or not assist in a catch? When does the player have control? Etc. We've made this all way too complicated. It's not that NFL officials are incompetent, but that the rules are so convoluted they cannot be interpreted consistently. 

KurtBoyer
KurtBoyer

Swell article. But it's also time to acknowledge the bias in pro officiating. No, I don't mean it's a conspiracy theory vs. my favorite teams, or the point spread etc. But three groups tend to get the most flagrantly bad calls go against them, year after year -- 1. Struggling teams w/o hyped superstars, 2. Small-market teams far from sports media headquarters (like the Cards) and 3. Unknown players working against established stars. This is human nature -- that voice in the back of an official's mind, saying "But superstar so-and-so from the Dallas Cowboys is the most talented guy ever, he doesn't need to cheat" or "You just know the Jaguars wouldn't stop the Patriots on that play, unless that blur I saw in my peripheral vision was holding."

SteveMehlman
SteveMehlman

I can understand missing some calls, or even inconsistencies in the same game--even though both are unfortunate.  But screw-ups like the yard maker fiasco in Monday's Skins-Giants game are inexcusable. Perhaps the reason is that the NFL is the  only major sports league with part-time officials. 

Westphal4Life
Westphal4Life

My solutions are simple, every play should be reviewable. And for every instance where "Judgment calls" are in the rules the NFL should do all they can to make it black and white, because these officials have proven time and again they don't have any.

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

"Sean McGrath was held by Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan well beyond five yards"

"Well beyond" needs a definition.  In the picture that accompanies your comment, the line of scrimmage was the 13 and McGrath was at the 7.  Maybe 6 yards qualifies as "well beyond", but I don't think so.  

The REAL injustice in the NFL is the way receivers are systematically allowed to interfere with defenders and systematically allowed to run illegal pick plays.  Receivers often initiate the contact that is then called against the defense.  Defenders don't have to get out of the way of receivers, although officials often act as if that is the rule.

jimmyjon_55555
jimmyjon_55555

Things that make you go hmmm.....  the pats had ZERO penalties called against them vs the texans.  thats right ZERO.  

johnnyjones9999
johnnyjones9999

As far as I am concerned it is time to take the refs, umpires, officials, etc. off the field of play in all sports and put them in the booth with cameras focused on what they need to be looking at with the same ability to rewind and review plays the viewer at home has.  The fact is it would take little to no time away from the game thanks to modern technology and as a fan I would rather see the right call than this human error crap.  That flew in the bygone eras where this technology did not exist, but we can now get the call right on every play and we should.  Have up and coming officials on the field, or even glorified bouncers, to break up fights, but have the game officiated in the booth with the best angles possible.  You can still have challenges for plays you believe require even more scrutiny, but get the bloody calls RIGHT already.  The worst lately is the defenseless receiver and late QB hits now.  These are called regardless of whether it was an infraction because the officials err on the side of penalty.

This goes for every sport.  Even balls and strikes in baseball. Yes, I have heard the argument that the box outline we see on TV is just a little bit off, but that is the biggest joke I have ever heard.  I work in TV and I can tell you it is incredibly easy to adjust that box to be accurate.  What takes more time a bunch of guys arguing on the field, or a player/coach/manager knowing that the call is 100% accurate and not bothering to argue at all.

Get the calls right. Let the play on the field determine the outcome of the game.  We have the technology, use it already.

UselessRubbish
UselessRubbish

Looks like the holding call that was called on Mathieu may have actually been meant for #21, who in this case was holding the player who wound up being the intended receiver.

JeffBockert
JeffBockert

At the end of the day, it's a business. The guys that are making the big decisions are primarily concerned with making money...period. If it means leaning a few calls the Steelers way so they can beat the Seahawks in the superbowl and they make can hundreds of millions more, they do it.                           Choice A - Give up a few hundred million            Choice B - Take a few hundred million.        The exact same thing is happening in college football with the billion dollar contract between ESPN and the SEC. ESPN makes money if they can get fans to watch SEC games. Therefore, they bias their coverage so that they can make the most money. If a team, like Alabama for instance, loses in November, as long as they've hyped them all year, they can make sure they get voted into the game paying 30 million over another team that has one lose. Even though both teams have one loss, the team with the media contract gets hyped into the game and both partners run off with the cash. Welcome to modern football. 

DeepakKaushal
DeepakKaushal

A majority of fans believe that elite QBs (Manning, Brady, Brees) and thus their teams get favorable treatment from the refs. Flacco, Wilson and the next tier of QBs and their teams dont.

JeffBockert
JeffBockert

Inconsistent officiating doesn't just happen in the NFL. The lack of consistency on the pass interference call is as much a problem in college as it is in the NFL. There is obviously a tremendous amount of money riding on the outcome of each game. It is something that definitely needs to be fixed. The Washington State vs. Auburn game comes to mind at the college level. Basically, Washington State was driving to win the game at Auburn and Auburn was allowed to basically tackle their wide receivers for three straight plays in order to preserve their home field victory. At one point the ref came running over pulling his flag out of his pocket but then, for some odd reason, didn't throw it. When the calls are so terrible and so obvious, it makes you wonder. 

KennyWard
KennyWard

Being an ex-NBA fan of the Houston Rockets, probably the most unfouled hacked, beatin, mauled centers Moses Malone, Hakeem players ever . I really don't like the way the officiating trend in the NFL is going. It makes no sense when a ref calls offensive holding on some plays but, sometimes not on others. If it is holding it is holding right?? Just throw the flag .

It is like a player going in to make a basket call the foul on everybody. Kobe, LeBron, even go back to the old days with MJ (who never fouled anybody in his mind) LeBron won the championship last year after a blant ref call....

Now the flop is being perfected by QBs.....That really sucks that the nfl would go down that road....please fix the problem maybe put refs in timeout for awhile when they blow more than 2 calls a game. I would hate to be an ex NFL fan....thanks

chetjohnson
chetjohnson

I don't believe for one minute that NFL games are fixed or "special" treatment is given to the Brady's and Manning's of the league, BUT, that said, there are times when I really wonder how and why a call was or was not flagged.  Some calls really do look suspicious.  The NFL Commissioner's office should always remind themselves if the majority of fans even begin to start believing games are fixed, NFL Football will become non-existent so they better get the officials to be more consistent.

Fifilo
Fifilo

Take a poll of fans. I think a majority feel that some teams and players benefit from this inconstancy more consintantly than others.

reader4si
reader4si

Only one explanation, these refs don't work for NFL they are working for Vegas, Once the outcome had been decided by their real bosses, then no matter what they will call as they see fit to their bosses.

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

Fans have been wanting consistent and fair officiating since the inception of fans.  It would be helpful if the two parties that could bring this about would do their part to make it happen.  


The first is the teams themselves.  They undermine their attempts to complain about bad calls when they never point out the bad calls that benefited them.  If they truly want consistent and fair officiating, each team should send their tapes to the league of all the calls they felt were bad calls, the ones that benefited them and the ones that hurt them.  The league and the officials themselves would take more notice and do more to clean it all up if the teams were looking for all the bad calls and they could find more alignment, instead of the league and officials just having to hear everyone's grievances.  

The other is the media.  The fans don't have a collective voice, so the fans need the media to behave like independent journalists and address really bad calls that do screw teams.  It is the most crucial calls that matter the most.  I have seen many bad calls that simply screwed teams yet the media only ever seems to care if it is one of their "favored" teams.  It shouldn't matter what team got screwed, the media should address it for the fairness of the play in the league.  Otherwise they don't seem to be real journalists but more an extension of the league's marketing arm.  

See the inconsistency and the lack of addressing it creates a culture where officials can cheat and get away with it.  I mean bad calls happen, it goes both ways right?  That is the excuse.  That is the way of sweeping it under the rug.  A dirty official can see this just as anyone can.  They also can see how much no one will say anything if they make the bad calls that benefit the media darling teams.  So they can cheat, gamble on said team, and impact the results.  

Look at the NBA official.  The only reason he was ever caught was because of the FBI.  Not because of the NBA.  The NBA had no clue cheating was going on (supposedly).  That is remarkably laughable.  I am a Rockets fan.  I saw the Kings get screwed against the Lakers.  I knew they got screwed.  Did anyone in the NBA care?  Nope.  Did the media care?  Nope.  Yet when the FBI got involved it came out that this official fixed that game.  Hmmm...  Still that got quickly swept under the rug.  Move on.  No investigative reporting.  No research to see how often blatant bad calls have always benefited the star players the NBA markets.  Yet every fan knows this. 

I am sure this  has gone on a LOT more than this ONE guy.  I have seen so many blatantly bad calls it is pathetic.  It is the reason I don't even watch the NBA anymore.  If the NFL does not clean up their act, I will give up on them and move on to other interests in life.

sptsguy12345
sptsguy12345

It's a part of sports that I don't like but I don't see changing.  Even in the recent Auburn win over Alabama, Bama had points taken off the board because of an imaginary movement call on a lineman.  Replay after replay showed the guy locked in a stance like a statue.  There are probably 3 to 5 bad calls or non-calls a game that affect momentum and as fans we'd better just get used to it.   The call that I hate the worst… pass interference… and it's gotten so prevalent that in both college & the NFL, almost every receiver now gets up doing the "throw the flag" move if they even get brushed and stars get preferential treatment in this area…  The Patriots have a completely different set of rules than the rest of the NFL on both sides of the ball apparently.   

Jon8
Jon8

They are inconsistent because they are part-timers! The NBA, MLB and NHL have salaried, dedicated Officials during the season, whilst the NFL has per diem weekenders!

STOP! Resist the temptation to respond: But the NFL teams only play once a week! So what! There is plenty to do during the week that involves film study and review, as well as, fitness training, just like the teams do during the week.

The NFL has plenty of cash to do this! Officials would be employed from say, August 1 to Feb 1, except Super Bowl extensions, and then free for the rest of the year to do whatever, just like MLB. NBA and NHL Officials!

pemory09
pemory09

Fantastic post! Couldn't have summed-up this mess any better myself.

bserious
bserious

@jimmyjon_55555 yup, and the Pats spied on the Texans in the Texans' own home stadium, and then used the intelligence they'd gleaned from the spying to make adjustments after halftime.  The NFL actually did the spying, and passed it along to the Pats, it's all part of the secret conspiracy...

bserious
bserious

@johnnyjones9999Do you honestly think this could work in any practical, workable way? How would it work exactly?  How many of those calls missed on the field that you say could be called perfectly need you to first view a slow-motion replay, from a different angle, before an error in the initial call is proven?  How many more officials would be needed to cover all the angles there are in every play?  Would the officials on the field just sit there and wait after every play to see if a flag should be thrown, if the ball was placed in the correct spot, etc?  Do you honestly also think that this could somehow lead to perfection, that there are no plays where even a replay is inconclusive?  Think of how long it takes for an NFL official, after he's reached the replay screen, to view all the angles on a play before making a decision, and how many of those decisions go against what was called in live action - how many more times do you want that happening each game?  Do you honestly think that even after controversial plays are viewed a thousand times, it's rare that there is any debate on which way a call should have gone?  I'm sorry, but this idea that games could be called "perfectly" if refs were to watch on TV rather than from the field is laughably impractical, nay, impossible.  People just have to learn to accept that just as they themselves aren't perfect, other people aren't either, and mistakes happen.

bserious
bserious

@JeffBockertYes, it's not that humans are fallible, it's all a secret conspiracy.  Many if not most of those bad calls you've seen were not human error, they were planned by the league.  Your claim the NFL made "hundreds of millions" more because the Steelers won that Superbowl rather than the Seahawks is completely factual.  We all know that reffing games is easy, and if not for the league telling refs to purposely make bad calls, all of the games would be called 98% perfectly.  We also never landed on the moon, Bush actually planned 9/11, and Obama wasn't born in the US.  BTW, I work for the NSA, I know who you are, and we're coming to get you; we don't want you exposing any more of our secrets...

KennyAnderson
KennyAnderson

@DeepakKaushal They don't not make calls on QBs because they are Elite", QB penalties are blatant, so your statement is invalid.  But, you're right about elite athletes in other sports who don't get penalized because who they are.  I remember one time a ref called traveling on Michael Jordan and he looked at the ref and said something along the lines of "do you know who I am? You don't make those calls on me."

bserious
bserious

@DeepakKaushal A majority of fans believe this, or you believe this, and you want to think you're in the majority, so therefore you state that as a fact?

bserious
bserious

@JeffBockert Inconsistent officiating doesn't just happen in football, it happens in all sports, in all countries, everywhere.  And all fans always lament how bad officiating is now, and how better officials need to be found.  Sometimes you'll see people long for the old days, when officiating was so much better, yet if you read press reports from decades ago, you'll see the exact same complaints.  Rather than admit how difficult it is to see things correctly and make all calls in a split second, people would rather make up silly conspiracy theories, because it seems many people prefer to believe that there is a hidden hand behind things that go against them, rather allowing it could be just chance or luck.  And no, I'm not a ref of any sport, I actually coach, and I freely admit that I get super angry when I see bad calls go against me, but I know that it's not some plan from above, it's just that officiating a game is difficult, at any level.  I also know that many officials, get turned away, because fans can be so brutal, thinking that calling games is so easy.  It's especially sad to see young kids learning to ref in youth games get so abused by idiotic adults, who seem think a bad call against their 9 year olds' team is the end of the world.

KennyAnderson
KennyAnderson

@chetjohnson I am on the same page as you.  I mean, yeah sure, there may be games that are "fixed". But these refs cannot see everything happening at once.  If you ever look up how the brain works and how you can only focus on a small area at once, it would make sense.  They do the best they can, and when I say "they" I mean most refs.

JeffBockert
JeffBockert

@chetjohnson  If you don't think the games are fixed, watch the Steelers vs. Seattle superbowl. 

Jim C
Jim C

@Fifilo And I suspect that the majority of which you speak will always say it's "the other team" that receives the calls. Fans will never complain if they think the team they root for is benefiting. It's human nature.

Fifilo
Fifilo

Inconstancy... Oh auto spell correction....

justsomeguy
justsomeguy

@reader4si I sure hope you're joking or trolling but in all seriousness, if organized crime wanted to make money on sports betting, using the most high profile league where everyone is already making tons of money is a completely unnecessary risk.  You can make the exact same money off a lower tier league which would receive far less scrutiny/attention, and where the players and officials would be far easier to approach and buy off.  This is a serious problem in soccer worldwide.

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

Just another example of how corrupt the entire marketing is and the "journalists" compliance is in the matter.  One of the most frequently played highlights of Michael Jordan's career exemplifying his greatness was the last second shot to beat the Jazz.  He pushed off.  It was a foul.  The Jazz got screwed.  I hate the Jazz, but they got screwed.  In the immediate aftermath, there was ZERO mention in any media outlet of the obvious foul that was not called.  ZERO, and I searched fervently to find any media that would point out how blatantly MJ got away with a foul in front of EVERYONE with EVERYONE watching and how could that possibly not be called.  How?  Unless the league wants it that way.  

Yet over time, eventually, all media members started to laugh and joke about the pushoff last second shot of MJ's.  Well after the fact.  When it matters not that they even acknowledge the obviousness of the foul.  WTF is up with that Greg? 

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

@sptsguy12345 Yeah it gets old seeing wide receivers seemingly calling for a flag every time there is an incomplete pass.  

 No doubt the Pats have favored status and get away with so much it is beyond ridiculous.  So much so, that it is obvious Belichick coaches his team to do things he knows they will get away with.  It encourages a kind of coaching to cheat culture to get an advantage.  It is so bad that Pats fans lose their mind when a call goes against them because it so rarely does.  Just about any game they play you can see one of their players hit the other QB and no flag will be thrown, but when the other team has a player hit Brady in an identical manner, the flag is thrown.  It is getting so old and tired I am getting sick of the NFL and the favoritism.  I want fair play.  May the best team win.  It just doesn't work that way.  

gyffesme
gyffesme

@Jon8 It was the league's only full-time ref who recently was suspended for cussing at a Redskins player; full-time is not a cure-all.

MIsaiasDasNeves
MIsaiasDasNeves

@Jon8 In essence that is what they do now... and the current system allows them to jetison crappy officials at the end of the season whereas an a permanent employee, they would have to show cause.

johnnyjones9999
johnnyjones9999

@bserious First off, they wouldn't be going to the sidelines to look under the hood, they would be upstairs with monitors.  Second, they have instant access to replays now in the TV booth, if you had ever been in a control room you would know this.  It doesn't take that much time to watch multiple angles of a play anymore.  There would be almost no time lost to this, it is just a fact of new technology.  Third, the officials on the field would have this nifty invention called a headset, so they would not have to wait as long as you think.  It can be done.  If you honestly believe it would take that much longer you have no clue how good technology is in a control room now.

TS
TS

@Fifilo Inconsistency. 

You may need to check the fluid levels in your spellchecker app

D49
D49

@justsomeguy @reader4si You can't make the same money off a lower tier league because the majority of the people bet on the NFL. 

Jim C
Jim C

@DavyJones @bserious @johnnyjones9999  The potential problems with sending the officials upstairs are numerous. Fumbles? Who's in there searching at the bottom of the scrum, trying to see who actually has the ball. Placement of the ball. The cameras are not always going to be in the right line of sight for placement. Measuring for first downs? Who's doing that? Plus, and this is more relevant, not every game is allocated the same number of cameras. If Tampa and Jacksonville were playing, they're not getting the same  number of cameras as any of the prime time games or the featured game each week. Having 8 officials trying to monitor more than 8 cameras, as some games have, won't be much better if a team is running the hurry-up offense.

Yes, there are issues with calls or non-calls every game. But I suspect that if an unbiased observer reviewed every game a team plays, the number of calls missed will come close to the number of calls made that impact the game.

bserious
bserious

@DavyJones @bserious @johnnyjones9999 Uh, yeah, the on field conferences would be eliminated, however conferences in the control room would be added.  Once those conferences are finished, it would still take just as long to communicate from the control room to the on field official what the penalty was.  Communication from one person to another doesn't happen faster over magical headsets, compared to face to face, it takes just as long, or longer, for if you know things about humans, there is much non-verbal communication that happens in a face to face conversation, which can't happen in a remote conversation, and can require extra conversation to communicate.

DavyJones
DavyJones

@bserious @johnnyjones9999 I also work in TV and I agree with @johnnyjones9999.  As for this 30 extra seconds per play reviewed, there is already more than that with every on field conference the referees have when a flag is thrown, which would now be eliminated.  Therefore there would actually be less time taken away from the game.

bserious
bserious

@johnnyjones9999 @bseriousI'm aware that they wouldn't have to go under the hood, that's why I said "Think of how long it takes for an NFL official, AFTER he's reached the replay screen". I'm also pretty sure that once he gets there, he does watch from multiple angles. How much of real time would they need to watch in each play, in each different angle?  Three seconds seems a bit short, but let's use that for an example.  Say you want to watch a replay 2-3 times, from just 2 different angles, in slow motion, say half of normal speed?  That's 5 replays, taking 6 seconds a piece, meaning 30 seconds of just watching replays, if there's no lag time between looking at each replay, and no extra time to think about the decision.  That's 30 seconds just to view the replay, while everyone in the stadium waits, plus the amount of time it takes for the decision to communicate the decision to the on field ref, using these magical headsets that I'd never heard of before (I of course was thinking the decisions would be communicated via US mail before you told me of this wondrous invention).  I'm not saying this would happen on every play, but I'm asking you how many more plays each would you think this absolutely ideal situation would be required for?  How many plays would require viewing more replays than just 5, for a longer period of time, from more than 2 angles?  You also didn't mention how many people would be watching TV from the control room now?  Just one, as many as are currently on the field, or more?  Thanks for letting me know about these new fangled headset things that were just invented though, they sound great, and because I know that they exist, your idea now sounds completely reasonable.

gyffesme
gyffesme

@D49 @justsomeguy @reader4si No, he's correct: tennis is struggling with this in its Challenger series, where guys ranked in the 100s regularly throw matches, losing 6-1/6-1ish to people they should've pounded. Gamblers find it much easier to persuade these lower-ranked guys to tank and the betting on these non-events is astounding. Lower risk, easier to achieve: win!

tmadz
tmadz

@MIsaiasDasNeves @randomdeletion @sptsguy12345  I think there have been several instances in the Superbowl of teams playing extremely aggressive on defense with lots of holding and interference just challenging the officials to call the penalties. It comes down to a willingness to force the type of play bar lower  to make the officials call all of those penalties. It was a game of chicken to see if the refs would stand up and call lots of penalties while forcing the game to slow down or the officials become conditioned to the extra aggressive play and let the offending team get away with more. 

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