Wednesday, December 17, 2008

NFL Replay System

The NFL and college football have recently been suffering under a series of highly questionable replay decisions that have greatly affected important games. More and more plays also seem to be going to replay, which means a several minute halt to play and lack of continuity to the games.

Perhaps lawyers understand this more than others, since we deal in appeals as a profession, but one thing should be clear:

You cannot lower the standard for review without ending up with more reviews.

If the NFL has now adopted "under the table" a "just get the call right" standard, then we will begin to see more and more reviews. Cincinnati was upheld on all of its challenges against Washington on Sunday. Pittsburgh was upheld on a challenge that simply could not have been upheld under an indisputable or conclusive standard.

Unless the referees on the field are suddenly getting worse, we should see very few calls overturned under the claimed standards.

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