Over the last several years the NFL has faced plenty of scrutiny. Game length and officiating in particular have been under the microscope. Well, the NFL owners unanimously approved a rule change today that should positively change the narrative on the issues of game length and officiating.
This is pretty straight forward. Game officials will no longer be asked to go "under the hood" when reviewing a play. From now on the NFL's Senior Vice President of officiating, Dean Blandino, and a New York command center will have the final say on every reviewed play.
While many won't find this to be news worthy or interesting, NFL die hards (and their wives or husbands) will certainly take notice.
This, in theory, should effectively shorten the time that it takes to review a play. There will no longer be a zebra running to go review the play and being stuck under the hood for what always felt like an exorbitant amount of time trying to figure out what the heck to do. Now, a team of experienced individuals that understand the NFL rule book to a tee will be in charge of all the reviews. This certainly should save viewers some time, but that won't be the only change.
This rule too should help with the consistency of officiating. While the NY command center won't have an impact on every play it will have an impact on every reviewed play. If every play that gets reviewed is being reviewed by the same set of eyes it should certainly help with the consistency of calls, which should lead to less angry fans after plays are reviewed - but of course fans will still be angry as long as their team is on the losing side.
No, this rule change probably won't change the entire fabric of the game of football, but it should certainly make the game more enjoyable for fans, something the NFL is keen on improving following a very disappointing year in 2016, at least in terms of TV ratings.
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