When it comes to improving the officiating, the NFL has generally displayed a toxic combination of cheapness and stubbornness. Last night’s USFL playoff game between Pittsburgh and Michigan revealed the stupidity of one of those features.
Late in the fourth quarter, after Maulers put the Panthers ahead 20–17, Michigan connected on a 55-yard touchdown pass to take the lead.
But there was a fine. Officials called Michigan right tackle Josh Dunlap for a face mask foul, which ended up scoring.
Enter Sky Judge. Mike Pereira watched the play and saw that there was no fumble with the face mask. (It appeared that he grabbed the edge of the jersey, but this was clearly not a face mask foul.) The penalty was terminated, and the touchdown was reinstated.
This is important because, in the NFL, there is no such fix. Face mask calls and non-calls cannot be reviewed. In an NFL postseason game, a late touchdown that resulted in a lead change would be erased, with no way to rectify a clear and obvious substitute error.
“I hope some NFL decision-makers are watching this game because of what Mike Pereira did to clean up that call, to make sure that the key moments of the divisional game were played for the right to go to the championship game.” The call was correct, it’s just that NBC analyst Jason Garrett said after the sequence of events unfolded, “It makes the game a lot better. And it’s a simple mechanism. Mike Pereira and crew got it right.” Handled. And there’s justice. It’s something the NFL should look into.”
Given this era of legalized betting, the justice applies in two ways. This applies to the outcome of the game – and it also applies to the outcome of bets on sports.
At a time when the NFL needs to be more concerned about the effect of role-playing on both the outcome of games and the outcome of bets on sports, the NFL must adopt any and all readily available tools for fixing quickly and efficiently. Is required. Mistakes. “Shit happens” isn’t enough to explain substitute blunders, not when so much money depends on the basic assumption that: (1) the executives will get it right; and (2) the league would have something to do to fix things, when it doesn’t.
The NFL is extremely reactive, not proactive. Gambling has caused so many wolves to come to the NFL’s door, and the league has welcomed some of them in the name of further consolidating ownership, giving the NFL the power to identify and address any and all potential problems. The necessary funds need to be spent before they occur and not after.
Too often, the league pretends to be surprised when a rule or approach that should have been corrected produces an unjust result. And then the league immediately tries to fix it.
Or tries to fix it and fails, as the league did after the Saints were scuttled in the 2018 NFC Championship by blatant, but unnecessary, pass interference.
That experience has ultimately paralyzed the league for fear of unintended consequences and/or general inefficiency. But if/when a major scandal happens, various legislators, regulators and prosecutors won’t admit it, “well, we knew this could be a problem, but we were reluctant to fix it because we weren’t sure I knew we could fix it.” Right way, so we’ll just stick with it.
This is a reckless and foolish approach. And no one in the power structure of the League is taking it seriously. If they are, they are not taking it seriously, or the NFL would already be using the process adopted by the USFL on Saturday night to fix a mistake that could otherwise spoil the outcome of a playoff game. Was.
Sure, Pittsburgh won anyway. But he won the game through his positive efforts on the field—not because of the negative consequences of “human error” that the humans in charge of the game refused to rectify.
USFL playoff game shows value of Sky Judge’s approach originally appeared pro football talk