George Hale talks NFL replay rules

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - WE ARE A LITTLE OVER ONE WEEK UNTIL THE SUPERBOWL.
MUCH OF THIS PAST WEEK THE TALK WAS ABOUT THE DIVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES, BOTH OF WHICH WENT INTO OVERTIME.
MOST EVERYONE WAS DISCUSSING CONTROVERSIAL DECISIONS DURING THE GAMES, PARTICULARLY THE SAINTS VERSUS RAMS.
LET'S START WITH THE PATRIOTS AND CHIEFS BARNBURNER AT ARROWHEAD STADIUM.
THERE ARE LOTS OF STATS AVAILABLE AFTER EVERY GAME.
HERE'S ONE YOU MAY NOT HAVE PAID ATTENTION TO.
IT TOOK 59 REAL MINUTES TO FINISH THE FINAL 8 MINUTES AND 39 SECONDS OF IN THE PATS GAME WITH THE CHIEFS.
DURING THAT PERIOD OF TIME THE TWO TEAMS SCORED 31 POINTS.

HOWEVER, THE GAME WAS ALSO STOPPED FOUR TIMES TO REVIEW PLAYS.
ONE OF THE REVIEWS TOOK SEVEN MINUTES TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT JULIAN EDELMAN TOUCHED A PUNT INITIALY RECOVERED BY THE CHIEFS.
THE TV NETWORK SHOWED THE PLAY 12 TIMES, THE REFEREE CAME ON TV, THE RULES ANALYST CHIMED IN AND SO DID THE ANNOUNCERS.
AFTER ALL OF THAT NEW ENGLAND KEPT THE BALL.
WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION: IS THIS WHAT THE LEAGUE INTENDED WHEN INSTANT REPLAY WAS REINTRODUCED IN 1999?

A FOOTBALL FIELD IS A HUGE AREA OF REAL ESTATE.
ITS 57,600 SQUARE FEET TO BE EXACT.
OFFICALS CAN'T BE EXPECTED TO SEE EVERY INCH OF IT ON THE FLY AND MAKE QUALITY DECISIONS.
REFEREES ARE HUMANS, AND EVEN 7 OF THE BEST, ARE COVERING 1.32 ACRES OF LAND WITH 22 PLAYERS DOING MANY DIFFERENT THINGS ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
IT BECOMES OBVIOUS IN OUR TECHNOGICAL WORLD THAT TV CAMERAS WILL SCRUTINZE EVERY LITTLE MINUTE THING.
THE MANTRA IS GET IT RIGHT.
BUT AT WHAT COST TO THE GAME?
IN THE SAINTS GAME WHEN THE RAMS RECEIVER TOMMYLEE LEWIS WAS RUN INTO BY NICKELL ROBEY- COLEMAN IT WAS OBVIOUS PASS INTERFERENCE BUT THE OFFICIALS DIDN'T CALL IT.

SO STOP THE GAME AND REVIEW.
BUT UNDER THE RULES IT CAN'T BE REVIEWED BY THE REPLAY OFFICAL.
THE PLAY STOOD AND THE SAINTS COULDN'T RUN OUT THE CLOCK AND ULTIMATELY LOST IN OVERTIME.
HAD THE PLAY BEEN REVIEWED IT'S LIKELY THAT THE SAINTS WOULD BE PLAYING THE PATRIOTS INSTEAD OF THE RAMS IN ATLANTA.
THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE HAS A MAJOR ISSUE.
EVERYONE HAS AN OPINON ON THE CRISIS FACING THE NFL NOT ONLY IN THIS GAME BUT OVERALL .
THE RULES BOOK AND ASSOCIATED CASEBOOK IS HUGE AND THE OFFICIALS HAVE TO KNOW IT INSIDE OUT.
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT WE MAY BE REACHING THE POINT WHERE THE STRIPED SHIRTS JUST SIMPLY CAN'T KEEP UP WITH THE FAST-PACED TEMPO OF THE GAME ANYMORE.
TO BE CLEAR THE MISSED CALL OF PASS INTERFERENCE WAS ABYSMAL AND THERE IS NO EXCUSE.

BUT THERE WERE OTHERS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL.
IN THE OFF SEASON YOU CAN BET THAT THE NFL WILL CHANGE SOME RULES SO THAT MOST PLAYS ARE REVIEWABLE.
REFEREES ARE BEING ASKED TO BE PERFECT BUT THEY AREN'T AND PROBABLY WILL NEVER BE.
OUT OF SOMETHING BAD SOME GOOD CAN OCCUR.
THE BLOWN CALL, WHICH UNDOUBTEDLY COST NEW ORLEANS A TRIP TO THE SUPERBOWL, SHOULD USHER IN A NEW ERA IN PRO FOOTBALL.

THE REPLAY AND REVIEW RULES MUST BE CHANGED SO THAT THERE IS A FAIL-SAFE FOR SITUATIONS LIKE THE ONE THAT DEVELOPED LAST WEEKEND.
ANY CHANGE WILL HAVE TO BE APPROVED BY THE COMPETITION COMMITTEE OF THE OWNERS.
SO INSTEAD OF TALKING ABOUT TWO GREAT FOOTBALL TEAMS IN THE SUPERBOWL WE ARE LEFT TALKING ABOUT BLOWN CALLS THAT CHANGED THE FACE OF THE GAME ITSELF.
FOOTBALL HAS CHANGED OVER TIME AND THE WIDE OPEN PASS-ORIENTED GAME IS NOT EASY TO OFFICIATE.
RULES HAVE CHANGED BEFORE.
YOU WILL NEVER GET RID OF CONTROVERSIES.
THAT'S NOT POSSIBLE.

HOWEVER IT'S TIME TO MAKE MOST CALLS REVIEWABLE TO PRECLUDE A TEAM LOSING THE WAY THE SAINTS DID.
THE STENCH OF THAT NO-CALL WILL LAST A LONG TIME.
AND YOU KNOW WHO IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROPONENTS OF HAVING A REVIEW OFFICAL LOOKING AT EVERY PLAY?
YOU GOT IT. BILL BELICHICK.

THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS