Oh, don't be crybabies


Is The Nfl's Instant Replay Review Working?

December 16, 2008|By KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG

You know the only time people really complain about instant replay?

When a difficult call that is subject to multiple interpretations goes against their team.

That's it.

And that's why replay works. Because no one is full of outrage and crying about conspiracies when it works to their benefit.

That's why any argument that begins with, "This is why we need to do away with this stupid system!" gets immediately dismissed in my household. Replay is a necessary nuisance in the NFL. For the most part, it works pretty well. And so for all those fans who feel they are absolutely certain they were jobbed after watching replays that might or might not have shown Santonio Holmes catching a pass that broke the plane of the goal line, I'm going to offer some free advice: Don't blame the system.

Instant replay didn't let the Steelers drive 92 yards in the final 3 1/2 minutes of the game. The Ravens did. Replay also didn't let Holmes slip free on Ben Roethlisberger's scramble. Most rational Ravens fans seem to understand this. It was a tough, close call that could have gone either way. It's sort of the karmic balance of life in the NFL. But for a paranoid few lighting up message boards Sunday night and yesterday morning, it's another example that the NFL hates Baltimore and that there is a massive secret agenda at work behind the scenes. That's just foolish, and I would urge you to take off your tinfoil hat. Roger Goodell didn't get on the red phone and force the referees to change the call. They simply interpreted the video the best they could.

Steelers fans watched that play, certain that the tip of the ball crossed the goal line, if only for a brief second. Ravens fans saw it the other way. As long as you want the game to be played and officiated by human beings instead of robots, you accept the system for what it is, with all its imperfections.

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