Are the NFL’s New Replay Rules Necessary?

The NFL is introducing new replay rules for the 2011-12 season

Football is not meant to be perfect. No sport is. Sports are meant for entertainment. They are meant for our enjoyment.

The game of football was just fine before challenges were brought in. Occasional mistakes were made by referees but we’re all human.

Challenges were introduced, which made the game even better. It gave teams the opportunities to dispute calls that they disagreed with. If they were wrong they lost their challenge and a timeout. They were penalized so the game wasn’t slowed down with an excessive amount of stoppages for mildly controversial plays.

Apparently, the NFL wants the game to be perfect. New replay rules are being put in place for the new season to ensure that no mistakes are made. Apparently, the NFL doesn’t want the game to be fan-friendly. Apparently, the game isn’t about the fans.

A replay official will now automatically review any score. If there is any question whatsoever to the ruling on the field, the play will be reviewed by the referee in the same manner that a challenge is.

I can’t tell you how highly unnecessary this decision from the NFL is. The challenge system was fine that way it was. The coach could used his challenges how he pleased and if he ran out of them, tough luck. There was a reward for being able to use challenges properly.

The NFL is taking strategy away from the game while also adding on needless time to an already lengthy game.

The fans don’t want that. “Getting the call right” shouldn’t be at all costs necessary. The fluidity of the game can only be compromised to a certain extent.

Perfection isn’t what fans need from the game of football. Every aspect of the game doesn’t need to be controlled by the higher office.

The intent of the new replay rule is so coaches can increase their chances of not running out of challenges or timeouts.

The whole beauty of the previous challenge system is now gone. It made challenging calls challenging. It added a certain special something to the game. The system wasn’t made and shouldn’t be for the Homer Simpsons of the world.

It seems like the NFL wants to get rid of controversy entirely. Scoring plays are no doubt the most important but an attempt at eliminating controversy from the game all together is a hopeless endeavour. It’s like asking Homer Simpson to think logically.

In the end I’m probably griping about 5 to 10 minutes a game of extra garbage time but it’s the principle of the matter. This sounds like the slippery slope that Major League Baseball has been worried about.

The speed of the game isn’t a problem for the NFL like it is for the MLB. However, that doesn’t suggest that the fans shouldn’t be considered in the decision-making process. It looks as though the fans were an afterthought in this case.

The NFL has already gotten to the point where they are needlessly reviewing plays. It’s not far-fetched to believe that it could go further than this. The new rules could be taking the game one step closer to a video replay dictatorship of Hitler proportions.

That might be extreme thinking but I don’t want my point to get lost. The NFL shouldn’t be using constant advancements in technology to mess with the game too much. If keeping the game of football the way it is means a rare controversy caused by a human mistake then so be it.

Perfection was never in the description.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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About Chris Ross
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7 Responses to Are the NFL’s New Replay Rules Necessary?

  1. Bobby Charts says:

    Ready for a 6 hour Nascar race, lol. Bottom line people in general take sports way to seriously, that includes me too. like you said nothing is perfect, every time your team steps on the playing surface there is a 50% chance their going to lose!!!

    taking bets over/under 11 reviews…….


  2. ami5035 says:

    Great post – I totally agree. It has become way too important to the NFL for “perfection”. I don’t think any fan asked for it. Besides, no matter how many times they show us a replay we’re still going to say their wrong if it’s a call against our favorite team haha!

  3. tophatal says:


    Never mind the so called rule changes answer me this ? The NFL will be setting aside $1 billion to aid in paying the benefits of retired veterans but bear this in mind the qualifications are that a player must’ve played no less than four years in the league . What does say about the players who suffered debilitating and traumatic injuries who never met that criteria ? Consider this also Hall of Famer John Mackey who died recently at the age of 69 from dementia in assisted living facility was a drooling vegetable defecating and urinating on himself . In light of that we would then find out that his benefits were about to be cut off by the league and union . The only damn thing the NFL cares about is the bottom line !

    tophatal ……..

  4. Looks like another attempt to to take some of the pressure off the officials and limit the amount of blown calls that have been occuring in recent seasons. It’s definitely going to slow the game down even more.

  5. chappy81 says:

    What’s funny is even when they review the play sometimes they get it wrong. The “tuck rule” game will always be a rough spot for me as a raiders fan, and it makes me think we shouldn’t be reviewing everything. Keep it the way it is!

  6. Diehardsport says:

    I completely agree with your take, Chris. The last thing the NFL needs is for the game at the same speed as baseball with all its stoppages. I mean the NFL isn’t going to get rid of all controversies, because they plain and simple can’t stick to their rulings. For example, the Calvin Johnson TD catch against the Bears was a TD and an utter disgrace they overturned it!

  7. 100% agree, the NFL is trying to act perfect, and the new replay system is complete overkill. We do have eyes, once in a while the refs will blow a call, but there’s no need to be perfect!

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