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A thought to help officiating

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PatsFaninAZ, Jan 2, 2007.

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  1. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ In the Starting Line-Up

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    I don't know that anyone would dispute that the game is getting too fast for the officials. They also are clearly being asked to do alot by keeping up with the quarterback protection rules. There also is not only a talent difference in the league, but also an intelligence difference. Ed Hochuli doesn't just know the rules, he understands them, and so he is better able to exercise judgment during a game and over his crew. But even the great ones are having problems. Add in the fact that there is plainly a difference in each head referrees' definition of indisputable evidence, and there is a fairly wide inconsistency right now.

    There are no easy fixes, but one thought I had was to simply do away with down by contact. There is really no good reason to require it. I can't really see anything wrong with the college rule that if you're down you're down, no matter how you got there. Is there some compelling need to have a guy who slips get back up? The rule would hurt teams and help them equally over the course of the year.

    This would make so many other calls easier. Whether or not the runner was down is not itself the main thing that is being looked at on replay, but I'd say a good 40 to 50 percent of the time it is part of the whole play that needs be judged and it would take one element out of the equation and give refs a little less to think about. Just a thought.
     
  2. BradfordPatsFan

    BradfordPatsFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    Watching the bowl games last week, I had the same thought. If a guy is down, he is down.
     
  3. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Anything that simplifies the game, eliminates unneeded judgement calls and reduces the need for time-wasting replay without changing the nature of the game is good. I like it for those reasons.
     
  4. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    It makes sense - but the NFL seems to be going for rules that help offense and make it harder for the defense. Thus, I doubt the NFL would be for this idea.
     
  5. Tunescribe

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    I personally have never liked that college rule. On rainy days or days with bad field conditions, the elements can make just as many tackles as the opposition. I like to see a receiver make a diving catch and then get up and run with it. In the NFL's old days, a ball carrier could be knocked off his feet by a defender and get up and run again. The only way he'd be officially "down" was if he was wrapped up in a way that he couldn't move.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2007
  6. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale In the Starting Line-Up

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    This probably would complicate things, but I'd like to see two types of pass interference calls. One would be "minor" which would be a 15yd penalty like in college. This would be for most of the stuff the Pats get called for. The other would be "major" which would be at the spot of the foul like we see now. This would be for things like tackling the receiver before the ball gets there and prevent guys from grabbing jerseys knowing that the worst penalty is 15 yards.

    There are two types of facemask calls. There are two types of running/roughing the kicker calls. Both are judgement calls. Why can't there be two types of PI calls?

    Regards,
    Chris
     
  7. alamo

    alamo praedica numerum! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But whether a player was touched before he went down is not a judgement call... either he was or wasn't. Perhaps a ref might not get a good look and not be sure, but that does not make it a judgement call.

    THe pro game would is more exciting because of the current rules on being down. It doesn't disadvantage anyone. Keep it.
     
  8. Pujo

    Pujo Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I say make penalties reviewable.
     
  9. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think you hit the nail on the head with the Hochuli comment. For every head official like him and his crew, there are a half dozen that flat out don't seem to know the rules. They're spending as much time figuring out what the rules are after weird endings to plays as they are determining the mechanics of what just happened. The NFL needs to overhaul its officiating people, pay guys full time or per game like baseball does, getting rid of the weekend warrior approach. It has gotten to be an embarassment for the game.
     
  10. Pujo

    Pujo Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    There aren't many instances that I've seen where the officials don't know the rules, it's usually a matter of them not seeing the play from a good angle.
     
  11. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    You seem to think that having full time NFL referees would solve the problem of bad calls, but every league has plenty of bad and controversial calls with or without full time officials.

    Fact is bad calls are a part of the sports world - always have been and always will be. And I honestly don't think it is any worse now than in the past, but the problem is the media magnifies everything hundreds of times more now than they used to, so people are fooled into thinking the problem is worse.

    One of the worst calls of all time came from an Oilers-Steelers playoff game from the late 70's (the Oilers got robbed of a TD). Now I am too young to remember this play, but I can say with certainty that it didn't get 96 hours worth of coverage on ESPN the following week nor was it discussed ad infinitum on sportsradio by every schmuck with a cell phone. No Oilers fans went on line to whine and moan and troll Steelers newsgroups to talk about how horrible of a call it was. The play was not shown 15 times from 4 different angles every half hour on ESPNews. Jim Rome did not dedicate a show about it the next day. PTI did not discuss it the next day. ATH did not discuss it the next day. There was no Inside the NFL. There was no NFL Primetime. There was no NFL Blitz. You couldn't download the play from YouTube or look at an internet slideshow some fan put together proving his team is the one in the right. Back then, the NFL pre-game shows were a half hour in length beginning every Sunday at 12:30.

    So don't be fooled into thinking the problems are any worse now than they've always been. The only difference is with today's media we're all talking about it much more than ever.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2007
  12. Fanfrom1960

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    There is certainly some of that (not seeing the play well), but a good example of what I'm saying took place late in the Denver - 49er game Sunday. A 49er receiver caught a ball over the middle, took three or four steps with the ball in his control, went down and the ball came out after his knee touched the ground. After a long review under the hood, they called it incomplete. I don't know what part of the rule they didn't understand, but there was no way the ruling should have been what they called. Last year's Polamalu interception - turned """"fumble""" against the Colts was another horrible misinterpretation of the rules. Even just watching some of the refing crews on TV, you can tell by their Keystone Cops look that they're clueless on some of the more difficult interpretations.
     
  13. PatsFanInVa

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    Chris, I'm not sure this isn't already covered. There is "Illegal Contact" and then there is "Pass Interference." I think what you're describing is the illegal contact penalty... but if not, we might end up with 3 different ways to mess up a pass play. I dunno about that.

    PFnV
     
  14. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I disagree. I was watching football, pro and college, on TV back then and I don't remember nearly as much of the confusion in the refereeing as I see today. Today, everybody knows Hochuli and hopes they get him and his crew for "their" game because they know they'll have the best chance of officiating not affecting the outcome drastically. Back then, there were just "officials" and no single elite crew. And, I don't need to wait for Jim Rome to tell me there was a bad call. One thing comes to mind though that makes me back off some, and it is that TV coverage is so much better today than back then, so more bad stuff is exposed. Overall, still, and I certainly can't prove it, I still think the officiating is worse today than it used to be. Pretty vague, I know. Maybe because there are now so many more teams, hence games, that the NFL can't get enough good ones. Again, that's because of the weekend warrior approach, IMO.
     
  15. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    With all due respect, I think the primary reason you don't "remember nearly as much of the confusion" from back then is because when the games were over, so was the talking. These days when there is any controversy, we get subjected to it for hours and hours in the following days and weeks from the sportsmedia and sportstalk radio. Then we go on to internet forums and discuss the bad calls, argue with fans of the other teams, etc... We have countless internet columns and bloggers... every mouthpiece with a microphone wants to make a name for himself by yelling and screaming about how horrible the call was... and so on and so forth....

    It only makes sense that these things are going to be remembered more these days than they used to be. The media is magnified 1,000 times.

    You kinda support my point here... 30 years ago do you think the average football fan could name any referee..? I doubt it... but now even the refs are becoming media personalities.

    Logical flaw: The NFL has always had the part time ("weekend warrior") system of officiating. So if you say things are worse today than they used to be, you cannot blame that on a factor that existed back then as well as today.
     
  16. PatrioticDynasty

    PatrioticDynasty Practice Squad Player

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    ok, hear are my 2 cents...If goes over a nickel please feel free to shoot me down...

    The officials have a lot of changing to do... besides those dumb new uniforms.
    For starters, Mike Perrera and company have to start being accountable for their mistakes, I understand when you want to stick up for your crew but at the risk of players continuing to injure other key players and get away without a penalty or a fine is a farce. That is what needs to be changed before we start to ask which rule can be modified to make the game flow better, lets look at the individuals that make the rules. It's almost like a supreme court justice, I mean how old are some of these guys anyway? Like someone has to die before we get a new ref on the field with fresh legs and GOOD EYESIGHT! sorry to go on a rant here, and I like the topic of the post, I just want to know who holds the refs accountable in this league, and how do we, as a fan, try to influence any change in the league if at all possible?
     
  17. chris_in_sunnyvale

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    I'm pretty sure that illegal contact is called before the ball is in the air or on another receiver/defender away from the play.

    My argument is that pass interference as it stands is a monster way to mess up a pass play. Adding a judgement call to reduce the penalty to 15yds only minimizes the reward to the offense, not increase it further.

    Regards,
    Chris
     
  18. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Quigon -
    I am not sure how you can say that the officiating is not worse now than its ever been. Did you not watch the play-offs last year? It was utterly ridiculous what went on then. There were at least 6 bad calls in every play-off game last year. Including the Colts/Steelers game and the SB. And the calls in the SB clearly impacted the game. Just as they did in the Pats/Broncos game.

    While full time officiating won't solve all the bad calls, it sure as heck would reduce them.

    There is one thing that the NHL has done that has helped to IMPROVE its officiating. Every official has a laptop. Within 24 hours of a game, the game tapes have been reviewed and crititques have been sent back to the officials on things they need to improve on. This was something that an official (Andy VanHellemond) with 24 years of experience recommended and got instituted to help the officials be more aware of the game.

    Another thing that I think that having full time officials would do is keep them in shape. How many times do you see a 50-60 year old over-weight guy huffing and puffing his way down the sidelines to keep up with these guys? EVERY GAME. Its ridiculous.

    To be an ON FIELD football official, they need to implement physical fitness guidelines, including vision issues (sorry the Official with the bi-focal goggles convinced me of this). The game is just happening too quickly for many of them to keep up and it shows as the quality of officiating has gotten worse and worse.

    Others have mentioned that they just don't know the rules. That may or may not be true. I want to assume that it is, but each week we get these BS explanations from the NFL protecting its part-time referees. Sorry, but by the letters of the rules, that was a spear by Ingram on Brady and it was a crack-back block by Wade on Harrison.
     
  19. DaBruinz

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    QuiGon -
    Actually, the logical flaw is yours from where I sit. 30 years ago, the players were not as fast or agile as they are today. The "weekend warrior" referee from 30 years ago is still the same. So, yes, you CAN blame it on the factor that existed back them because that factor hasn't changed as the game has changed.

    We still have the middle-aged 40-60 year old, out of shape, lawyers and doctors refereeing. They aren't able to keep up with the 20-30 year old DEs who are 270-280 lbs and run in the 4.4 - 4.5 range.

    The game has evolved, but the referees haven't. And that is the issue I have.
     
  20. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    I definitely agree the officiating last year during the playoffs was horrible - arguably worse than ever seen before. But I would submit that that is more anamoly than trend and I have seen nothing this year to suggest that is something that has carried over. If this year's playoffs are equally bad then perhaps you may be on to something.
    I don't see how... is studying a textbook in July going to help a guy's eyesight in January...?

    The NFL does very similar things. They evaluate each and every ref, good calls, bad calls, being in the proper position. They make sure reports are made, records are kept, etc, etc.

    I doubt any one of us would be able to keep up with those professional athletes either and we'd all be huffing and puffing if we had to do what they did.

    We'll just have to agree to disagree. I continue to maintain that officiating is roughly the same it has always been - we just discuss things much more than the old days.

    No offense, but I think it is somewhat arrogant to think you know and understand the rules better than the NFL League Office and the Director of Officiating. Besides, those calls are both judgement calls so you can't say "by the letter of the rules". There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone else's judgement call but to imply you have a better knowledge of the rules than they do is a bit extreme.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2007
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