This week the NFL implemented a few new rule changes for the upcoming season. One of the new changes includes pass interference now being a reviewable play. The NFL has a track record of making terrible changes to rules and overreacting. They did it with the catch rule and they are on a similar path with using replay to review pass interference.
The rule change was sparked by the missed no-call during the Saints/Rams playoff game last year. While the new rule change would have drastically changed the outcome of that specific game and the NFC representative in the Super Bowl, it will not benefit the game of football on a consistent basis.
I believe that the NFL addressed this issue by going around it, not through it. Instead of using replay to reverse obvious pass interference calls, such as the one in last year’s NFC Championship game, they should’ve focused on better officiating. At the end of the day, replay will always alter plays and how they are perceived due to the difference in speed. If the NFL truly cared about bettering the sport, they would have considered finding a way to train and improve officiating. Replay undermines the value of an official.
We obviously can’t expect perfection when it comes to officiating, but we should be able to have definitive expectations for officiating just as we do for the athlete. We don’t use automated play calling to make a quarterback better, and we shouldn’t use replay to make an official better. Instead, better training and leadership would have been a better route for the league.
I think we’ll see a lot of confusion as well when it comes to relying on instant replay for this type of call. There really isn’t consistency when it comes to throwing that bright yellow flag. The same rings true with how pass interference will be judged in slow motion. There is no clarity with the penalty and I’m sure that it will cause a lot of grief this upcoming season with calls that are made and missed.
My point is that replay has become something we immediately look to in order to find clarity. But ironically most of the time replay does the contrary. I’m quite disappointed in the change. The NFL overreacted to the Saints, not the problem itself.
Stats or Influence?
Yesterday marked the beginning of the 2019 MLB season. Whether you are a baseball fan or not, you’ve probably heard the name Bryce Harper within the last month. The Philadelphia Phillies signed Harper to a $330 million contract a few weeks back.
In yesterday’s opening game, Harper went 0-3 at the plate in the Phillies 10-4 win over the Atlanta Braves. What I took away from his less than appealing performance at bat was what you couldn’t find on the stat sheet: influence.
Despite 0-3 at the plate, Harper was walked which eventually set up for a grand slam. Like many of the greats in athletics, it’s not always about the individual performance, but how you make those around you better. Harper’s results yesterday may not have lived up to the $330 million contract that he signed, but his influence on the city of Philadelphia and his teammates in a 10-4 win was sweeter than any homerun he could’ve smacked.
Opening day for Harper proved to be more about the team than the individual.
Cowgirls Coming to Town
If you’re not up to much on Saturday, I’ve got plans ready for you to adopt. At 1:00 at the Rock Springs Junior High, the Cowgirls soccer team begins the spring season against Utah State.
The event is free and to add more excitement, the 2018 Mountain West Conference champions will be taking photos with fans and their newly acquired trophy and signing autographs.
I’ll also be available for autographs in case you’ve been patiently waiting for that opportunity!
Brayden is a sports and community reporter for SweetwaterNOW. His column, Flack Friday, will be posted every Friday. You can submit comments, questions or ideas regarding the column to firstname.lastname@example.org.