Or Why I should be in charge of Big Ten Replay Officiating.
This is my first fan post and I only hope I can match the usual cerebral matrix of CFB that is BHGP.
As I was watching the IOWA-Lolverines game with my dad on Saturday night there was a pass ruled complete in the first half (i think it was to Stross but shit i can't remember now). It was the long pass that brought us down to the 15 or 10 yard line. Now watching it live it seemed like it could have gone either way (complete or incomplete) but watching the replay on my own non-HD TV one could tell IMMEDIATELY it was not a catch. After which Stanzi walked the team downfield, huddled up and lined up with absolutely no sense of urgency. At this point my dad was up in arms and screamed at the Swingin' Dick to "hike the fucking ball, dumbshit!", thoroughly startling my wife. Of course they stopped the play before the snap to review, and subsequently overturn, the ruling on the field.
Now, over-enthusiasm not withstanding my dad was absolutely correct in that they should have gotten up to the line toute suite and snapped the ball. A quick snap and a QB sneak or a run off tackle left would have been sufficient to keep the ball deep in Meeshegan territory before the officials stopped the play. This brings us to my main point:
There needs to be a play or at least some kind of specific strategy when there is a good chance of the officials overturning a play that has benefitted the Hawkeyes.
We could call it play 42 and have all our players on the same page in order to get a quick snap and disallow any further review. Now we may have to be a little sneaky with this. We don't want to run down field and make it obvious we're hurrying because that could send up red flags and cause replay officials to stop play. Just walk quickly, no huddle, and snap the damn ball before they blow the whistle. I know it may not be as obvious to players and coaches on the field when a call may be overturned but it is a strategy that must be utilized within the constraints of the replay era. This brings me to my 2nd and much less salient point:
Why does it take so fucking long for plays to be reviewed by replay officials?
If I can tell in less than 10 seconds on my low definition television what the correct call is why does it take an average of 4 minutes (and much longer in many cases) for an official ruling to be conveyed? Now I agree with replay to the extent that there are egregious calls that happen that should be overturned. These are the obvious ones and that even includes the Hawkeye non-catch from Saturday night. But once again I ask, WHY DOES IT TAKE SO FUCKING LONG TO GET A RULING ON THE FIELD?
My Solution (because you didn't think i was going to waste this much time at work without some sort of conclusion, did you?):
Replay officials get 10 SECONDS to see if a ruling on the field should be overturned. It should take no more than 30 seconds to get the proper ruling to the field and resume the game. This would allow the most obvious missed calls to be overturned while not completely stopping the flow of the game and momentum on both sides of the ball. Now some may say that if we have a replay system installed we should use it to the full extent and examine and re-examine every questionable call....to this I say MULEFEATHERS! Football is already a game that is hard to officiate especially with the game getting faster and faster. Football is also a game of timing and momentum and has always been so. Instant replay should be a minor addition that should allow some of the worst calls to be quickly overturned without micro-managing and over examining every aspect of officiating. If a replay official can't tell if a catch was made in 10 seconds the ruling on the field stands. If a replay official can't tell if a receiver had one foot down in bounds in 10 seconds the ruling on the field stands.
Modern technology should enhance the entire football experience (both playing and watching) without detracting from said experience by being hyper critical and even petty. This is just my 1.5 cents. I'm sure Jim Delaney will want to offer me a job as soon as this is brought to his attention. Good, because I could use it.