Ravens Demand an Answer: Why Obvious Officiating Errors Aren’t Being Fixed by NFL

PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 01: Head Coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens disputes a call during the game agaisnt the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 1, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

After being on the receiving end of a lot of bad calls last season, the Baltimore Ravens want the NFL to figure out how to eliminate the errors made by refs during games. Since a blown call can influence the outcome of a game and online NFL odds, it would be in the league’s best interest to fix the problems which seem to be getting worse each year.

A lot of the mistakes made by officials aren’t intentional or due to incompetency, they occur because the referees, like all of us, are human, and tend to make errors. However, since we live in an age with technological advancements, it makes sense that the NFL starts to incorporate more technology on the field.

An example of technology improving the game can be seen with instant replay. Yes, there are still some mistakes made when officials use replay, but it isn’t as much as they used to make in the days before instant replay was used.

Some opponents of instant replay say it slows down the game, which is interesting considering the fact that a game that was meant to be played in an hour takes at least three hours due to commercial breaks and injury timeouts.

The Ravens aren’t proposing that the league makes every play reviewable, all they want is for the league to have a system that makes most plays reviewable. Judgment calls like pass interference and holding will still remain unreviewable, but other plays would be subject to a review.

The NFL currently has two dozen reviewable calls and they don’t seem to slow the game down, so having a few more probably wouldn’t hurt.

Since the number of challenges the coaches have in a game would remain the same under this proposal, it really shouldn’t affect the pace of the game.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said it is better to fix a problem you have the power to than to ignore the problem because you don’t want to fix it. The NFL’s competition committee agreed to consider the proposal, but they will most likely come up with a compromise instead of fully adopting it.

 According to Harbaugh, the committee will likely add one or two things this year, a couple more next year, and would eventually adopt the review system that the Ravens are asking for.

If what the Ravens are suggesting is fully adopted, it will change a lot of things for the better in the league because there would be fewer blown call, which would make the game much better, there would also be less complaints from players and coaches about the officiating, which will help them keep their money in their pocket instead of getting fined by the league.

It is surprising that a league like the NFL has taken this long to adapt to technological changes. In Canada, the CFL allows referees to incorporate judgment calls in replay. The CFL also allows referees to change a bad decision in real time, which is something that the NFL needs to seriously consider doing because it helps the refs make things right during the game and makes both teams feel better than an apology from the league the next day saying the referees messed up a call.

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