Football can be a great sport. It is also an extremely flawed one, especially at its highest level. While the NFL should, theoretically, be the best version of football in the world, the game is so frequently marred by issues with regards to how it’s played. So on the heels of a Super Bowl that no one enjoyed, we decided to recommend a few ways the NFL could be way better.
Four of our writers came together and threw out their best ideas on ways that they can fix the NFL. They’re all practical to one extent or another, and we’d like to throw our strongest recommendation behind the league incorporating all of these in time for the 2019 season.
ABOLISH INSTANT REPLAY — Brian Grubb
At some point in the last 12-18 months, I’m not sure exactly when or why, I started to feel bad for referees. I’ve never been particularly hard on them, so it wasn’t a huge leap, but it was still a shift I was not expecting. I think it’s because they have such a thankless job. If they have a perfect game — flawless, zero missed calls, everything explained in a simple and timely manner — no one cares. But if they make a mistake, especially if it’s at the end of a close game, good Lord. The sky falls. People yell. Local attorneys file lawsuits. It’s a lot.
And it’s getting worse. Every play is now replayed in startling clarity, frame-by-frame, from 10 different angles within seconds of the whistle. Imagine living your life like that, with every work decision you make in real time immediately analyzed in aching detail by every yokel in America with a high-definition television. It’s not right. They’re doing the best they can, you know?
That’s one of the reasons I think we should abolish instant replay. Not just coaches’ challenges, either. Nuke the whole thing, other than the cool individual plays or the explanations of why a particular set did or did not work. If it doesn’t educate me or make me say “HOLY SH*T,” don’t show it to me. Throw it right in the trash. None of it makes the game more enjoyable. It just makes people at home feel angry or smart, or both, and insufferable in either case.