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Bill Plaschke

Man in Replay Booth Shouldn't Pass Judgment

January 21, 2002|Bill Plaschke

"If he hit me, I was going to throw it," he told reporters, allegedly stifling a grin. "How do you like that?"

And you wonder why the Raiders are paranoid?

"People say that what goes on between Al Davis and the league doesn't affect what happens on the field," Raider Tim Brown told reporters. "But there's no way that you can tell me that that's so."

Again, that's silly. But the changes that need to be made after this season's two replay debacles are not.

It's not just about the rules of incompletions and fumbles. It's about the rules of replay.

There should be no more challenges strictly from the booth. Even in the last two minutes. Especially in the last two minutes.

Either the play is reviewed by request of one of the two coaches, or not at all.

Replay works when participants have control. It fails when they don't.

If that rule was in effect this season, the debacles in Cleveland and New England would have been avoided.

And if coaches have used up all their requests by the end of the game and they lose on a bad call? At least it is a human being with mud on his shirt making that call, a frailty that worked just fine for football's first several decades.

The NFL is insulting its fans by permitting games to be decided by guys in front of televisions.

Just wait until that game is the Super Bowl.


Bill Plaschke can be reached at



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