NFL Commissioner At Super Bowl News Conference Fails To Raise Hopes For Better Officiating

Getting Ready For Super Bowl Sunday All we can do is hope that Super Bowl LIII on Sunday does not turn on an officiating gaffe. An exciting season was...

Getting Ready For Super Bowl Sunday

All we can do is hope that Super Bowl LIII on Sunday does not turn on an officiating gaffe.

An exciting season was plagued by bad calls, culminating with a non-call that enabled the Los Angeles Rams to ultimately defeat the New Orleans to reach the Super Bowl, where they will play the New England Patriots.

Refreshing your memory – a Rams defensive back committed pass interference and hit a Saints receiver in the head on the same play (in front of an official) with no call made. The NFL made no public statement about the non-call, but the player acknowledged committing pass interference and then was subsequently fined by the NFL for the helmet-to-helmet hit that wasn’t penalized.

That is justice on the Bizarro World and nowhere else.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke Wednesday in Atlanta about the instant replay system, what can be reviewed and what cannot and hardly offered a reason for optimism in the future that egregious mistakes will be reviewable or correctable.

“We will look again at instant replay,” Goodell said. “There have been a variety of proposals over the last, frankly, 15, 20 years on whether replay should be expanded. It does not cover judgment calls; this was a judgment call. The other complication is that it was a no-call.

“And our coaches and clubs have been very resistant, and there has not been support to date, about having a replay official or somebody in New York throw a flag when there is no flag. They have not voted for that in the past.”

Very effective leadership. Bravo.

So the officiating is terrible, the corrective mechanism is incomplete and the game’s integrity could be at stake.

A terrible error in the Super Bowl, watched by hundreds of millions worldwide, will either move the NFL to act or compromise the game further.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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