Posted by Scratch
The NFL's Competition Committee finalized its new rule for reviewing pass interference Thursday, opting against several suggested tweaks and upholding what the owners were looking to get all the way back in March, ESPN reported today, and now we fans must suffer.
The new rule will be in place for the 2019 season. After that it appears that owners will decide whether to extend, tweak or eliminate it for 2020.
So what does this mean for the fan?
It sucks in many ways. First, the very nature that it is a new rule means it will be used and despite what the NFL says about using it wisely, we can all expect additional stoppages in play as ticky-tack penalties are clamored to be reviewed.
Man, how the hell did we get here? That stupid NFC championship game last year—that’s how.
That one bad apple call in the 2018 playoff games between the Saints and the Rams ruined it for the bunch, so we now have review-able pass interference calls and a huge bucket of rotten apples to sink our teeth into when the game is stopped to review non-calls.
To be clear, the NFL had a pass interference rule problem but they fixed the wrong part of damn thing. The NFL needed to change the spot of the foul aspect of pass interference, not make the call reviewable, not the grant the ability to review these dumb calls. This is a case of fixing the wrong aspect of the problem.
What happened in the NFC championship game last year was so egregiously bad it should stand as an outlier. Maybe the ref had a cousin who had money the game? The penalty for missing that crucial pass interference call is that the ref should have been fired for incompetence.
Now we will crying like babies when receivers and defensive back bump and grind down the field.
Sorry baby. See you later!
Fumbling The Real Problem: The Spot of the Foul
The problem with blatant pass interference—or incidental pass interference—is the spot of the foul rule which prompts a team to heave up a prayer into heavy coverage and get blessed with a ticky-tacky contact call that will see the ball advanced to the spot of the foul, produce an automatic first down, or set up a 1 yard touchdown run. So, a little dinky contact and a team gets a 50-yard play? That was the biggest part of the pass interference problem, it was not that it couldn’t be reviewed.
The spot of the foul is the part of the rule that should change. The college way is way better. 15-yard penalty max and automatic first down.
Hail Mary Plays No Longer Holy
The NFL competition committee will also allow Hail Mary plays to be reviewed, according to the ESPN, as long as it is "consistent with the guidelines for officiating the play on the field."
Such plays typically include more bumping and grinding than at a Donald Trump backstage pageant meeting (select if you are a Democrat and fan of this site) or more hand play than at a Joe Bidden presser (select if you are a Republican fan of this site).
Hey, heavy contact between receivers and defenders happens, but officials rarely penalize them for it on the Hail Mary. It should say that way. The expectation around the NFL is that replay officials will rarely, if ever, stop the game to review Hail Marys. Good luck with that? They will and it will happen this season—mark my words.
The Hail Mary play is the one play that is slow motioned ad nauseam and there will be significant pressure to review it if the game is on the line. The NFL says the referees should only invoke the new rule if it is “clear and obvious.”
Good luck with that.
Everybody will want to see who got bumped and yanked and pulled on these plays because now there is mechanism to apply ticky-tacky contact call.
This new ruling on pass interference in the NFL is not going to help improve the game, but is rather a clear and obvious boondoggle, which should be reviewed itself, overturned and remanded to the hell from which it came.