Championship Sunday in the NFL provided us with ammunition for some rule changes that must take place.
We will walk through 3 changes starting with the most obvious and end on one that most don’t talk about but needs changing.
First, pass interference needs to be a challengeable/reviewable play. I’ve spent a large part of my life as an official in many sports. While I believe subjective calls should stay that way for the most part, we should take advantage of improving the situation when possible. When a PI call is made (or isn’t) and it is reviewed or challenged, I propose that it should go to 3 referees, positioned offsite, who make the call. It would take 1 minute to review that play and then 2 or more votes either confirms or overturns the call. Adding 3 sets of “professional” eyes should help the subjective factor. In fact, I would go as far as saying all current challengeable plays should be treated in the same manner.
Next, overtime rules need to be set up similar to the OT rules in college. It makes no sense, especially in the playoffs that after 60 minutes and a tie that both teams won’t get a shot. Setting the ball at the 50 with college style rules would ensure a level ground. I can’t think of any major sport that has such a drastic difference in their OT rules like college and the NFL. Could you imagine Brady and Mahomes trading punch for punch similar to that LSU Texas A&M game we had this year? There isn’t one fan that would be upset at these changes and, at the end of the day, that’s the goal of the NFL, right? Put the best product on the field for the fans.
Lastly, get rid of the coin toss. The home team for any game should get to choose what they want to do. During the regular season it all evens out with 8 home and road games. Then in the playoffs the home team getting to choose how they want to start the game is an advantage you’ve earned through your success during the regular season. This seems like a small change but it would allow teams to better game plan going into the week. It’s never made complete sense on why flipping a coin is the best solution. Every aspect of football has evolved since the coin flip went into effect and it needs to evolve as well.
Let’s hope the Super Bowl doesn’t have any of these terrible rules come into effect. I think the NFL eyes are open enough to understand that change is necessary.