SBD/December 9, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL Discussing Centralizing Replay System, Which Would Help With Length Of Games

The NFL has "discussed centralizing the replay system" in a move that also could "shorten game times," according to Peter King of THE MMQB. The replay system likely would be based out of N.Y. and would lessen "the chances of a mistake" from the on-field referees. The "foremost authorities on the calls, led by VP of Officiating Dean Blandino, would be overseeing the process" from the NFL's command center. The idea is "being seriously considered," but nothing is "likely to change" before '15. However, next year could be a "study year for the project." A byproduct of a "uniformity of eyes looking at the calls" could lead to both "more consistent calls" and shorter games. Week 14 games lasted an average of 3 hours, 11 minutes and 20 seconds, and the game times have "slowly crept up in the last few years." The time it takes for officials to look at replays is "getting onerous." There is "no question that process can be streamlined by not taking time for the ref to do all the mechanical things at the game site that accompany the replay process" (MMQB.SI.com, 12/9).

YEAR
AVERAGE LENGTH OF GAME
2013
3:08:30
2012
3:06:32
2011
3:05:48
2010
3:04:12
2009
3:03:42
2008
3:02:12

TAKING TIME: ESPN BOSTON's Mike Reiss reported the average time of Patriots games this year is 3 hours and 14 minutes, continuing a "theme we've seen in recent years of longer-than-we're-used-to games." Fans are used to thinking NFL games fit "in a nice three-hour window," but only four of the Patriots' first 12 games "have come in under that three-hour mark" (ESPNBOSTON.com, 12/8).
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