It’s only year one of the Alliance of American Football (AAF), but the National Football League (NFL) might want to take a closer look at one particular piece other than the players fighting for a second chance.
The Sky Judge is the future of the NFL and the additional ninth member of the referee crew in the AAF. The new start up league uses a 360-degree eye in the press box that calls down to the field whenever there’s a call made that might have gone by the wayside.
New Orleans Saints fans know what I’m talking about. A trip to Super Bowl LIII and I’m sure the sour taste of this play still has them spitting up TUMS Antacid to make the stomach pains go away.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 24, 2019
Yes, it was a blown call and yes, the referees might have missed it due to their viewpoint, but let’s get the issue out of the way now. Playoff football is called different. It just is. Regardless of how the referees see it, there is an obvious difference between Week 17 of the Regular Season and the Playoffs.
A change needs to be made.
The Sky Judge has the ability and authority to impose penalties for unsafe or miscalled plays that all of the officials on the field have overlooked. The eye in the sky of sorts will also have the ability to pick up or have flags thrown for defensive or offensive pass interference calls in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter.
As a fan you know the heart sinking feeling of seeing a flag on the opposite side of the field thrown by an official that had no business calling it. It changes the progression of a game.
“Ultimately you’re talking about franchises that are worth billions and billions of dollars that are being decided by someone running backwards trying to catch what they saw,” said Alliance Founder Charlie Ebersol on the Rich Eisen Show.
Putting the game into the hands of instant replay isn’t the idea, but for the more egregious actions, it’s an option.
Here’s a clip of it in action:
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) February 10, 2019
According to an interview with Mike Pereira, a consultant to the AAF, the Sky Judge is already speeding up the process.
“He has the ability to do it in real time. It doesn’t go to replay. … He can call down to the field and say, ‘Hey, spearing on No. 33 of Birmingham, 15 yard penalty, let’s go.’
It’s the beginning of a trend that needs addressed in the NFL and having a full season of data and results after this year’s AAF season, Roger Goodell should give it a thorough investigation in the near future.
By no means is this system the answer, but for the next team and fan base on the verge of getting their hearts broken on national television by the zebras; it’s a start.