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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Hamilton/Parkville, MD

    Challenge flag rule change

    After watching that ridiculous debacle in Detroit yesterday, I was finally able to find out why the rule was in place preventing a review when a team is slapped with a penalty:

    Two years ago, following an event during the Redskins vs Giants game, the replay rules were changed once again. The Redskins fumbled the ball, and it was recovered by the Giants. Being a controversial play, the Giants, of course, rushed to the line of scrimmage in hopes to get a play off before a challenge flag was thrown. Before they were able to make the snap, however, Redskins linebacker, London Fletcher, “accidentally” kicked the ball, and he was called for a delay of game.

    However, by being called for a delay of game, the Redskins then had the opportunity to throw the infamous red flag. Obviously, the Giants’ coach was not happy with the Redskins being able to allegedly intentionally commit a penalty and be rewarded with the ability to now challenge the play.

    As a result, the league changed the rule to where all changes of possessions and scoring plays would be under review with the exception of two conditions. The first is that if the team is penalized, they lose their rights to an official review. The other is that if a coach throws his challenge flag when an official review is mandated anyway.

    As a result of yesterday's mess, the league is now considering changing the rule back to what it was before the Washington/Giants game.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    over by the dental floss bush
    Blog Entries

    Re: Challenge flag rule change

    IMHO if a defensive penalty is committed, there should be some price to pay on these plays, but they should still review the play and get it right. If a coach throws the flag on a play that was going to be reviewed, so freakin what? That shouldn't be a penalty

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Stuttgart, Germany

    Re: Challenge flag rule change

    I remember that game. Flecther acted like he was talking to a teammate and wallked right into the ball. After this season the rule will change

  4. #4

    Re: Challenge flag rule change

    The thing that is stupid is that the intentional "penalty" in order to get a review aspect (i.e. Fletcher's move) should never be necessary on a play where the review is by rule, automatic. And since the penalty isn't necessary to get a review then it should not prevent a review.

    In fact, I don't even think the rule as it is currently written has to be interpreted the way that it was. I have seen the text and it isn't cut-and-dried like they are claiming.

    In my opinion there doesn't need to be any rule change, they just need to stop being asinine in their interpretation.

    It is simple, an intentional penalty to prevent a snap to give time to check to see if you want to challenge (i.e. spot, incompletion, or other challengeable plays, etc) is a 15-yard penalty and no review. Any play where the review is automatic by rule means an automatic review, period. Even the 15-yard penalty part of throwing your red flag on a play that is already going to be reviewed is stupid, though I can maybe see where someone might try to get a free timeout (extra time to strategize) by throwing it after a clear turnover or something. But the inane can't-review-the-otherwise-automatically-reviewed-play aspect of the penalty just because you want to make sure it is reviewed is just proof positive they are overthinking the game; common sense would suffice here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    shrewsbury, pa

    Re: Challenge flag rule change

    Remember some of these guys are lawyers so they interpret rules like laws and their opinion about them.

  6. #6

    Re: Challenge flag rule change

    if there is a penalty and they lose their right to an automatic review they should still be able to use one of their challenges

  7. #7

    Re: Challenge flag rule change

    There's a huge difference between what Fletcher did and what Schwartz did. Schwartz's action didn't delay the game. It was an emotional response to a badly missed call, and could have easily been corrected by the simple statement of "as a scoring play, it's automatically reviewed, Coach. You don't need to challenge it and, by rule, you can't."

    I don't even like the penalty for wrongly throwing the challenge flag. If it can't be challenged, have the coach pick the damn thing up. Big deal. If the coach delays the game (by arguing, being on the field, etc.), that's another story. But making a mistake over whether you can challenge a play isn't exactly something that harms the game or gives a real advantage. It happens frequently, in fact, as coaches try to challenge unreviewable "judgement calls"- and without any harm or benefit to either side. They just get told it isn't going to happen and to stuff the flag back into their sock or wherever they're going to keep it.

    The NFL has been mind-numbingly stupid about replay from their adoption of it, imo. Every play should be reviewable, and they should get rid of the challenges. Have a senior, experienced official in the booth with a radio connection to the head referee, and the booth can radio down if a call is wrong. If it's not a turnover, scoring, or a potential scoring play and it takes longer than the play clock to make a decision: oh well. The call stands as is. On critical plays, like the above, the replay official can pause the game.

    There was a blown call early in the year with Gronkowski. He'd caught a touchdown, but was ruled out of bounds. I don't remember why New England didn't challenge, but they didn't, and because the ruling on the field was that it wasn't a scoring play, there was no automatic review. Under the current rules, the infamous Calvin Johnson "catch through the play" call wouldn't have been reviewed even though that was among the plays which sparked its adoption.


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