Instant Replay- 03/05/2000
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Fans fought long and hard. Teams fought long and hard. Finally success. After a long dispute with the NFL and the few teams holding out, instant replay finally returned to the NFL last season. Was it the perfect fix? No, not by any means but is most certainly was an improvement to a system that failed the 49ers repeatedly in the playoffs.

The return of instant replay was a step in the right direction. Teams could now challenge decisions by the officials, thereby gambling a timeout in the hopes to over rule certain calls. It worked well. It changed the strategy of the game in some ways, and most importantly did not slow down the game like many thought it would.

Improvements are still necessary. It may be advisable to designate an official to watch replays of the game throughout the full fourth quarter rather than just the last two minutes of the second and fourth quarters. It may also be a good idea to allocate specific cameras to instant replay that would be in position to get better angles of the play- focusing mainly on the ball and player’s feet and down the two sidelines. This change would assure that TV stations do not broadcast the real replay before the decision is made. There may also be changes coming to what rulings can be challenged, but that may not come just yet.

The benefits or instant replay were most certainly shown over the past season. Most plays were corrected when ruled incorrectly and sometimes teams weren't so lucky. One thing that went un-noticed though was the abilities of the officials to make the right call. In the past TV stations and fans alike would go nuts over apparent blown calls by the officials. Instant replay this season has shown just how good the officials are in making the right call, and therefore officials are no longer subject to the criticism of the past.

Instant replay is definitely a keeper in the NFL. It eliminates the few errors of the officials in a fast efficient manner. The technology is available to further improve the system, and I believe the NFL should invest in doing so. In the mean time though, officials are held to a higher standard, and are surpassing even the most pessimistic of fans expectations.
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