More Replay- 12/16/2000
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The 49ers were on the wrong end of at least two instant replay calls against the Saints. Whether or not there was actually enough video evidence to over turn the decision on the field is subject to debate. This game and season have proved at least one thing though. Instant replay is not a success, not yet. Clearly from the amount of calls that have insufficient evidence, there is something wrong with the system. The NFL should take action this off-season to further improve the system.

The first step the NFL should take is adding more cameras to each team that records the game. These cameras should be positioned strategically for instant replay. For example, there should be cameras aimed directly down the sideline that could pick up when a ball or foot goes out of bounds. Tennis already harnesses technology such as this, and if the Tennis Association can find a way to get replay of where a tennis ball, moving at speeds in excess of that of football, the NFL should be able to do the same. These cameras would be essential in providing angles that can change indecisive calls into decisive calls.

League officials should go through a mandatory training course. The course should prescribe exactly what constitutes insufficient evidence. In many cases, it seems that officials use this call as a cop-out of sort, and as such, games have been decided incorrectly because of such calls. The course should also implement a new system for replay inside two minutes. Officials are to gun shy at calling for a replay during these crucial minutes, and that must be changed.

Instituting instant replay two seasons ago was a great step for the NFL. It was way over due, and satisfied many teams, and their fans. It is time to re-evaluate the system and look at the flaws. There are plenty of advantages to instant replay, but there is still tons of room for improvement. Adding more cameras and enforcing a training session for the officials is crucial to the future success of the league.

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