News

Commissioner can issue a Rule 17 overturn of Saints loss … and other myths from Championship Sunday

As a public service, we are tackling some of the opinions and conspiracy theories that are propagating and, contrary to contemporary Internet standards, serving them with a dose of facts and reasoning. 1. Goodell cannot invoke Rule 17 This is probably the worst of the myths out there, mostly because of its wide circulation and the selective presentation that makes it clickbait of the highest (or lowest?) order. Saints receiver Michael Thomas, understandably an aggrieved party under the circumstances in which his team lost, offered this rulebook reference several hours after the game: https://twitter.com/Cantguardmike/status/1087260225848176640 Pro Football Talk picked up on this rule, and ran with

Saints owner calls for changes in officiating

In a statement released after the most devastating loss in New Orleans Saints history, owner Gayle Benson said she will "aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies to ensure no team and fan base is ever put in a similar position again." Benson is speaking about the pass interference no-call at the end of the game that impacted the Saints strategy to win in regulation. Benson's addressed the play and her intentions in her statement: No team should ever be denied the opportunity to reach the title game (or simply win a game) based on the actions, or inactions, of those charged

2018 rule changes

NFL adds approved ruling on fumble/safety reviews to casebook for playoffs

The NFL officiating department took the unusual, but not unprecedented, step of adding an approved ruling to the current casebook, effective for the postseason. Small tweaks have been made in the past entering the postseason, which is deemed to be equitable when everyone's record resets to 0-0. Last season, we noted that the replay standards that were heavy-handed in the regular season showed signs of aligning closer to the expected standard in the Wild Card round. This was even more apparent when a catch was upheld in the Super Bowl that might have been incomplete in the regular season. Last season,

Mechanics

Officials used to use a gunshot to signal the end to a quarter or half

It seems strange today, but NFL officials used to fire a starter's pistol to end each quarter. It's a mechanic that dated back to the start of pro football up until the NFL discontinued the practice starting in 1994. When the NFL was in its infancy and up through the 1960s, stadium clocks were not the official time and officials kept time on the field. It used to fall to the back judge to keep time. When the NFL expanded to six-man crews in 1965, the line judge took over timing duties. A member of the chain crew would normally carry

The day the NFL had 8 officials on the field

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:'yQwLvUekStBt_3dUtaYYdg',sig:'yxZrsOZcsCfo-JT8lLijpQmpJ9JciPHKskK-M0MkcDM=',w:'594px',h:'375px',items:'80188612,52132225',caption: true ,tld:'com',is360: false })}); 1948 NFL Championship: Chicago Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles From all appearances in the city of Brotherly Love on Dec. 19, 1948, there was not to be a football game that day. With a thick fresh blanket of snow on the ground, Eagles halfback Steve Van Buren thought for sure that the NFL Championship game was cancelled. The league was forging ahead with the game as planned, so Van Buren took a bus and two trolleys to get within blocks of 20th and Lehigh in North Philadelphia. There, sandwiched between row homes from which residents watched

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