Is Instant Replay in Football Doing More Bad Than Good?

Los Angeles Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman breaks up a pass intended for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis. (Photo by Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports)

With the return of football season comes pressure on referees to make the right call every single time. But with instant replay, what’s the issue?

Boca magazine publisher John Shuff wrote in a recent “My Turn” opinion piece the controversy of not using instant replay in the dramatic 2018 NFC Championship game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints.

“If instant replay wasn’t used in this game, then I say we just eliminate it and leave decisions up to the mortal human beings who make them,” he wrote.”

And he’s not the only one concerned about what instant replay is doing to the game. In an article published this weekend by InsideHook, former NFL referee Mike Pereira discussed his fears of what instant reply is doing to football games.

“We went catch or no catch,” Pereira says of the early days of instant replay. “Now they’re reviewing the element of time. Did he have it long enough? That’s subjective in many cases. I really do think it’s gone beyond what it was really intended to be, and where it stops, I don’t know.”

And because of all the stoppage to review plays, it’s ruining “the pace of the game,” he says.

“I worry about the amount of dead time that we have in games,” Pereira says. “Officiating has always been about advantage and disadvantage. I think we officiate plays now and call fouls and limitations that really don’t create an advantage one way or another. I would like to see that addressed to get a more smooth-flowing game. That’s hindsight after being done for 10 years.”

Read Shuff’s “My Turn” on instant replay and how it applies to our lives.