The Redskins and Texans might be NFL laughingstocks, but no group has had a tougher 2013 season than the officials. In what has become a weekly occurrence, calls are blown, missed altogether, or indefensibly reversed. Referee Jeff Triplette has had a particularly poor stretch (scroll down, see here) and the overall awfulness isn't just fans and media complaining because that's what fans and media do.
In fact, the NFL is considering changing the replay process so that officials aren't making decisions on location; instead, all replay challenges would be handled at the league office.
"Our No. 1 focus is to make sure we're providing the best officiating," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters during a league meeting in Dallas, via NationalFootballPost.com. "We always think we can improve. Consistency is important. By bringing it into the league office on Sundays and having one person actually making that decision you can make the argument that there's consistency."
First things first: The competition committee would have to come up with a proposal to be voted on ahead of the owners' meetings in the spring.
"We actually think we might be able to do it more quickly than the current status, but those are parts of the things that we'll study," Goodell said.
The NHL currently handles replay reviews from a central location and we can't imagine why the NFL wouldn't want to do the same if it means fewer mistakes.
In 2011, Mike Murphy, the NHL's senior vice president of hockey operations, told the Los Angeles Times that having a small group of trusted people handling all replays was not only better, but more efficient.
"The trust is so strong between the whole group in here that we're able to maneuver through things, where in the past I'd have to stop the game and say, 'OK, what have we got here?' wait for TV to produce some replays, especially overheads," Murphy said.
"It's made us more accurate and it's really made us faster and more consistent."
And, really, that's the point.