So last night's Packers-Seahawks game came down to a controversial first down ruling on a 3rd down throw from Aaron Rodgers to Jimmy Graham. I said it was a horrendous spot the moment the ref started marking the ball. I almost laughed out loud. I mean he just does not have the first down on that play.
The yellow line is "unofficial" as they constantly remind us every game, but 99% of the time it's dead on. Here it appears to be that 1% where it was off a little bit.
The problem here was there wasn't a clear angle of where the ball was. You can see Jimmy Graham's helmet, but no angle was clear enough where you could confidently mark the ball and say he was short. It was 3rd down so you'd need to be able to spot it correctly, remeasure, and give the Packers the chance to go for it on 4th. No angle was good enough to do that so the called on the field stood. First down Packers. Game over.
If you're a Seahawks fan should you be pissed? Yeah probably, but let's also remember the Hollister fumble on the Seahawks first offensive play of the game. The refs ruled there wasn't a clear recovery made on the field despite the fact that a Green Bay Packer HANDED the ball to the ref at the conclusion of the play. Bad calls go both ways. I've seen plenty of Packer haters bitch and moan that the refs won them the game, but they refuse to bring up that fumble. Interesting.
What the real story should be here is how there wasn't one good video angle of the spot of the ball. How could that be possible in a playoff game? What is the NFL doing in the year 2020 where we don't know the exact position of the ball and the first down marker at all times. We've got fucking satellites in space that could give you a perfect HD view of a street corner in New York City, but we can't tell where a fucking football is on a field. As I wrote about last week, the XFL is bringing on hawk-eye technology for their upcoming season. It's the biggest no brainer ever.
Tennis has used hawk-eye for over a decade now. What hawk-eye does is use ten cameras (for football I imagine there will be more) that strictly follow the ball. It doesn't watch the players, it watches the ball. What it does is project to within 5 millimeters where the ball will land. It also takes 10 seconds. So the lengthy review we had last night, actually two reviews after they said they had "additional footage," would have taken 1/1000th of the time.
It's absolutely insane that the NFL doesn't use hawk-eye. I mean look at me writing this blog about a bullshit call that favored my team. That's how much the lack of use of this technology bothers me. It's such a no brainer but Goodell just sits there and let's refs use 5 cameras and a first down chain to measure the closest of plays.
Figure it out.