Late night discussion: Upgrading the chain gang

Looking into new ways to judge the spot of the football

Louie DiBiase
September 13, 2019 - 4:10 am

Photo: Bob Donnan - USA TODAY Sports

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The National Football League needs a new way to determine the spot of the football after a player is brought down.

During the Thursday Night Football matchup between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a third down completion from quarterback Cam Newton to wide receiver D.J. Moore came close to the first down marker.

The key word there is close. It was clear that the football hit the ground short, seemingly forcing Carolina to punt. The referee on the left sideline appeared to have the spot right. Suddenly, the official on the opposite end bumped the football up by a significant, and head scratching amount. 

Unfortunately, this can still happen in football. Where the football is marked relies solely on the judgment of an official.

Some might like the human error element of that, but the fact that these kinds of mistakes can still happen with the technology around in 2019 is inexcusable. 

It should be time to take the power out of referees and the chain gang's hands when deciding the sport of the ball. Now the question is, what should replace it? 

Fans tried to solve the problem in Thursday's late night discussion. 

 

Better referees:

Some contributors to the discussion simply don't believe this should happen, even with the decision still coming from human judgment. 

It is almost comical how far up the second referee marked the ball. 

 

Bring on the technology:

Fans had some good ideas on how to implement technology into a change. 

These are all very doable. Why this hasn't been the way the NFL marks the ball is confusing. 

 

Author's choice:

To get it right every time, technology is the way to go. Considering the NFL is a multi-billion dollar industry, they should be able to invest in these advancements. 

Put a tracking chip in the football that is linked up to sensors on each yard line. Wherever the ball lands, the sensors lights up. 

It is 2019. This should be very achievable. 

 

To participate in our late night discussions, follow us on Twitter: @WGR550

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