Officials’ reviews create lengthy delays

Anyone who watched the national championship football game between Clemson and Alabama saw a classic. But only true fans stayed up until the end of the four-plus hour game.

One reason the games are so long is to allow an official to review whether a player was in or out of bounds, or whether the ball was caught. My agent, I.M. Slick, thinks we need more, not fewer, replays.

Slick: Did you enjoy the game?

Joe: It was a classic, but I didn’t enjoy the lengthy delays between some plays.

Slick: But you always tell me the most important thing is to get the call right, right?

Joe: Right, but there are simply too many stoppages of play. Clemson would have a good drive going with a hurry-up offense, only to have an official stop the game to review the previous play. That takes away momentum and gives the defense a chance to catch its breath.

Slick: But some calls were overturned because of those stoppages.

Joe: And some weren’t. There just has to be a better way.

Slick: Actually, I think they should stop and review every play.

Joe: You can’t be serious.

Slick: Have you seen how many times the ball isn’t put at the right yard line because forward progress is not properly marked?

Joe: It’s a tough job, I’m sure. No one is perfect.

Slick: And I agree. That’s why we need to stop and review every play to make sure the ball is placed at the correct spot. It would also give the teams to strategize better. Besides, it would probably require even more officials to decide whether to overturn the call or not.

Joe: But that’s ridiculous. What you are suggesting could turn a four-hour game into six or more hours.

Slick: Just think of the extra revenue potential for concessionaires!

Joe: If you make games any longer, you might need to start selling NoDoz to keep fans awake.

Slick: Good idea. And TV could use the extra commercial time. You know, kind of like ‘this official review is brought to you by Speedy Cash—these official reviews may be slow and laborious but we can put cash in your hand fast at Speedy Cash.

Joe: You can’t be serious. Most people in football are concerned with the length of the games.

Slick: The irony is that faster offenses lead to slower games and more time to review plays. More first downs in college result in more clock stoppages, and more touchdowns lead to more TV commercials. As one writer noted, ‘the more exciting the team is, the more excruciating the games are. It’s almost impossible now for a high-scoring, highly entertaining matchup to wrap up in a reasonable amount of time.’

Joe: It’s all about the money, isn’t it?

Slick: Of course. And I think we could make a little extra cash off your column if we allowed reviews.

Joe: Huh?

Slick: Follow me here. About halfway through one of your columns, we throw in an ad from Subway that says, “If you’re laboring to read this tedious column, ‘Eat Fresh, Eat Subway.’” Then your column jumps to another page for the one or two readers who still care to read what you have to say.

Joe: That’s not one of your better ideas.

Slick: You’re probably right, but we’ve got to think outside the box.

Joe: Let’s get back to the business at hand.

Slick: Sorry, gotta run. Besides, upon further review, there’s nothing in this column worth reviewing.

Joe: Upon further review, I probably should find a new agent.

Hillsboro resident Joe Klein­sasser is director of news and media relations at Wichita State University. You can reached him at Joe.Klein­sasser@wichita.edu.