As a fan, there are few things like the thrill of a two minute comeback drive in the NFL orchestrated by an elite quarterback. Admittedly, as a Patriots fan myself, I have been privy to quite a few. You find yourself sitting at the edge of your seat, or completely standing up if you are like me, as your attention frantically alternates between the play on the field and the dwindling time left on the clock. Everything is happening in a vacuum, for even a second of mental lapse can determine the outcome of the game. Oftentimes you find yourself more caught up in the theatrics of the two minute drive itself than the importance of the outcome of the game for your team. This rising action described, which is almost assuredly going to end in a climactic football play to change the game, is what we as fans love.
There has been a recent trend in the NFL, however, throughout the past five years or so, of this moment we love being ruined. Often at the most inopportune times, there is a change from the hurry-up offense and strategic play calls to the voice of Tony Romo salivating:
“Ooooooooohhh…. I think he got… wait wait wait….. Yeah there’s one foot. Jim if you look closely here, I think you can see his shoelace barely scraping the white painted line by about an eighth of a centimeter… oooooooo……this is tough, man. Let’s see another angle…. Ooooooooh.”
Now this is not supposed to be a complete dig at Tony Romo, who I enjoy listening to. Rather, it is aimed at the completely awkward and unnatural feel that the replay system in the NFL gives you when they take 10 minutes to review a catch, the qualifications for which we are still unsure of. A break in action from the best part of the football game should come from a game winning play from either side. There is no bigger buzzkill than having to listen to broadcasters, especially when the ruling is obvious in retrospect, discuss the same main talking points again and again during the most crucial moments of the game. This is all from a fan’s perspective, nevermind a player who can also be negatively affected by replay. An offense’s momentum can be completely halted by an instant replay review where the defenses gets to rest and recollect themselves.
I am not proposing that the NFL should out instant replay completely, as I do think that getting the call right is important. Anyone who thinks that replay should be completely taken away has clearly never felt the joy of your team winning because a play was reversed in your favor, or the anguish in a loss when the play was not reviewed and your team clearly would have benefited. They do, however, need to do something about the time that it takes to review the play, especially late in games. It completely detracts from the theatrics of it all. The NFL is about entertainment, so it would be in their best interest to make a change. That, and to tell Romo to relax a little… We can see his foot too, Tony