During last night’s Tennessee-Dallas game, a Titans punter actually hit Dallas’s massive 55-metre-long HD screen, creating a bit of a situation: The play isn’t reviewable, and there’s no provision for a replay. The solution may cost millions of dollars.
Apparently nobody had thought to test if a punted football could reach that high and when Titans punter AJ Trapasso hit the screen, none of the officials knew quite what to do. It’s not a reviewable play, but even if it were, it’s not really fair to make a team waste a challenge on interference from the stadium which is entirely not the team’s fault.
The solution? The NFL could change the rules so there’s a “re-do” option if the screen is hit, which will require another referee to be watching the flight of the ball (none were at the game last night). Or the Cowboys owners could raise the screen to be out of the ball’s flight path, but that would cost at least $US2 million. It’s a tricky situation and one that’ll have to be worked out quickly.
My suggestion: This screen seems like a real danger to the integrity of professional football. If the Cowboys owners will cover the delivery fee, I will be willing to take it off their hands. My email address is over there on the masthead. [ESPN, thanks Robert!]