The NFL recently decided to make a change in the way they handle in-game reviews for scoring plays, and any challenged play, by following the NHL’s lead.
Yes, the NHL.
The National Hockey League decided years ago they don’t want their officials handling replay at ice level. Instead, they had their headquarters, located in Toronto, Canada to make the decision. The officials would be on the phone/headset with Toronto, and then headquarters would tell them what the final call would be.
At first, the NFL left the overall judgement up to the officials. Those tremendous scenes of officials going under the hood to stare at a screen, then to emerge with the verdict were a site to behold, but the NFL didn’t feel they were getting the play correctly enough based on the fact each official might view the play differently.
So, they decided they would have the NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating handle those duties from the league headquarters in New York. Dean Blandino held this job, but eventually gave way to Alberto (Al) Riveron.
Riveron made quite a name for himself in 2017, with several calls which were criticized harshly by NFL coaches, players and media alike. Jesse James’ would-be game-winning touchdown for the Steelers vs. the Patriots in Week 15 might headline the list, but Kelvin Benjamin’s would-be touchdown catch against New England in the weeks following also would be near the top of the controversial call list.
After a year of controversy, the NFL has decided to keep Riveron in his current role for the 2018 season.
To anyone who had any questions, NFL Sr. VP of Officiating Alberto Riveron will return for the 2018 season, with the support of the commissioner and the league, according to @NFLprguy.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 23, 2018
While many say Riveron has a clear pro-Patriots bias, that is beyond the point when you try and figure out how he still has a job after butchering so many controversial, and game-changing, plays is still beyond me.
Get ready for more Riveron in 2018...