Home Top Stories Is the AAF’s SkyJudge the answer to blown calls in the NFL?

Is the AAF’s SkyJudge the answer to blown calls in the NFL?

The NFL would be wise to take a page out of the AAF’s book.

The AAF (Alliance of American Football), a new professional football league which kicked off on Feb. 9, is instituting many differences to the sport.

The one that is definitely the most intriguing to NFL fans and specifically Who Dat Nation involves making sure proper calls are made by the referees.

The AAF will have a ninth official called the SkyJudge, who will be in the press box, according to NOLA.com. In real time, the Sky Judge can reverse “obvious and egregious” officiating errors, such as the infamous non-call in the NFC Championship Game between the Saints and the Rams.

With 1:45 left in the regulation on 3rd-and-10 from the Rams’ 13-yard line, cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman bulldozed Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis and made helmet-to-helmet contact before the ball arrived.

The game was tied at 20 at that point. The no-call resulted in the Saints kicking a field goal to only go ahead 23-20. Afterwards, the NFL’s head of officials confirmed to Saints coach Sean Payton that they “blew the call,” according to ESPN.

The SkyJudge uses instantaneous technology to fix blatant errors dealing with player safety at any point in a contest as well as pass interference with five minutes and under in the fourth quarter.

Mike Pereira is a former NFL vice president of officiating who is a consultant for the AAF. Pereira explains this is inspired by the college targeting rule which enables replay even if targeting wasn’t called on the field or the option to remove the penalty if it was wrongly judged.

If the SkyJudge receives the replay quickly, it can be viewed prior to the ball being snapped, with the only rule being the next play can’t be delayed.

“If you get a helmet-to-helmet spear and it’s not called on the field, it can be picked up by the ninth official,” Pereira said to NOLA.com. “He has the ability to do it in real time. It doesn’t go to replay. … He can call down to the field and say, ‘Hey, spearing on No. 33 of Birmingham, 15-yard penalty, let’s go.’ It’s correcting errors on the field by another member of the officiating crew without having to go to replay to do it and having a three-minute stoppage to do it.”

Fans can even hear the explanation of a decision by the SkyJudge during a broadcast.

It’s a win-win for the teams and fans, as the games will be decided fairly and flow more efficiently.

Hopefully this inspires the NFL to devise a revamped replay system so that the loyal and passionate Who Dat Nation will earn some justice.