Reaction to Saints no-call? Alliance of American Football introduces way to correct officiating errors
If nothing else, the Alliance of American Football league could prove to give the NFL plenty of ideas to fix its product.
If you are unfamiliar with the Alliance of American Football, it is a new spring league set to debut its inaugural season this weekend. The eight-team league features teams across the nation, including Birmingham, Atlanta, Memphis, Orlando, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego and Salt Lake. The league’s games will be shown on CBS, CBS Sports and the NFL Network.
When the AAF kicks off for the first time this weekend, fans will not only be treated to a new professional football league but will be treated to a new position created in order to fix officiating mistakes on the field. This position will be known as the sky judge.
The sky judge will be a ninth member of the crew in the press box that will call down to the field when a bad call is made on the field.
“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,” Mike Pereira, the NFL’s former vice president of officiating who is a consultant to the AAF, told the Associated Press. “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.”
If the sky judge pays off for the AAF, it will be interesting to see if the NFL or college football follows suit and starts using similar personnel for their games.