Bart Scott

On The Fly: The NFL's Strange Game Mechanics

The mechanics of NFL game play remain completely bizarre. On one hand, you have all the technology of the 21st century allowing officials to relive any play and get calls right, matching their goofy rules, after ridiculously long delays. On the other hand you have a referee pulling out folded paper from his pocket to see if there is separation between the football and first down marker, the end of a process that starts with an official basically guessing where to spot the ball. Hours after Jesse James of the Steelers had what would have been a game-winning touchdown ruled an incompletion (the right call, by the way, after several minutes of video analysis), Gene...