Problem: Though it may be true that the randomness of the calls / no calls likely shows no long-term effect on any team; it definitely did influence the outcome of this play, this game, and this team's post-season. It may also be argued that the ability to cheat covertly is a skill, and part of a good player.
But there's the key word: cheat. No one in America who saw that could deny the karmic discrepancy they just witnessed. He got away with a small cheat, and it made a big impact. The less of this we see in football, the better. Just imagine such a competitive sport with the greatest athletes in the world...
With less cheating. The quality of play will go up: All the good with less of the bad.Solution: Justice & Philanthropy. Just because they got away with it during the game... let's not let them get away with it. Then, hopefully, we'll see less of it. Here's how:
- NFL Creates a group of 5 or so guys to review every game-tape from the 2011 season, and come up with a set of consistent rules & infractions. Everything from post-play jackass "fouls" like helmet-butting an opposing player on the sideline, up to unseen and outright cheating with a heavy game-influence, like the example above. Assign some penalty weight to each type of infraction, and penalize players each week of the 2012 season as a percentage of their salary or game-checks. Set some mins and maxes for each infraction so none of the fines get crazy.
- Set the fines at a pretty harsh level. For a player that makes, say: $1,000,000 a year - I'd expect that fine to be around $50,000 for the infraction stated above. For those jackass helmet-butts: $1,000.
- Then, encourage teams to take this on their own: Meaning, that if they submit there own reviews and fines-processing before a weekly deadline, then any infractions already penalized will be half of the NFL review amounts. This way, they can handle it in-house, and minimize the hassles for the NFL.
- Take all the money that comes from this, minus the expenses / salaries of the NFL's 5 review guys, and pay for retired NFL players healthcare costs on a need-basis. Hire 5 or so guys & gals to figure this part out too - won't be a problem, they'll have plenty of money to work with.