William Correro column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Instant Replay interest rekindled

Okay, maybe I’m just spoiled because I just saw the No. 2 and maybe even No. 1 team in the country last week and I was not at all impressed. It wasn’t just me because CBS and the rest of the officials felt the same way. As I get ready to fly to Gainesville for the LSU game, I’m sure hoping for what should be a great game between two top SEC teams.

It will all be in the books by the time you read this but CBS is doing a double-header with Tennessee at Georgia in the afternoon and then our game in prime time at 8 p.m. Eastern.

I just hope it’s two good shows because both are national coverage and I want the SEC to look as dominating as we seem to all the PAC 10, Big 10, ACC and others watching who wish they had the best football across the board that the SEC has. Okay, sorry, but it’s sure hard to be humble when you are part of the best.

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There’s been a lot of talk lately regarding instant replay. I’ve been in six games so far and we’ve only had three reviews in those games and that is way below the national average.

When replay first came on the scene, there were occasions where we had what was referred to as a “PR?? or public relations stop. On a close play at the goal line or for a close first down the replay official would set off the pagers telling us they want to review the play.

The referee makes his announcement and we wait the minimum forty-five seconds while the Referee talks with the IR guys upstairs. They look at every play and in the case of a “PR” stop, they saw the play and observed nothing questionable about the call on the field but the stop was done anyway to remind everyone – coaches, players and fans – that Instant Replay is on the job.

Thankfully, the “PR” stops have been done away with now that everyone is used to replay and from what I’ve seen the flow is better.

I’ve heard some talk that some of the coaches are saying the new forty second play clock is causing them to lose plays. If that concern grows and shows merit, look out for another doggoned change on the clock operations for next year.

I, along with many other officials, just wish they’d leave the clocks alone for at least a few years. We’ll just have to see what comes of it.

Before every game we have a meeting with administrative types from each team, stadium security, game management people, someone from TV, our clock operator, the local guy who does the 40/25 play clock and me, all conducted by the Referee, just to basically get everyone on the same page in case of emergencies such as weather and an interesting occurrence they call a “catastrophic shutdown” when something happens to cause the field and stadium to have to be cleared.

With the beautiful weather we’ve had so far this season, I can only guess it could be for some nut case with a bomb or a shooter. We could all guess some probable targets in the case of a shooter but what gets me worried is how I’m usually the most disliked by the 89,000 fans we average at any given game.

With these CBS games I’m holding the game up a lot but I try not to think about it. Maybe I better not start giving any ideas to anyone.