When the Supreme Court overturned PASPA two years again, states began to flock to legalized betting one-by-one. First, Delaware, then New Jersey, and the many others in an effort to bring in revenue.
Many questions emerged in the wake of the decision to legalize it, as I previously wrote for CNBC.com. Policing the integrity of the game is an evergreen issue that was just as much of a concern then as it is now.
“The NFL’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to protecting the integrity of our game remains absolute,” NFL Spokesman Brian McCarthy told me.
Policing the integrity of the sport will always be a top concern for the NFL and other leagues. As more states flock to legalize betting in the post-COVID-19 sports world, the stakes are even higher and scrutiny of missed calls will even louder.
Bringing in New Tactics to Get Calls Right
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wonders whether the NFL will embrace the “sky judge” concept as result of the wide-spread adoption of sports betting.
“Whatever they call it and however they do it, the gap must be bridged between the inherently flawed full-speed, naked-eye judgments of boomers trying not to get blown up by the gladiators and the high-def images we all see on TV, from umpteen angles and in super-slow motion.
“An eighth official who knows the rules and sees what we see is the easiest and best way to bridge that divide — and in turn to keep legislators and/or prosecutors out of the NFL’s rectal cavity by reducing the kind of errors that would create the kind of reactions that eventually but inevitably invite external oversight.”
Giving someone sitting in a press box (or potentially the league office) the ability to stop the game and look at every TV angle of a play in order to get it right sounds tedious and time-consuming. However, with more eyes and more at stake for the average viewer, perhaps it’s the perfect time for the league to innovate.