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Luck play wasn’t reversed because referee didn’t see conclusive video


Sunday’s game between the Titans and Colts, during which Tennessee owner Bud Adams apparently opted for an end-zone suite, featured a controversial call that became less problematic after the home team won.

For a while, though, it appeared that the clearly erroneous failure of the officials to overturn an interception return for a touchdown could lift the Titans to a victory over the Colts.

Obvious and indisputable footage showed that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck’s knee was on the ground before he released a ball that hit Titans linebacker Will Witherspoon not very far above his. Witherspoon secured the catch and ran the ball in for a touchdown.

So why wasn’t the touchdown overturned via replay review? NBC officiating consultant Jim Daopoulos explained during Monday’s edition of Pro Football Talk that the replay assistant didn’t feed the conclusive video to the referee.

It’s unclear whether the failure was the result of CBS not serving up the video to the replay assistant or the replay assistant not getting it to the referee. However, CBS pumped the video through to the broadcast; it’s unlikely that the same angle wasn’t sent to the replay booth, for delivery to the portable replay apparatus at field level.

Either way, the system failed. And it’s a system that seems to be failing almost as often as it works the right way.