Replay change still requires approval from 24 owners
A source with knowledge of the situation has confirmed to PFT that the proposed alterations to the process require the approval of at least 24 of the owners. Which means either that Goodell knows he has the votes, or that he’s using an eleventh-hour media blitz to help deliver votes from those who also employ and pay him.
While it’s unknown how other owners feel about shifting final say over the process from the referee to the league office, multiple league sources consistently have expressed concern about involving anyone not at the game site.
“Who’s in the replay room?” one source asked PFT this morning. “Still nebulous answer. Bad idea.”
Whoever wrote Goodell’s “Dear Fans” letter may be sensitive to the potential criticism of the change in who makes the decision. Consider this key sentence: “Instead of a fixed sideline monitor, we will bring a tablet to the Referee who can review the play in consultation with our officiating headquarters in New York, which has the final decision.”
The most important aspect of the adjustment is tacked onto the end of the sentence, with the subtle use of “has” instead of “will have” or “would now have” or anything else that would highlight that the change is far more significant that the removal of the peep-show booth and the enhancement to Microsoft’s product placement investment.
By early next week, it will be more clear as to whether nine teams or a number close to that oppose the change. Before the end of the week, the change that for now is only a proposal will be an official rule. Unless it isn’t.