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February 11, 2014

NFL needs some fine-tuning in off-season

With another NFL season in the books, many Americans now face a gridiron withdrawal that can leave one looking like an extra from “The Walking Dead,” wandering and grunting with undefined purpose.

Symptoms typically subside within a few weeks, but can linger if one or more of your non-football rooting interests is faring poorly. In that case, only the great thaw and arrival of spring can induce full recovery.

Seven months from the start of the 2014 NFL season isn’t too early to discuss some things Emperor Goodell has to do before its arrival. Here are a few that I think top the list:

1.) Fix instant replay, right friggin’ now.

Replay has been part of the NFL since 1986, before many current players were even born. It probably had its worst year in 2013.

Colts fans witnessed one of the more egregious failures at Cincinnati in December, on an inexplicable reversal that gave BenJavis Green-Ellis a touchdown when he was stopped on fourth-and-goal. Ref Jeff Triplette admitted later he wasn’t even looking to see if Green-Ellis was touched, basically saying, “I’m a clueless codger with no idea how to do my job.”

With current technology, there is no reason to have serial-incompetents like Triplette scurrying around to get under the hood. The league can create a centralized replay center that can produce correct calls and do it quicker. Goodell has talked about this possibility, but there’s no discussion necessary. Just do it.

2.) Make it so in-stadium Wi-Fi doesn’t suck.

Anyone who’s been to Lucas Oil Stadium knows checking fantasy football stats or posting to social media can be darn near impossible. Sometimes you can send a photo at kickoff and it won’t drop until you walk out three hours later.

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