CFL com­mish scores an early TD

Calgary Sun - - COMMENT -

Cana­dian foot­ball can be a su­per game. Plenty of pass­ing and scor­ing, great plays over three downs on a wider field in­volv­ing skilled play­ers. What’s not to like? Well, any­one watch­ing this CFL sea­son in­stantly knows that an­swer — the dreaded coach’s chal­lenge.

What could be con­sid­ered a good thing for the in­tegrity of the game, has been bad.

For ded­i­cated fans who pay good money to sit in the seats at McMahon or Com­mon­wealth — or for those of us sit­ting at our home screens — the overuse of chal­lenge flags has hurt the en­joy­ment of the sport we love. There’s been an ab­so­lute flurry of flags. It’s been tough to watch. De­lay af­ter de­lay. So ku­dos to CFL com­mis­sioner randy Am­brosie.

The newly-minted boss of Cana­dian foot­ball made his first act of busi­ness one for the fans, and one sure to im­prove the qual­ity of our game.

Six weeks into the sea­son, he has an­nounced the league would im­me­di­ately limit coaches to one chal­lenge per game, down from two.

It may not sound like a big deal, but it is. Paired with the threat of los­ing a time out if the chal­lenge is un­suc­cess­ful, and with the abil­ity to only is­sue the one chal­lenge, pace of play is bound to im­prove.

And as Postmedia sports writer Ted Wyman re­ported, it should also help elim­i­nate friv­o­lous at­tempts to draw penal­ties.

The video re­play is meant to im­prove the qual­ity of de­ci­sion-mak­ing by ref­er­ees in cru­cial plays of the game.

There is no doubt the qual­ity of CFL re­fer­ring still needs work. But we think fans can ac­cept that not ev­ery call is go­ing to be per­fect, ev­ery time.

Base­ball op­er­ates this way on an um­pire’s calls of balls and strikes.

What is deemed a penalty in hockey of­ten varies slightly from ref­eree to ref­eree, let alone time of year.

We think the CFL puts out a great brand of foot­ball.

A re­turn to its free-flow best, as Am­brosie says, will make it “su­per.”

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