A Review of the Giants-Dallas “Timing” Controversy
Published 10/29/2012. | By The Ref.
by the Ref
I would like to comment regarding the timing towards the end of yesterday’s Giants – Cowboys game.
First of all, the Official Timer is employed by the league although he typically comes from the area of the home team. (Amani Toomer’s father is or at least was the Official Timer for the Raiders games for many years.)
Second, the time shown on the TV screen is not the official time for the game. The clock shown on the screen is supposed to be synchronized with the stadium clock but it is often off by a second or two and there is often a delay associated with starting and stopping the clock as it is shown.
Third, the LJ keeps track of the time as well and if there is an obvious error, such as the clock being re-set from 6 seconds to 10 seconds after the TD call in the end zone, he will notify the Referee and the Referee will request that the clock be re-set.
Fourth, typically one second of “reaction time” is often allowed given that the human nature of the timing process.
Finally, unlike the NBA, the NFL clocks do not show 1/10′s of a second during the final minute and as a result when 6 seconds shows on the clock, it may be as much as 6.9 seconds all the way down to 6.0 seconds. As a result, in many instances there will appear to be a delay in starting the clock when in reality there is none.
Having said all that, I sat down and timed the last 44 seconds of the game and had only one major problem and that was on the next to final play of the game where it appeared that the clock stopped immediately as the ball passed Austin’s hands instead of waiting until it touched the ground. The remainder of the timing process appeared to be within reason albeit borderline.
As a last comment, it must be noted that the status of the clock is specifically indicated to be non-reviewable so neither the Replay Official nor the Referee can take advantage of the video feed to determine if there were any errors (or games being played) with the timing of the game.