Should the NFL Implement Plane-Detection Technology?

Chris TrapassoAnalyst IFebruary 20, 2013

Courtesy: New York Times
Courtesy: New York Times

If the world's most popular sport will use it, America's most popular sport probably should consider it as well, don't you think? 

According to the official website of FIFA, soccer's international governing body, goal-line technology will be implemented for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. 

The organization's decision to turn to goal-line technology came after many noteworthy disallowed goals were incorrectly ruled by on-field referees, such as Frank Lampard's pinball in the 2010 World Cup and Sulley Muntari's "ghost goal" in 2012.

When you stop and think about it, after the advent of instant replay, NFL officials have made the correct call on every play that involved the ball nearing the goal line or crossing the plane. 

Or have they? 

How about Ben Roethlisberger's "touchdown" in Super Bowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks? 

Looked sketchy to me then, and it still looks sketchy today. 

The disallowed goals in soccer were much more egregious errors, but the NFL should look at those blunders as cautionary tales. 

There's a thought that this technology would continue to slow down the game, which would be an issue if true. 

But, apparently, goal-line technology can be instantaneous. 

I hate waiting for stupefied officials to come to a conclusion from their prolonged huddles after what is typically an unnecessarily lengthy visit to the replay booth, and you probably do too.  

However, if the human element of officiating can be wiped away— in this case on critical touchdown-or-no-touchdown calls—I'm all for it, especially if it'd expedite the "replay" process. 

Thankfully, I'm not the only one wishing for goal-line technology in the NFL. 

How has the NFL not implemented this before FIFA?…

— Stephen Foust (@FoustSports) February 19, 2013

The optimist in me thinks it's only a matter of time before the NFL follows suit on TDs and 1st downs:

— TraderX (@FantasyTrade411) July 5, 2012

Oh yeah, first downs. 

For as good as referees have been making the proper call on goal-line plays, they've been equally horrendous when it comes to spotting the football. 

Players are moving so fast in the NFL, I can't blame the referees for spotting the ball "roughly" where the ball-carrier is brought to the ground. 

To pair the moment a knees touches the ground with the exact position of the football is nearly impossible. 

Honestly, how many times per game do you see somewhat "estimated" spots made by a linesman? Or, how about when the ball changes hands from the initial spot near the sideline to between the hashmarks for the next play? 

I can't be the only one who notices. 

Human error is definitely involved, and although some traditionalists may be willing to accept human error, I'm not.

Sure, head coaches typically see the replay and have the right to challenge the spot, but wouldn't it be better if technology could instantly register where the football should be placed? 

Sometimes, the replay officials don't get the call or spot right anyway.

A poor spot can be the difference between a punt and a continued drive, which can ultimately be the difference between a win and a loss.  

Streamlining plane-detection technology would be a vast undertaking, and using it solely on goal-line calls probably has to come before it's used comprehensively in regards to spotting the ball on every play or when it nears the first-down marker. 

But using the technology on scoring plays would be a fantastic start. 

Plane-detection technology should go over quite well during the 2014 World Cup, and something tells me it'd be a huge hit on Sunday afternoons in America during football season, too.