The NFL has progressed technologically over time in an attempt to eliminate human error from the game. We’ve seen replay become a major component of the sport, which has since trickled over into other leagues like the MLB and NBA.
We also see pylons and first down markers that now have cameras in order to get the best possible angle on potential scoring plays, but even with the advancements, some outcomes are not always clear.
In most cases, those instances rely on the original call on the field. If a play was ruled a touchdown on the field, there must be irrefutable evidence showing that the runner did not, in fact, cross the line to gain.
That happened in a crucial moment in Sunday night’s Bears vs. Packers matchup, and it now has fans begging for the league to make yet another change.
Crucial call in Bears-Packers game causes outroar from fans
With the Bears trailing the Packers 24-10 in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s game, Chicago opted to go for a fourth-and-goal chance in an attempt to draw within a touchdown of Green Bay.
On the play, quarterback Justin Fields took a shotgun snap and ran up the gut. He appeared to get to the goal line, with the ball possibly breaking the plane.
But on the field, the referees ruled that Fields was short of the line to gain. When the play was challenged, officials took to the monitors to analyze.
Bears fans believe he crossed the goal line. Packers fans say he didn’t. It’s really too close to tell.
After review, the ruling on the field stood, meaning Chicago would give up the ball to Green Bay still trailing 24-10. Had it been ruled a touchdown, the Bears would have moved the score to 24-17 with plenty of time remaining in that final period.
The controversial play had fans pleading for the NFL to put a chip in the football.
Fans want a chip in the football to prevent controversial plays from happening
After the game was through, many NFL fans took to social media to post about putting a chip in the football. This would be a way for officials to definitively confirm that the ball had or hadn’t crossed the goal line.
One fan said, “Crazy idea for a multibillion-dollar league…NASA created gps implanted in the ball that connects with base unit in pylon and goal line painted line that’s activated when ball crosses the plane?”
Crazy idea for a multibillion dollar league…NASA created gps implanted in the ball that connects with base unit in pylon and goal line painted line that’s activated when ball crosses the plane?
— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) September 19, 2022
This viewer posted, “Put a chip in the damn football already. Would make things clear and obvious.”
Put a chip in the damn football already. Would make things clear and obvious.
— Joshua Moore (@4for4_Josh) September 19, 2022
This NHL fan noted that many other sports like hockey, soccer, and tennis are using similar technology to determine close calls. He wrote, “‘Obviously they need to put a chip in the football.’ – hockey fans”
“Obviously they need to put a chip in the football.” – hockey fans
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 19, 2022
Not only would a chip help on scoring plays, but it would also allow the NFL to track data in other areas.
This fan posted, “so much fun entertainment data could be gleaned from putting a chip in the football… 1. first down measurements 2. goal line crossing 3. spin 4. ball velocity 5. distance traveled I know I’m missing a few… add to the list…”
so much fun entertainment data could be gleaned from putting a chip in the football..
1. first down measurements
2. goal line crossing
4. ball velocity
5. distance traveled
I know I'm missing a few..add to the list..
— mgorosh says get vaccinated be a good human (@sportz5176) September 19, 2022
Something tells me that this change will come sooner rather than later as these controversial calls continue to arise.