The NFL is inexplicably allowing Jerry Jones' 1080p obscenity to continue dangling a mere 90 feet over the playing field at Cowboys Stadium. Here's the rule for the 2009 season:
1. If a ball in play strikes a video board, guide wire, sky cam, or any other object, the ball will be dead immediately, and the down will be replayed at the previous spot.
2. If there is not an on-field ruling that the ball struck an object, the Replay Assistant is empowered to initiate a booth review, including if the event occurs prior to the two-minute warning. If, prior to the two-minute warning, no booth review is initiated by the Replay Assistant, a coach's challenge is permitted under the customary procedures for such a challenge.
3. In the event the down is replayed: (a) The game clock will be reset to the time remaining when the snap occurred. (b) All penalties will be disregarded, except for personal fouls which will be administered prior to replaying the down.
Yup. What a crock of bullshit. PFT has a good summary of possible problems arising from the rule, but I have my own scenario in mind...
November 1, 2009. Seahawks (4-2) at Cowboys (4-2)...
With 2:53 remaining in the 4th, Dallas leads Seattle 20-17. The Cowboys are stopped on 3rd down, so it looks like Matt Hasselbeck and the Seattle offense will get a chance to drive for the tying FG or winning TD. Boom goes the punt, and Deon Butler fields a wobbler at his own 35. Butler makes a couple of guys miss, gets a couple of great blocks, and he's gone! Seattle takes a 23-20 lead, soon to be 24-20 with only 2:40 left to play.
A red challenge flag flutters from the Dallas sideline. Sure enough, Wade Phillips is challenging the ruling on the field that the ball did NOT graze the bottom of the giant video screen. After a long delay, it kinda sorta looks like the ball's trajectory was altered by hitting the underbelly of that video beast. The ruling on the field is reversed.
On the ensuing re-kick feast becomes famine for our rattled rookie returner. Butler muffs the punt, Dallas recovers at Seattle's 30, and the Cowboys kick a FG with 0:45 left to make it 27-20. A final desperation Seahawks drive comes up short, and another sordid, shameful chapter in Seahawks history is written.
As Patton Oswalt might say... Drink, Punch, Cry.
I'd love to tell you that absolutely won't happen.. but the NFL is leaving the door wide open for some team, Hawks or otherwise, to get absolutely buttfucked by this rule... all because the league office didn't have the carbals to tell Jerry Jones that he done did fuck up royal.