The ref in the Montreal-Saskatchewan game tonight did by far the best job I have ever heard at explaining the calls. At one point he said something like, "No yards. It would have been a five-yard penalty but it's been declined because the gain on the return was greater." I don't have the exact words but it was along those lines, and he gave several other similarly wordy but useful explanations of calls. I hope all refs start giving this type of explanation instead of the usual, "No yards, five-yard penalty, declined." The more info fans can have about why calls and decisions are made, the better.
Make that refs, not regs.
it is not up to the refs to educate fans about the rules. Keep it short and simple.
What annoys me more is when they don't give a proper explanation after reviewing a challenge.
I was listening to music while watching the game but I agree a short explanation is great especially for the majority of fans that don'know the nuances of the game.
I am fine with the short explanations, but "educating" fans is great...it only increases their interest! I often find myself explaining penalties, and various game strategies teams are using when I am with people who love the game but don't know it as well as I do. I like explaining the game in further detail, but at the same time, I have actually had phone calls from people during games for an explanation or opinion on something. I don't mind, because it pleases me to see people taking that kind of interest, but when the refs explain more, they understand fine. When you are trying to grow a games following, what is wrong with going a little further? I don't need to hear the whole comment on a penalty, but I don't mind...it only takes an extra couple seconds, so it is not really slowing things down.
And lets face it, football is more or seems to be more complicated than baseball, hockey, basketball and soccer I think for the average person out there and that's why some people don't watch it. I watch a fair bit of football but I don't even know all the rules and I'm sure many of us are in the same boat.
Football was the hardest sport for me to figure out. Even though I never understood all the finer details about the rules of other sports, I could at least understand the basic object of the game. Hockey, basketball, and soccer to me are all variations of the same basic idea. You have an object (ball, puck) with nets on either end of a playing area. You run or skate back and forth and try get the object into the other team’s net. Baseball is different. I played a lot of it during recess at school, though, so I didn’t have trouble understanding that sport.
But when football would come on tv, I would see a bunch of guys standing around for a while, tossing a ball back, then running into each other or passing the ball forward. Lather rinse repeat. It didn’t interest me, and I didn’t really know what they were doing. After a while, with the help of some friends, I finally figured out the down-and-distance concept of the game, which, along with the forward pass, is what really distinguishes gridiron from its rugby relatives. Now I’m starting to understand it more and appreciate it more. But there’s still a lot I don’t get. If they had a Canadian football 101 segment each week or for each game, where they explain things like penalties, formations (offence or defence), or an in-depth analysis of different plays (what they were doing, what went right, what went wrong, etc.), I would really appreciate that.
It may not be their job to educate, but I think it's great if they elaborate a bit because it gives us insight to the interpretation and application of the rules instead of just the straight unexplained call.
Sure, guys like us may not need the explanation at least 98% of the time, but there's a lot of folks out there do need it and if it takes an extra 5 seconds to do that, then I consider it 5 seconds well spent.
I honestly thought this thread was discussing the stadium proposal for Regina...
I hear what you're saying Picat especially about hockey, basketball and soccer, and I suppose lacrosse as well, variations on a basic theme. Now baseball, come to think of it, is actually quite complicated I think if you were to try to explain it to people not familiar with it. It's just that more people here have grown up playing some form of baseball rather than football and more people understand the game. The "popularity" of the NFL to people who really don't understand the game is due to betting and pools and the celebrity media status of guys like Tom Brady I would say. And the whole thing about giving guys a chance to sort of get away from the family thing on Sundays and hang out with the boys as another time for some drinking, keep the weekend party thing going.