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Field Goal Replay May Be on Its Way

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By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The NFL's competition committee will study whether instant replay should be made available to review certain field goal attempts, a league spokesman said yesterday.

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The committee's consideration, which will be reviewed in the offseason, is the result of the bizarre ending of the Cleveland Browns' triumph Sunday over the Baltimore Ravens. A tying field goal attempt by the Browns at the end of regulation initially was ruled no good even though the ball first struck an upright, then the curved support behind the crossbar before bouncing onto the field in the end zone. But the officials conferred and changed the call, ruling the field goal good, and the Browns won in overtime.

Ravens Coach Brian Billick said Monday that the team would express its concerns about the play to the league office. League officials have said that the call was correct and that instant replay was not used to make it. Under NFL rules, field goals are not subject to replay reviews, in part because league officials don't think video would be helpful for a kick that sails directly above an upright.

"The competition committee will look at whether replay should be able to review field goals if the kick hits something," said Greg Aiello, the NFL's senior vice president of public relations.

Game officials are instructed to rule a field goal is good if the ball strikes a camera mounted on the support bar behind the crossbar. That happened on a Buffalo Bills field goal Sunday night against the New England Patriots, and the kick immediately was ruled good.

Prosecutors Want $900,000 From Vick

Prosecutors asked the Richmond judge presiding over Michael Vick's federal case to set aside more than $900,000 of Vick's money for the suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback to meet his obligation to pay for dogs seized from his property.

The prosecutors cited Vick's "deteriorating financial condition" in court papers in their request for a restraining order from U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson that would freeze about $928,000. Vick agreed to pay for the dogs' care and placement as part of his plea deal.

Vick pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge related to his participation in a dogfighting operation based at a property that he owned in southeastern Virginia. He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10 but voluntarily surrendered to U.S. marshals Monday to begin serving prison time. He is facing a recommended sentence of 12 to 18 months in prison, but Hudson can sentence him to as long as five years.

Vick is suspended indefinitely by the NFL without pay. He signed a 10-year, $130 million contract with the Falcons in December 2004 that included $37 million in bonuses. But the Falcons are trying to force him to return $19.97 million in bonus money. In yesterday's motion, prosecutors cited that attempt by the Falcons and lawsuits by three banks seeking repayment of about $5.8 million in loans. Vick's Washington-based attorney, William R. Martin, was not available to comment. . . .

The Pittsburgh Steelers expect to be without safety Troy Polamalu and wide receiver Santonio Holmes for at least one game. Polamalu has a sprained knee and Holmes has a high-ankle sprain. . . . The Falcons announced that they're going back to Joey Harrington as their starting quarterback this week.

Expos┬┐ Prompts Boost in Security

Giants Stadium will bolster security in an effort to crack down on rowdy Jets fans during halftime. George Zoffinger, president of the agency that runs the stadium, said yesterday he will increase the 370-member stadium security force for all remaining Jets and Giants home games.

"This boorish behavior should not be tolerated," Zoffinger told the Associated Press.

The crackdown comes after a New York Times report that Jets fans gather on a pedestrian ramp at halftime urging women to expose their breasts. When a woman obliges -- as one did Sunday at the game against Pittsburgh -- the crowd roars in approval.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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