Bills owner Terry Pegula: 'We have to fix' replay in the NFL - The Buffalo News

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Bills owner Terry Pegula: 'We have to fix' replay in the NFL

Bills owner Terry Pegula said in a radio appearance Tuesday that the NFL has to fix its replay system, adding that he will have "unfriendly" conversations on the subject if necessary.

Pegula's comments came in response to a disputed reversal of touchdown in Sunday's Bills-Patriots game. Bills receiver Kelvin Benjamin appeared to have his feet down and control of the ball for a touchdown in the second quarter, but the NFL overturned the call on a replay review. The reversal was widely criticized, including by the league's two former top replay officials, Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino.

"They obviously weren't looking at the same television the rest of the country was looking at, were they," Pegula said on WGR-550 AM, referencing the NFL's replay center in New York City.

"Everybody I talk to, and they're not Bills fans, they're not necessarily anti-Patriots, but they're all baffled by that call," Pegula said. "It just wasn't consistent with what replay – replay was developed by this league to correct obvious mistakes. And if you gotta look at a play 30 times from five different angles and keep looking at it and looking at it and looking at it, you go with the call on the field; [that's] what the league's been doing ever since replay started. And as a matter of fact, Dean Blandino, who was the head of replay last year, said last year that was a touchdown.

"I don't know what's going on, but we have to fix it. And I'm not saying that as the owner of the Bills, I'm saying that as a football fan. We can't have stuff like this happening in our league."

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Pegula said later in the interview that it wouldn't be his last talk about NFL replay procedures.

"I can tell you this, since we've had this discussion: I'm sure I'll be having another conversation with somebody," Pegula said.

Co-host Marty Biron, the former Sabres goaltender, asked if that would that be a friendly conversation or more of a business talk.

"Well, you know, if it's unfriendly from the other side, I can dish back unfriendly, too," Pegula said. "Because it's a little upsetting."

Benjamin's touchdown would have given the Bills a 17-13 lead just before halftime. The Patriots went on to win the game, 37-16.

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Pegula, who also owns the Buffalo Sabres, was on "The Instigators" radio show to discuss the 2018 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship, which Buffalo is hosting this week. The conversation with former Sabres Biron and Craig Rivet quickly turned to Sunday's Bills game.

Pegula added that the Bills-Patriots game was the first one he had missed since buying the team in 2014. He said weather altered his family's travel plans from the Adirondacks.

Asked which players he is excited to see play in the hockey tournament, Pegula said all of the Sabres' prospects, but specifically mentioned the forwards – Alex Nylander (Sweden), Casey Mittelstadt (USA) and Marcus Davidsson (Sweden).

"I want to see how they perform. It's pretty obvious our team in the NHL needs some goal-scoring," Pegula said. "So it'd be nice to see these guys fill the net a little bit."

The Sabres have scored the fewest goals in the NHL so far this season. The team also has goaltending prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of Finland in the tournament, as well as defenseman Vojtech Budik of the Czech Republic.

Pegula also corrected Biron for calling him "Mr. Pegula." "My name is Terry," he said.

Here's the NFL's explanation for overturning Kelvin Benjamin's touchdown vs. Patriots

Twitter explodes after controversial Bills touchdown reversal

What the referee said about overturned Kelvin Benjamin TD catch

Second quarter analysis: NFL takes touchdown away from Benjamin, Bills (video)

 

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