We all know that NFL stands for Not Fair League.
Too many people forget that each named team has two opposing teams in every game — Home team, Visiting team, and Officiating team. That is part of the entertainment value of the game. There is one protagonist [your favorite team], and two antagonists in the story — the actions of ALL three teams are uncertain and unknown.
Just as the Not Fair League continues to perpetuate chronic traumatic encephalopathy [CTE, formerly known as dementia pugilistica] by refusing to put shock sensors in helmets, and bench a player when the accumulated concussive shock exceeds a safe limit — so too, the Not Fair League refuses to implement readily available technology that would yield objective findings of fact on questionable matters. The Not Fair League even persists in using manual stopwatch timing at the combine.
Likewise, baseball still utilizes an umpire to call balls and strikes, despite the objective fact of baseball placement in relation to the actual strike zone that is televised. Technology also exists to determine a runner put out, by the timing of ball in glove + defender foot on base + runner touching base.
All this uncertainty is 100% intentional by the sports leagues, to increase emotional excitement and uncertainty of outcome in the fan. Consider how much people discussed the infamous “fail mary” catch, and how psychologically invested they felt in football. Poor officiating actually has the reverse effect by causing one to pay more, rather than less, attention + time + money to the sport of uncertainty.
Other less popular sports have taken a different approach. E.g., Unlike baseball, tennis utilizes technology to call ball position with extremely high certainty, and nobody thinks twice about it anymore. The entertaining days of John McEnroe throwing a tantrum are long gone. For a very long time, race timing has been accurate to 1/1000th of a second; and even before that, there was the “photo finish.”
In short, the Not Fair League is an anachronism, intentionally designed to give fans a historical experience of mystery and suspense, and it is surprising that the officials do not cite rugby rules in support of their decisions.