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Father of Instant Replay Dies at 97

Art McNally has passed away at 97, just 5 months after being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The first ever on-field official to be inducted, McNally had a profound impact on how games are officiated. Involved with NFL officiating from 1968 to 2015, one of McNally’s largest pieces of influence on the game is the use of instant replay, which he had officially implemented  into the sport in the 1980’s.

Years prior, in 1978, McNally used a stopwatch to time himself reviewing plays on film to see if instant replay would be a viable tool for the league, or if it would prove too time consuming to implement. In 1987, he worked the Super Bowl as an instant replay official. The NFL still uses a version of Art McNally’s instant replay, and his passing is felt by all in the league.

“Art McNally was a quiet, honest man of integrity,” Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said in a statement. “To see Art’s decades of service recognized with his enshrinement as part of the Class of 2022 was a special moment for the Hall. His legacy as a strong leader who helped usher in the advanced training of officials and the technology necessary to keep up with a faster and more complicated game will be preserved forever in Canton.”

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