The New Orleans Saints were one Sky Judge away from going to the Super Bowl.

The NFL season has come and gone—and with that said, hopefully, the pain that Saints fans are feeling from the outcome of the NFC Championship. It's a play that will replay in our minds forever, always with the subsequent question: "What if?"

Just when I thought I was getting over the infamous non-call, The Alliance of American Football made its debut over the weekend and right out of the gate they showed the NFL referees how it should be done. The AAF has added a ninth official to their crews, known as the "sky judge." According to AAF officiating consultant Mike Pereira, the sky judge will be able to take a look at egregious calls or any other questionable calls in real time.

If you get a helmet-to-helmet spear and it’s not called on the field, it can be picked up by the ninth official. He has the ability to do it in real time. . . . He can call down to the field and say, ‘Hey, spearing on No. 33 of Birmingham, 15-yard penalty, let’s go.’

What's even better about these situations is that the communication between the sky judge and the on-field officials are broadcast in real-time. An example of this was posted by CBS Sports during an opening-night game between the San Diego Fleet and San Antonio Commandeers.

The AAF is literally in its infant stage, so it will be interesting to see if their innovations will stick or have any influence on the NFL, but football fans have seemingly welcomed the league with open arms based on the social media mentions I saw over the weekend.

Do you think the NFL should look into a "sky judge?" If so, what other rules should surround the ninth official and how they would be used in a real-game situation?

Give me all your hot takes. In the meantime, check out a deep dive on the AAF below.

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