An astonishing event occurred Sunday as I watched a Dallas Cowboys wide receiver get robbed of a near-touchdown after an “official review” of a play near the end zone.
My opposition to instant replay hardened.
How can that be? It’s because we’re surrendering to technology the ability to make split-second decisions in the heat of competition.
Dez Bryant caught a pass from Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and fell toward the end zone. He had possession of the ball. The Green Bay Packers saw it differently, which is understandable, given the intensity of the game at the moment. They called for a review. Then they got the play overturned. Bryant’s catch was ruled an incompletion.
I am not going to argue here whether the Cowboys were robbed.
It’s just that because I remain a bit of a stodgy, old-fashioned kind of guy on some things, I hate that officials who call these games are being second-guessed by technology.
Hey, the game is played by human beings. Last time I looked, we humans can and do make mistakes. Do officials who run football, baseball, basketball and hockey games make mistakes? Sure. What percentage of all the thousands of calls they make during a season are wrong? Oh, maybe a fraction of a fraction of 1 percent? Maybe?
It might be that I don’t have enough of a stake in some of these games to get worked up over whether an official blows a call. Yes, I have my favorite teams. Did I mention I’m rooting huge for my Oregon Ducks tonight in the College Football Playoff championship game against Ohio State?
Whatever. These games belong to human beings. Fans deserve top-quality entertainment. The players deserve to be treated fairly. Coaches deserve respect for the tough job they do.
High-tech gadgets are fine. I’m all for them. I own a few myself and I’m getting used to operating some of them.
However, when it comes to watching athletic events, I prefer to leave the human factor alone.
Let the athletes perform to the best of their ability and let the officials call the game to the best of their ability as well. They get it right almost all the time.
How in this world did we play these games before the arrival of instant replay?