Tag Archives: instant replay

‘No’ on review of calls

I will admit to being a professional sports fuddy-duddy, given all the technology being introduced to manage the conduct of various games.

Allow me this brief rejoinder to one of those elements: instant replay.

I attended a big-league baseball game Friday night in Arlington, Texas, where my friend and I watched the Texas Rangers blow out the Cleveland Guardians. What’s more, they did it without a lick of help from the umpires.

The Rangers filed one challenge to a play at the plate. A runner was called “out!” … and he was out, by a mile. The review of the video proved the call was the correct one.

Which brings me to my point. We should let the umpires do their job. They have to make decisions in a split second. You know what? They get it right about, oh, 99% of the time. It never ceases to amaze me how the momentum of games is disrupted by the challenges allotted to managers of both teams.

Well, the game we witnessed in Arlington was left to the athletes. It cheers me to no end to see the Grand Old Game played the way it’s intended.


NFL wants to slow the game down even more?

One play in a key playoff game . . . and the National Football League goes ballistic!

The NFL has decided to introduce the option of reviewing pass interference calls on the field, in real time, moments after the fact. It’s going to be a one-year trial period.

Call me old-fashioned, but this is a ridiculous idea!

OK, I get that the play in question occurred during a National Football Conference championship game this past season. The Los Angeles Rams won the right to play in the Super Bowl largely on a missed pass interference call in a game versus the New Orleans Saints. The Rams should have been penalized; they weren’t. The Saints lost the chance to win the game and play in the league championship contest against the New England Patriots.

Now the NFL wants to prevent future injustices from occurring on the field? Please. The NFL already allows for reviews of calls involving touchdowns, pass receptions, first downs, those kinds of things. Pass interference calls are considered “judgment calls” that until now had been left for the official to make on the spot.

May I now declare that I detest instant replay? I do. It slows the game down. It disrupts the flow. It robs players of the momentum they might have. I don’t like it any of the major sports where this technology is deployed. Not in baseball or basketball, either.

I know what you might be thinking: This is the same clown — me! — who endorses the use of red-light cameras to deter lawbreakers from running through stop lights at intersections. That’s different. We’re talking about public safety. Thus, I want the cops to have technological assistance to help them do their job to “protect and serve” the public.

Professional athletic events are performed and controlled by fallible human beings. Of all the calls NFL officials make during the course of a game, they get the overwhelming amount of them right. Overwhelming!

I get that they missed a big call in one of the biggest games in anyone’s memory. New Orleans Saints fans are still steamed over it. They’ll never get over the theft that occurred that day late in a playoff game. I’m sorry for them.

But the sun still rose the next morning. Life went on. No one was physically damaged. Sure, a lot of emotions suffered harm.

Hey, it’s a game! Let the players play it and the officials officiate it!

Any questions?

Let humans play and officiate these games

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?

No instant replay in baseball … please

The National Pastime is about to undergo a change that few baseball purists will like.


I’m one of them. What will we dislike? It will be the introduction of instant replay cameras.

OK, I know what you’re saying. Football has it. So what? I hate it in football too. It slows down the game. It tries to replace the human element with machines that help humans decide whether they’ve made the right call.

Now it well might be baseball’s turn.


I’ll now stipulate some important points about the game I used to love. I detest the designated hitter rule; I hate watching baseball played indoors … on carpets; I cannot stand watching batters suit up with body armor as if they’re taking part in a medieval joust; I’m not even that crazy about pine tar or batting gloves.

I’m old-fashioned when it comes to baseball.

Now we have the prospect of one of the game’s great traditions — the rhubarb — giving way to technology. The rhubarb occurs when the manager storms out of the dugout to get in the ump’s face; he’ll turn his ball cap backward so he can get right up to the ump’s face to be sure he get sprayed with spittle while yelling things like, “Bleep you, you bleeping blanket-blank!” When he says the “magic word,” which of course is “you,” that gets the manager tossed from the game.

Now we well might see close calls decided by someone sitting way up yonder in a control room. They’ll play back the event and someone in that control room will determine if the ump made the call.

I’ve long wanted technology to give way to the human element. Of all the calls umps — and refs in football — make during the course of a game, they get 99-plus percent of them right.

Let ’em make the call. And if they get it wrong, let the manager storm out of the dugout and kick a little dirt on the umpire’s shoes.