It's Time to Get Rid of Replay Reviews in Sports


We have officially hit Instant Replay Review overload in the world of Sports. It's long past the point where the Review has killed any effectiveness it actually had by being used and abused by every Sports League at every level where it's possible to have it.

Can any of you give me a good argument of why it is necessary? Seriously? Referees have made bad calls or missed calls since the beginning of sports. Which is what human beings do sometimes. We as a species are not perfect---particularly in a game/sport where the action comes faster than most of you complaining about the officiating can even process.

What's worse: All of you. Yes, all of you who complain about the job a referee or umpire does could in no way, shape or form do their job.

Ok, let's also be honest here---how many of you can sit in your lounge chair or couch and say that a 5-minute delay to look at a play missed by millimeters made your experience of said game more enjoyable?? Because essentially it is exactly what we've done by calling for a replay of every single call that may be potentially questionable.

Instant Replay Review is basically technology abuse because the technology exists. As people watching on TV realized they could see the fraction of a second difference in a call or play---some sort of groundswell for questionable plays to be reviewed began. It's now out of control. Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Hockey and any other sport that is shot on video now has a review system in place. All of them suck. Suck tremendously.

Most of the Professional Leagues don't even review on site---it goes back to a "Headquarters" where someone looks at multiple frame by frame video of the play in question. And the players sit there tapping fingers, stretching, chatting or doing whatever they can to pass the time as the pace of play and flow of the game slowly dies.

Yes, we've become slaves to video cameras. Cameras that only recently. And I mean very recently with the advent of 4K video, become good enough quality when zoomed all the way in, to allow us the ability to see the fraction of a second difference between a ball landing on the line, someone just a hairs breath offside or if a baserunner beat the ball to the bag.

The action in this years (2019) Women's World Cup Soccer match between England and the U.S is a prime example of an out of control system. England lost a potential game tying goal in the semi-final because the referee decided to review it to make sure nobody was offsides. Turns out Ellen White was offsides, not by more than a couple inches....at best.

So, yes, I know---you're probably asking this: "They got the call right thanks to review". And you are right, they did. But the ref and the line judge didn't call it because the play happened so fast, they couldn't see exactly what happened.

You're probably saying---it's the exact reason why we need what soccer calls VAR (Video Assisted Review)!

Which if it is your team that benefits from the review, then yeah, you are ecstatic. But if it goes against you---it's the worst system on the planet.

Yes, video review is effective in many ways. It eliminates the human element and judgement calls completely. I mean, what is the point of having an umpire or ref if you are just going to look at video for every call?

I'm serious. Why have an umpire call balls and strikes in baseball? As I right this, researchers are refining technology that would allow balls and strikes to be called automatically. It's being tested in the Atlantic League. Seriously. It is.

For that matter, let's take it a step further. Why not have an automated scanner tell you when a baseball arrives at a base and whether it beat the runner or not? Or if a second baseman applied a tag to someone trying to steal the base? Because folks---that is where we're going here. Would it slow down an already slow baseball game? Yep, it would.

Think about it. You could do the same thing in football. We already have overhead camera shots, why not have someone watching the video of each play and calling penalties from a video booth? Sure, the game may take 5 hours because of the reviews, but hey, the calls would be automated and correct, right?

Listen, in the current world we occupy where every single person with access to a social media account believes they are an expert in everything and could do another person's job better, maybe we should automate the game. It would eliminate the psychotic super parent who believes their child can do no wrong and argues every call with an umpire or referee during a Little League Game.

It would eliminate the drunk NFL fan who'd just as easily start a fight with someone or try attacking a referee because one judgement call turned the tide of a game. Or in the case of New Orleans Saints fans---make death threats to a referee because he missed a pass interference call during a playoff game.

How many of you really want to help accelerate the robotic future? How many of you want to have everything that happens in a game be dictated by an automated system with an out of sight overseer sitting in a dark control center deep within a New York City office building dictating any and every call or play made during a game?

Seriously, that's where we are going here folks, it's what you---or at least a overly vocal percentage of you seem to be advocating for whether you realize it or not.

Or maybe its time to recognize Sports are ONLY A GAME. What a team that YOU don't play for does should not ruin or change your day. And unless you are playing said game, you should not ruin yours or anyone else's life because you don't like or agree with a judgment call.

Maybe you should have a new found respect for the people willing to step up and put on the referee stripes or umpire chest protector and be willing to officiate the game. Maybe you should understand they are only human and are not perfect.

More importantly, you might want to consider looking at yourselves and realize unless YOU are perfect in everything you do and everything you say---you've got no place or justification for ridiculing someone willing to officiate a sporting event.

And yeah, I feel better now that I've said this. If you think about it for a few minutes with a rational mind, you'll find that I'm right.

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