Where do I go? The dummies of the world have ruined many of the sports I used to love to watch. The United States lost a few times in basketball in the Olympics. That was such a tragedy that the dummies had to get together and find a solution. The solution was proposed to allow professionals to enter the Olympics which had once been the ultimate in honoring amateur athletics. Enter the Dream Team. I went from an adoring kid listening to Gerry Lindgren in a 10,000 meter run against the Russians in 1964 on a transistor radio in my basement and screaming with delight as a young adult at the call of “ Do you believe in miracles?” as our collection of amateur hockey players pulled off an incredible upset, to not watching one event in the last Olympics. The thrill of watching amateurs completely ended. Check off one sporting event. Dummies one-me zero.
Instant Reply was first used in downhill skiing to check to see if a racer had missed a gate or not in 1960. Then it was tried as an experiment in the National Football League as the Dummies of the world yelled the refrain: “It is important to get the calls right.” I hate the entire premise of this refrain. Why? Is the question. Why is it so paramount to “ get the call right?” I think I have the answer. It is an example of how society has changed for the worse. Basketball coach George Raveling once called sports the last citadel of discipline in society. Kids must always have their questions of why answered or one is a deficient parent. A teacher disciplines a misbehaving student at school and is on trial the next day by parents. In past days, if you screwed up at school and your parents found out you got the double whammy. Your folks would lower the hammer at home, too. But not now. The parents run down to the school and put the teacher through the ringer for daring to discipline their precious darling. An emphatic answer of ,“No!”, by parents on any subject is now open for debate. A parent must be able to provide reasons for saying, “No.” We have become a nation of opposition to the word "no." Nothing is final in these modern days. Everything is open for debate.
A youngster is on the farm in past days and asks Dad if he can go to the big dance in town. “No,” dad answers. At one time that was it. No debate; the question was asked and answered. But no longer, no's must be qualified. Saying, “No!” in sports is no longer good enough either. Humans play sports and other humans act as officials to interpret rules and make calls. But that somehow was not good enough. Officials now make calls and then we go to the television cameras to make certain of a call because we cannot accept any “injustice” of a decision made by a human interpreting the moves of another human in real time. Forget real time.
Let's all enter the fantasy world of slow motion and still frames. Let's watch from every angle. The game stops. Sports fans sit in front of their televisions gazing at the rear end of some ex-athlete in poor shape with a striped shirt on with his head under a screen watching television. We have accepted that this is the right way to do things. We fans are watching television of an official watching television as the players stand around awaiting the final decision. The majority has decided watching television of an official watching television is somehow normal. I think I can make a good argument that this is simply mentally ill. A few minutes of totally wasted time ticks by that we never will get back and then the grand decision.
The official heads to the microphone and announces with great seriousness the final result. The TV announcers always say the say thing. “It is important to get the call right.” The majority of fans have accepted these ridiculous stops of reality. My opinion of allowing humans to make calls about other humans in real time and accepting the result, good or bad, is not good enough. The reality is that even after all the looks at the various angles and slowing down the film the calls are still not made totally correctly. There has been no real improvement. Look at this injustice of instant replay that all fair minded people, even those who hate the Raiders, know it is and was a “bullshit” call.
The officials had it right in real time and the instant replay dummies got it wrong. I remember as instant reply came into vogue in the NFL, how pleasant college football became to me. The game went on in real time. Then, the colleges developed a way worse system. At least, in the NFL the coaches have to throw out a challenge flag but not in college. A replay official in a booth way away from the field of play can stop the game and review at any time. I was watching a Pac-10 game this last season and there were ten replays in the first half. I finally could not stand it and turned off the tube.
Then other sports started using instant replay. I remember a woman's college basketball game. The Baylor squad was on a run against powerhouse Tennessee and had made a fast-paced comeback to tie the game. Suddenly, the run was called to a halt because the officials had to stop the action to make a call on a three-point shot. Was the shooter's toe on the line or behind the line? The action stopped, to “get the call right,” while the entire momentum, an important, crucial part of the game of basketball, was ignored. When play resumed, the Baylor run was over, due to the stoppage in play. The game was influenced. Now that was injustice. Stopping momentum, ignoring momentum to get the call of one shot correct. All in the name of justice. It was injustice in action, stopping a run in basketball without having to use a timeout in the name of justice.
NFL-instant replay. Dummies two-me zero. The ludicrous college football replay system. Dummies three-me zero. It gets worse each year. Now the NBA has a rule that in the last two minutes calls can be replayed. The Celtics were in the middle of a run in the fourth quarter when two players fought for the ball in the last game played. A call was made in the Celtics' favor and before they could pass the ball into play against the Lakers, who were on the ropes on their home court, play was stopped. The officials huddled up to watch TV as the Lakers went to the sidelines for an opportunity to try to regroup. Luckily, it had no influence on the outcome but it certainly could have.
There is even instant replay in NASCAR, the NHL, rugby, cricket and rodeo events for Christ Sakes. Okay, I will continue my attack on instant replay fully recognizing that I am right but in the minority. Let me take the premise of ,”getting the call right,” to its logical extreme. If the premise is true, then it would be an injustice if some right guard was holding a rusher trying to get to the quarterback and the rule of holding violated but not called by the team of officials. So, I propose that a separate camera be put over each player on the line, and backfield. A group of officials monitors each player for every play. If you are a proponent of “getting the call right,” then you must accept my system. Dozens of cameras to make certain of each play. Replay everything if you must get things right. Otherwise, you are speaking in circles. You cannot allow a holding call or a motion infraction that was not called during a play to stand because it influenced the play. No missed rule infractions of any kind can be allowed to stand. It isn't "fair."
Okay, you all win. You have your precious replay nonsense in all sports but one. Please, I beg you, can't I have my one sport free of this, “getting the call right.” insanity? Do you have to ruin the game of baseball because of umpires making mistakes? I was extremely critical of Jim Joyce's recent blown call that stole a rare perfect game from pitcher Armando Galarraga. In baseball, it is part of the game to yell at the umpire and as American as apple pie. An instant decision was made that was obviously wrong. I could tell it was wrong, as I have umpired many a game myself, and booed Joyce. The situation came and went without any real harm done. The world did not end because of an obvious poor judgment call.
But to some it is the opening to getting instant replay into baseball. You know," to get the call right." Okay, why not lasers that beep if a strike and don't on a ball? How about laser beams at first base to make out or safe calls? Did the shortstop really get the corner of the bag at second on that double play? Better stop play and review it. Did the batter check his swing? Don't appeal to the first or third base ump as is done now. Stop the action and go to the cameras to make certain. In fact, why have umpires at all? Lasers down the foul lines, lasers calling balls and strikes, lasers at first. Review ALL homers to see if they were valid. A zoom lens on the pitcher to make certain he isn't doctoring the ball on each pitch. A laser beam to call balks. We don't need umpires. Hell, we really don't need human players either. Robots could be programmed to pitch, hit and run. Let's make it a pure game. A perfect game where every call is right and there is no debate. Nothing for the manager to get thrown out of a game for arguing. In fact, arguing could become no longer necessary. Who likes discord anyway?
While we are at it, let's get the call right on past homers by A-Rod, Big Poppie, and Manny all who have been shown in the last year to have used illegal substances . If it is true that these illegal substances add about 10% in distance to a home run, as experts on steroids and such claim, then we need a committee to get out the videos of each of their home runs over the years and measure. If it can be shown by video cameras that the home run did not make it over by more than 10% then it should be ruled as an invalid homer and wiped off the record books. Hey, don't mock me! I want to simply “get the call right.” If you bastards ruin my last sport, I will have no place to turn.
Wait, maybe I can get the instant replay to work for me. That alcoholic woman I married? I did not know her drinking was that serious. Hence, I demand an instant replay. I should get my house back. That golf shot I hit last year that went out of bounds to lose the county championship by one stroke? Instant replay will clearly show that I did not intend to hit that ball! I demand the trophy. The DUI years ago? Get out the tape, I think I was innocent. That Microsoft stock I cashed in to put into a pyramid scheme? Replay will show that I was lied to. I should get my stock back which would make me a millionaire! Hell, I am finally getting the justice of instant replay. I have to go now and talk with my lawyer. We have some videos to review. We are going to demand that society, “got all the calls right.” I will close with how some classic plays in baseball would be influenced by instant replay.
Upon further review, the ball was ruled foul.
Upon further review, Gibson was called out for being out of the batter's box on the HR swing.
Upon further review, Carter was shown to have missed third base and was called out.
Upon further review, Larsen's pitch was ruled outside for ball four.
Upon further review, Jackie was called out.
Upon further review, keep instant replay out of baseball, period you Dummies. You were all born with 0-2 counts apparently.