If we can get the call right, then why wouldn’t we? We have the technology.
I used to be an immovable advocate for instant replay. It’s the right thing to do. It’s silly to trust the game to humans who make mistakes, who have emotions, who are vulnerable to the reactions of the crowd and the words of the head coaches. Replay is not an indictment of the human element. These guys do a great job. Generally speaking, they are perfect. Replay is simply an insurance policy against human error.
It looks great on paper, but so does my high school batting average. I’m not a professional baseball player, and I’m done with instant replay.
In an effort to bleach the sometimes murky waters of the game, we’ve succeeded in little other than killing off its ecosystem. I barely even know what is challengeable anymore. And once the challenge (or scoring review) is underway, then the circus really begins.
I don’t have the numbers, but I’d venture to say that about 50% of the replay challenges return with the following verdict: “The ruling on the field stands.” Translation: we don’t have indisputable video evidence, so we’ll just go with what we called. All right, then. Solid waste of time. If video can’t confirm one way or the other, and we’re ultimately going with what the official saw, because something obstructs the camera’s view or because the right angle doesn’t exist, then just go with the guy on the on the field…period. It’s pathetic that we are slowing down live action to a frame-by-frame analysis to determine if a ball is moving or if a guy’s knee brushes the top of the field surface, and we still cannot be certain of what we see or don’t see.
And then there are the times when it appears the evidence is indisputable…and the call still comes back WRONG! In three reviews, spanning two ballgames, the Packers have been twice burned by a replay that to (almost) all shows one thing, but the ruling comes back the other.
But my favorite is the “not challengeable” call from the field. I thought the point of replay was to get it right. So, we could right this wrong, but under league rules, that play can’t be reviewed. Or…it could have been reviewed, but the ruling on the field negated the ability for the play to be reviewed. Or…that’s definitely reviewable, but the coach (who earlier lost a controversial challenge ruling) is out of challenges.
Sometimes right, sometimes wrong, often not conclusive, and other times not useable, instant replay is proving itself no better than the human eye.
Get rid of it.