Issues with replay in sports has been simmering in my brain for probably a year. Then the debacle during the Ohio State - Clemson game happened.
The play which helped me realize that replay review in sports should be abolished was the fumble returned for a touchdown by Ohio State which was subsequently reversed on replay.
Here’s what we got.— Mr.CollegeFootball (@Noah_Leadore) December 29, 2019
Ruled a catch then fumble.
Ohio State recovered it, returned for TD.
Refs overturned it. Called it incomplete.
Agree, disagree? pic.twitter.com/97GDdQ20vs
The argument that proponents of replay review make is that they “just want to get the calls right.”
That line of thinking is a Utopian belief. It simply is not possible. Yes, there are calls that are reversed which need to be, but we need to start asking ourselves at what cost?
Now with replay, games throughout sports have almost zero flow. We are watching the greatest athletes on the planet compete with each other. Then stop. There has been a call for a review or a challenge flag has been thrown. Now we get to watch probably five minutes of the same play again. And again. And again.
Football and basketball games should not last 3-4 hours.
I would be willing to go back to the days where there were no replay reviews. Whatever is called is what we get.
The response might be, “what if they miss a call that completely changes the game?” Well guess what, they are doing that right now. If that fumble in the Ohio State - Clemson is correctly called on replay then Ohio State likely wins and is going to the national championship game to lose to LSU.
They are still getting theses calls wrong with replay. Not just trivial calls, but back-breaking reversals. It is ridiculous. So while these replay reviews are taking up more time and ruining the flow of the actual games they aren’t even getting the calls right.
Scrap the entire replay system.
An example outside of college football just recently happened in an NBA game between the Lakers and Clippers. Patrick Beverly stripped the ball out of Lebron James’ hand and it goes out of bounds. Lakers ball.
The Clippers ask them to look at replay and it gets reversed. Clippers ball.
Yes, they got the call right in that situation. Good for them. However, it should never have gotten to that point in the first place. I would bet every dime in my car cup holder that if you reviewed every time there is a strip and the ball goes out of bounds, that the offensive player would have been the last one to touch it even if it was his/her little pinkie.
Is that what we want? Start reviewing every time there is a strip and the ball goes out of bounds. Don’t we just want to get the calls right?
Same goes for holding in football. We are arbitrarily picking things to review and it is getting worse and worse by the year. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is going to stop getting worse anytime soon.
Which is why we need to just get rid of it completely.
Since the chances of that happening are slim to none, can we at least change one thing?
The replay officials either on or off the court/field have only 30 seconds to review the call. If they cannot see that it should be reversed within 30 seconds then by rule it cannot be considered indisputable. Therefore, the call stands.
While abolishing the replay review in sports would lead to injustice regarding wins and losses (which are still happening with replay review), at least we would get the flow back and games would be substantially shorter.
Maybe attendance numbers would go back up? Maybe.
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