Swing and a Drive: Take another look

Jonathan Ferris, Staff writer

Jonathan Ferris, Staff writer

It’s gone on for too long.

It seems like every other day I turn on SportsCenter and see a costly officiating blunder ruin a game. The saddest part is, nearly all of it could be stopped. Games could actually be decided by players instead of officials.

Instant replay has been a hot topic in sports for the last several years. As technology has advanced, so has the quality of instant replay equipment, which has put increasing pressure on leagues to utilize cameras to assist officials in making correct calls.

The most progressive measures in today’s society have the installation of wide-spread instant replay has been met with strong opposition. Each sport has its own arguments against using replay technology, but most arguments revolve around two central ideas:

Human error is part of the sport, and replay will slow down the flow of the game.

Both of these explanations are pretty lame excuses in my opinion.

The first one is utterly ridiculous. Why in the world should being wrong be part of a game? That logic makes no sense in any other area of life, so why would it apply to sports? Imagine your doctor explaining he was only going to use some of the instruments available to him before sending you into surgery because human error is just part of it.

The second explanation makes a little bit more sense, but I still don’t buy it. I could write an entire column about how several sports – baseball in particular – need to speed up game play. The last thing I’d want is for replay to cause the games to take even longer and ruin the rhythm established by the teams.

I have a hard time understanding, however, why it takes referees 10 minutes to see whether a ball clears the fence or a shooters toe is on the line.

The solution is simple. There needs to be an official sitting in a box for the entire game. Give them 15 to 20 seconds to look at the play two or three times and make a call. At the very least, there needs to be video review in the final minutes of a game. Whether it’s the last five minutes in college basketball or the final two innings in baseball, use the technology when the game is on the line.

I understand sometimes there are judgment calls which even instant replay won’t be able to decide. But, I strongly believe 80 to 90 percent of blatantly wrong calls could be corrected with the widespread installation of video review.

It’s time for sports to enter the 21st century. Let’s use the technology we have and stop letting botched calls ruin games.

Story by Jonathan Ferris, Staff writer.