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Guess it’s time to start dealing with instant replay

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I’m not certain about instant replay despite considerable public support for it.

Replay and I got off to a rough start when Redskins Hall of Fame receiver Art Monk caught a TD pass in a long ago Super Bowl. Replay showed he was out of bounds. Washington won anyway, but I sensed trouble.

College and pro basketball use replay a lot, especially in matters involving the clock. We never had these problems until we added tenths of a second to the game clock. I’ve also noticed, as has everyone else in the building, that at MTSU basketball games, a look at replay means momentum is broken and the flow of the game is interrupted while we look at officials standing over a TV monitor. Not good.

College and pro football also use replay. It’s expensive and often confusing as to exactly what plays can be reviewed and when and how many red flags can a coach throw. We’ve even had replays of the challenges themselves. Exactly when was that flag thrown? Was it before or after the next snap? Let’s replay it and find out.

Baseball has “experimented” with replay for some time usually involving home runs and fan interference, but sometimes other situations as well.

This year replay was expanded in Major League Baseball and includes a number of situations. There’s a list. Some plays can be challenged – some not. The replays are local, but the final decision is made in New York.

It’s very confusing to fans, managers, announcers and players. I think the replay needs a replay and it will get one next offseason. But for this year we will see a lot of managers arguing while his dugout coach reviews the TV replay and then gives his boss the signal to challenge or not. All of this happens BEFORE the call is reviewed in New York, which takes still more time. Baseball games are already way too long.

This may be a case of just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. I think replay, like reality TV, government building projects and food stamps is out of control. Our urge to get every call perfect, with few humans involved, is costing big money and long delays. The fans appear to like replay but they hate the delays. If it’s a TV game, a replay means one thing for sure – more commercials.

Since I’m “old school,” I sorta miss the manager kicking dirt and yelling, but that’s just me. Missed calls by umpires have always created controversy and lots of talk. Most of that appears to be gone. A missed call is sometimes no longer part of the game. We can correct it. It looks like computers and cameras will decide another element of our lives. Replay is here to stay. I’ve got to do a better job of dealing with it.

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