In this electronic age, where most human activity is monitored, recorded, and evaluated, where technology is able to observe and record minute actions millions of miles away, where the NFL can show an instant replay of every movement on their field, from 20 separate angles, within seconds of the plays’ completion, how can it be that:
1) An experienced MLB umpire’s blown call – shown to be incorrect seconds afterward, can deprive a pitcher of the immortality of a perfect game, and
2) In what could have been a decisive play in the closing minuted of an NBA Finals game, NBA refs, unsure of a call, can use that same replay to determine which player last touched a ball knocked out of bounds, but when that replay shows an obvious but previously missed foul, that would change possession, they must ignore the obvious foul, but award possession based on the content of the replay.
This is absurd.
We all know the extremely limited use of replay in major league baseball, and how that ridiculous position deprived, barely a week ago, Armando Galarraga from registering a perfect game. There is no justification for archaic rules that prohibit using everyday equipment to overturn what is wrong, to produce the correct outcome.
In the final couple of minutes of tonight’s Laker-Celtic game, with the score close and the outcome not yet determined, under the Celtic basket, a ball was knocked out of bounds. The referees gathered and agreed it was a play to view on replay in order to determine ONLY who last touched the ball. As millions of TV viewers watched, the referees saw two things – that the ball last went off the arm of Laker Lamar Odom, and that he lost the ball out of bounds because he was fouled.
What did the rules of the NBA require? That the ball be awarded to Boston, because the refs had to use the reply to see who last touched the ball and that the refs had to ignore the obvious foul that caused the ball to leave Odom’s grasp and tumble across the out-of-bounds line.
Why can’t the concept of GETTING IT RIGHT be the most important factor in refereeing and umpiring sporting events where millionaire players are performing at the behest of billionaire owners, for the entertainment of hundreds of millions of fans.