When one worships a false god like replay, disappointment with that god on outcomes one disagrees with, only distances the fan further from the essential joy – and pain – of sports.
True, the “goal” in sports is to win the game. And the objective is to finish the season winning more than you lose.
But that’s not the POINT of sports.
The POINT of sports, is to be part of something bigger than yourself. It is to learn the life lessons of accountability, sacrifice, dedication, teamwork. Sportsmanship. Yeah, it’s still important, quaint as it may seem these days.
When people lose sight of the fact that the OUTCOMES of these games truly DO NOT MATTER, then they begin to worship the false gods of perfection, justice, and… replay.
“But.. but but but…. “ you may stammer, “how can you SAY these games DON’T matter! They matter alot to every Michigan player, coach, and fan who might have had a CFP berth STOLEN from them by a BAD CALL!”
Of course the GAME mattered. That’s why it was played. A glorious, ongoing, white-hot, neighbor state rivalry unlike any other. But the OUTCOME did not matter. Had Michigan lost by 3 touchdowns, the game would have STILL mattered. Same as if they had won going away.
This is the essential sports truth. Outcomes don’t matter. It’s the playing, and the trying, and the failing that matters. And when the breaks and calls go your way, it’s the succeeding. Just because there’s a lot of money involved, big time television networks, and a big ol’ trophy at stake, doesn’t change the beating heart of sports.
Of course we want games officiated as well as humanly possible. And we don’t want any completely UNJUST outcomes due to errors. But there are limits. And if coaches like Jim Harbaugh can’t understand, or can’t impart to their players that old adage about never leaving an outcome in the hands of the officials… well… then he’s still not doing a good enough job.
A mature coach, and a leader would have said firmly: “I felt in all my heart that we had stopped ‘em. And from my vantage point, we did. But that wasn’t the call. And we’ll live with the result, grow through it, and keep getting better.”
Instead, the manchild-in-khaki’s threw a tantrum. As somebody once said: “What’s with this guy?”
Technology has already gone past the point of being able to properly prevent a grievous error in officiating from truly, and SOLELY determining the outcome of a football game.
What we are now microscoping, are the most subjective, and minute moments in games FULL of moments, from the opening kick to the final whistle. In the last few weeks alone, there have been 4 calls that I can objectively say COULD have gone either way.
The first was Denver’s blocked PAT for 2 vs. the Saints. The second was Jordy Nelson’s TD against the Redskins. The third was DeAndre Hopkins stepping out in Mexico City.
And Saturday’s key 4th down conversion by Ohio State was just the latest. I dunno. Looked razor close to me. Coulda gone either way. Pretty tough to ask a guy upstairs in a booth, pull the plug on a team’s whole season inside their own stadium? Ya think?
Now, the worshippers of the false god of replay, want more human sacrifices to appease the still fallible god. They want lazers. And computer chips in footballs. And they want them now!
Our sports paradise of justice lies just a few more cameras, a few more plays that are eligible for review over the horizon! “Onward weary travelers, our salvation is near!”
You can’t put a computer chip in a pass interference call. And you can’t lazer holding. And this just in, there were more plays than just those, in that football game.