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Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for www.czabe.com and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at czabe@yahoo.com.

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One Comment

  1. 1

    Aaron B.

    Back before sports started using replay review, I thought it was ridiculous that there would be a replay right up on the screen, and the only people who couldn’t use it were the refs. Why not let them look up at the replay if they weren’t able to see the play well enough on the field? There are plays where a ref legitimately can’t see everything he needs to, so that just seemed to make sense.

    But I thought it would be something that would *help* the refs do their job. For instance, on balls and strikes in baseball, I thought of giving the umpire a buzzer or something that would tell him when a machine above the plate saw the ball cross it. But he would still be calling them, just aided by the machine in a way the crowd couldn’t see.

    Instead of an aid for the refs, it’s become replay *versus* the refs, where the replay is used to show the refs up instead of help them. Having the decisions made in a faraway room just makes that worse — it turns the ref on the spot into a flunky, who becomes hesitant because every call could be overturned. No surprise if some of them are losing interest in the job. And now the play isn’t the dramatic moment; the play introduces the dramatic moment in which we wait to see what a panel of judges will decide, like a cheap reality TV show.

    It still seems like it should be possible to have replay tech *help* the refs, but if not, if it’s going to be like this, it would be better discarded altogether.


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