The Case Against Instant Replay. Verdict: Execution. The Enlightened Spartan: The Case Against Instant Replay. Verdict: Execution.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Case Against Instant Replay. Verdict: Execution.

The ES is now an avid hater of instant replay, particularly this year after seeing Michigan State get screwed royally time and again late in games. Mind you, Sparty still should have made plays to win the games, but if it is a "game of inches" then it really makes it a tough break when the replay refs overturn correct calls on the field. I'm gonna lobby against it unless something drastically changes. My arguments? Let us start with three exhibits, as follows.

Exhibit A: Michigan State vs. Iowa. 2009. With the game tied at 3-3 late in the 4th quarter, on a third and nine, Iowa QB Stanzi hangs his RB out to dry by floating a ball into the right flat. Spartan safety Marcus Hyde unloads on the RB and knocks him out with a clean hit. After lying on the carpet for two minutes, replay officials call down to the field and tell the ref to throw a flag for a personal foul. Replays clearly demonstrate Hyde's clean hit, yet… if the QB didn’t hang out his RB to get clobbered, and if the RB would have popped back up quickly, there would have been no foul. It is a physical game, and it goes both ways, yet the time the RB spent on the deck allowed the referee (who was bored and had nothing else to do, I guess) to call a penalty. Iowa drove the field and kicked a FG to take the lead. Screwed. MSU loses, 15-13.

Exhibit B: Michigan State vs. Minnesota. 2009. Minnesota QB Adam Weber throws a ball to RB Tow-Arnett who takes two steps before being stripped of the ball, recovered by MSU DB Chris Rucker and returned to the Minnesota 20. Replay officials review the call and miraculously overturn it, calling it incomplete. The very next play, Minnesota scores on a flukey ping-pong play in which the Weber throws to a receiver, who bobbles the ball, hits the ground, it pops back up in the air and into the hands of RB Bennett who goes the distance for a score. Replay officials fail to overturn it (ok, not the correct call on the field, replay still didn't do its job). Royally screwed. MSU loses 42-34.

Exhibit C: Michigan State vs. Michigan. 2008. Michigan QB Threet throws a ball to RB Brandon Minor on a 3rd and 11, who hits the pylon in mid-air (see it for yourself at right). The referees on the field call it out of bounds, as is the rule. The replay official overturns the call, and says the pylon is part of the field which it is not. Michigan scores a phantom TD. Screwed. MSU still wins, 35-21.

When replay refs give away first downs for legal hits (Iowa) or take away turnovers as clear as day (Minnesota)... it makes you wonder, what is the Big Ten doing? Last year, the replay refs gave a TD to Michigan when the player's foot hit the cone. Remarkably blind and dumb. And, that's just Michigan State taking it on the chin from the replay.

I'm now convinced the replay is relied upon too much (after virtually every TD) and more often than not, they do NOT use indisputable evidence but instead take their time to make the call they way THEY see it, which is not the rule. It just doesn't work.

Either take it away (and save money), or implement it only where coaches can request a replay - allowed one call a half at most, and you lose your opportunity for a second call if you lose the first; plus, if you lose any call, you lose a timeout. Don't make it automatic after everything.

Instant replay must be overhauled or it must die. With these seeing-impaired and mentally-challenged jokers in the Big Ten replay booth, mistakes will continue. The ES misses the good ole days, when ALL the action was on the field – good and bad.

1 comment:

  1. That hit in the Iowa game was by Jeremy Ware, not Hyde.

    But other than that, your point is well taken. Replay needs to be fixed.

    But I think the simplest fix is just to make sure the replay officials overturn nothing unless the video is truly indisputable and they understand the RULE BOOK.