An observation from a weekend of sports watching: instant replay isn’t worth it. It disrupts the flow of the game, slows things down, and takes away from the excitement of a single moment, single moments that happen repeatedly. Two examples, one of which instant replay was used correctly and helped determine the outcome of the game.
Harvard-Yale: there was no instant replay for this critical Ivy League showdown in which Harvard won in a thrilling finish to end the season undefeated. And there were continual mistakes made by the referees, including on some key plays, one which helped Yale in its 4th quarter comeback. More so, the clock was often off. One play that involved a 10 yard pass took a single second off the clock.
Cowboys-Giants: instant replay determined the end of the game. Rashad Jennings was ruled to be inches short of the first down marker on a last chance drive with 20+ seconds left. Instant replay also confirmed two tremendous touchdowns–an epic catch by Odell Beckham and a great catch and run by Dez Bryant.
Watching Harvard-Yale was initially jarring. Bad calls made me yell at the tv. But it was better. The game kept going. Both teams ignored the bad calls and played on. In the Cowboys-Giants games, instant replay got in the way of great plays. It stopped the momentum of the game. Furthermore, what if Beckham’s heel was out of bounds? (It wasn’t–instant replay showed this). It was an incredible catch and moment–do we need a replay to confirm this? We all saw it, and the refs saw it. This is sports–we don’t need the specificity of a scientist to confirm a great catch or not. These are the moments where we should leave it to the refs. Even the play with Jennings. When I saw it in real time, I thought he made it. So did the ref. Giants raced to the line and we were moving forward to an exciting finish. Let’s keep it that way.