Living in the Moment
With the World Cup, Galarraga’s almost-perfect game, and other recent sporting events, there’s been a lot of talk of the need for instant replay. I’m intrigued by calls for this because I mostly disagree.
As I write this, Argentina just scored against Mexico, but were obviously off-side on the TV replay.
Most programmers I talk to see sports as black and white. There is a right call for every play, and replays help get them right. I’ve even talked to people who wish robots could officiate, so they could always get it right.
However, I think there’s something to be said for living in the moment and trusting the officials on the field. Sure, they’ll make mistakes; they’re human.
Would we still be talking about Galarraga’s game had it been deemed perfect via replay, or would we have mostly forgotten it? Would pub conversations be as colorful if off-sides was reviewable or robots could officiate? I think not.
Human fallibility gives us shared outrage, collective frustration, and frankly, something to talk about. While there are certainly cases of instant replay done well (NHL) I keep a special place in my heart for sports that rely on the calls on the field.
What do you think?