“The Human Element”

Another Sunday in the books and another Sunday where NFL games fell victim to “the human element”. That nefarious excuse given by traditionalist who resist technology…change…and rules.

I’m referring to the some of the horrible calls made by NFL referees. Not bad guys by a long shot, and light years ahead of the replacement jokes of last year, but they, at the end of the day are human beings. And as human beings, they make mistakes.

And therein lies the rub…

Baseball purists have for years resisted technology for balls and strikes and more extensive video review. They cry that “the human element” is part-and-parcel of the fabric of the game.

I disagree.

The game, whether it’s baseball, football, hockey, basketball et al, are games entirely structured on rules. We don’t pay to see the performance, masterful or faulty, of those humans tasked with enforcing those rules.

We pay to see the participants engaged in the actual activity. The officials themselves make the best argument for technology and more aggressive video review…their whole job depends on the concept of proper rule enforcement. If you step outside the rules, you pay a penalty.

But what happens when these humans step outside the rules, through no fault other than humanity, by making a call that affects the outcome of the contest.

I saw it yet again today in the Ravens game where a missed pass interference call set up the winning touchdown.

Not cool. One team goes home the loser, when in reality, they are not.

It’s not right. Plain and simple.

It’s time to take advantage of the technological advances of this day and age and insert them into sport. Tennis has done it successfully for several years now. What did they lose? Nothing but the temper tantrums of their spoiled athletes. What did they gain? Purity…propriety…the right guy/gal wins.

The way it is supposed to be…


About Conversations With The Moon

Divorced father of two amazing young adults. College student, plodding away at a liberal arts degree. Formerly a Fire Captain and Paramedic. Dabbler in fashion. Liberal. Believer in Karma. View all posts by Conversations With The Moon

5 responses to ““The Human Element”

  • kingmidget

    I’m sorry, but I disagree. This is one of those things I will remain a dinosaur on. Forever. Why bother having referees or umpires on the field? Seriously.
    The calls the referees or umpires make in the heat of the moment, in real time, are the calls that should stand.
    I think that calls have got worse in the NFL since instant replay became a part of the game. And they continue getting worse. Having technology as a backstop gives humans an excuse to lose focus, to make mistakes. Heck, if the computer is going to fix it, why should I care.
    Ramble over.
    You make a good case for your position, but it’s just one of those things that I will always oppose. Particularly in baseball.

    • Conversations With The Moon

      Hahaha, the only surprise here is how long it took you to weigh in. This is definitely one of those issues you and i will disagree on. I very much appreciate your position and have a gut yearning for that “human element” as well…I just hate seeing the outcome fall victim to that same element…

  • kingmidget

    Think about how many “water cooler” conversations go away if instant replay rules the world.
    Kelly: “Did you see the play in the 49ers game last night?”
    Mark: “Yep. Good thing we’ve got instant replay. They got it right.”
    Kelly: “Uh … ummm … yeah … so, how are the wife and kids doing?”
    Mark: “Damn instant replay.”

  • Conversations With The Moon

    The San Diego Chargers are going to the playoffs instead of the KC Chiefs due to human error. The Cowboys were royally screwed on a clock call tonight due to human error. I’m done with the quaint notion of humans determining the outcome of games through poor rule enforcement. Water cooler fodder for sure…

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