Lamke: Hard to believe I could have been wrong


By Tony Lamke - WNJ Columnist



I can’t remember when referees started checking replay video to see if their call was correct or not.

But whenever that was, I was totally against it.

Call me old school — I have been called worse — but I felt it was taking the game out of the human element and letting a machine make the calls.

I understand that balls and strikes in the future may be called by radar. I think it was tried in a minor league but I have heard nothing about it, good or bad. The games I have loved for more than 70 years are starting to make some drastic changes.

Will we see a time when robots actually play the games? Sounds crazy but I never thought I would see what is taking place in today’s sports world.

I think football and baseball use the video checks most often.

Was it a fumble or not? Did he get the ball over the line for a first down or touchdown? Did he control the pass before he fumbled?

Was the ball fair or foul? Did he catch the ball or did it hit the ground? Was he tagged out at second base or was he safe?

And for the life of me, why do they have to call New York for these decisions in baseball? Can’t these earth shaking decisions be made at the ballpark where the game is played?

Well, after much thought, I have decided that on some critical decisions, looking at a controversial replay has a place in sports.

I have no idea how many times a reversal is made, but I’ve seen enough to realize it is here to stay.

For example a football referee is running all game and trying to see when a violation is made. With all the players obstructing his view and trying to stay out of danger, that is a tough job.

I’ve seen enough reversals to change my opinion many times. The camera often makes a different call then I make watching the game on TV. It is still hard to think that I could make a mistake. But my eyes at my age play games with me every day. So I really have no argument.

But balls and strikes? I may have to draw the line there.

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By Tony Lamke

WNJ Columnist