When in doubt, go to replay

Controversial calls in sports are often decided after further replay review


Devastation sets in for Maximum Security’s Jockey, Luis Saez, as he learns he was disqualified for interference after further review of the race.

Casey Collins, Staff Writer

On May 4, the Kentucky Derby faced controversy after original winner, Maximum Security, was called on several fouls committed during the race after he had won. Using instant replay to determine the validity of the fouls, his status of winner was recalled, and the original second place winner, Country House, received first place. Marking the first Kentucky Derby disqualification since 1968, Maximum Security committed a foul of impeding the progress of another horse. Horse racing is a very popular sport for betting and with the disqualification, betters on Maximum Security lost around nine million dollars.

The decision made after the race left many people upset with the call. In today’s sporting world, controversial calls that potentially change the outcomes of games are oftentimes made based on what is seen on the instant replay rather than live footage.

Imagine those who bet their money on Maximum Security to win feeling elated after watching him cross the finish line, celebrating their big win for 15 minutes after the race ended, only to be heartbroken moments later by an interference they’d hoped had not been caught on camera.

This is only a recent example of how a competition was decided thanks to an instant replay. In 2014, a Dallas Cowboys’ NFC playoff game against the Green Bay Packers ended at the mercy of a replay review. Cowboys’ wide receiver Dez Bryant caught a pass at the goal line, which would have set up a go ahead touchdown in the final minutes of the divisional round game. The referees initially called the pass completed, however, after further review, the call was overturned, leaving Cowboys fans angered and devastated.

A situation that really hit home for Pittsburgh fans was the Steelers game against the New England Patriots on Dec. 17, 2017, where the Steelers’ victory was robbed from them because of instant replay. Tight end Jesse James caught a game winning touchdown pass until the call was overturned and the Steelers lost a game that would’ve gained them a higher seed and a push of momentum into the playoffs.

“Instant replay is really slowing sports down. I know for professional sports they want to make it as fair as possible, but at the end of an intense game when the refs review a call for 15 minutes, it really takes away from the game,” junior Tyler Mohrbacher said.

A lot of people believe that instant replay does more harm than good, however, just as many believe the opposite. It’s no question that this technology is beneficial for catching all of the angles and movements that can’t be caught by officials in real time.

“I think that instant replays are good for sports because it helps the officials make controversial calls and make the right decision after getting another look at the play from all angles,” junior Dylan Goodrich said.

Would it be fair to signal a touchdown if the player who caught the pass had one foot partially out of bounds at the time? Would it be fair for a game winning shot to count if the player released the ball half a second after time expired? Yes, these calls may be purely based on a real time decision, but the call may not be accurate or say “the right call”.

Instant replay interferes with the purity of sports and can have a huge impact on the outcome of games. At the same time, this technology offers a lot to sports and gives officials the chance to make up for possible human error. Instant replay is the cause of a lot of controversy, and there is constant argument as to whether or not it brings more harm or good to the world of sports.