Fired Up: Instant Replay is Inevitable

While thirty-two countries anxiously awaited the draw for the world’s most popular tournament, the World Cup, I couldn’t help but feel for the people of Ireland who were robbed of a birth by a terrible non-call. The World Cup is like the Stanley Cup, Super Bowl, World Series and NBA Finals all wrapped into one, but without one crucial ingredient: instant replay. How can FIFA continue to ignore this tool?

As a coach it’s difficult to explain how it feels to swallow a loss that results from a bad call. I remember a game in my second year with the Grizzlies when we were tied with the Kings with a second to go in the fourth. When they inbounded the ball it was deflected into the hands of their guard Michael Bibby, who caught it, turned and threw up a wild shot that somehow went in. The clock didn’t start when the ball was deflected but common sense would tell you the play took longer than one second.

The refs counted the basket anyway as the NBA hadn’t yet instituted instant replay so we went home with an undeserving loss. Fortunately in the NBA you’re back on the court the next night or at worst the following season.  But Ireland has to wait four more years. It’s a travesty.  FIFA must exit the dark ages and take advantage of the available technology to ensure Ireland’s nightmare isn’t repeated.

Here’s a video from on a recent instant replay controversy. Listen to what  NBA Senior Vice President of Referee Operations Ronald Johnson has to say about the usage of replay.


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