Sports and the human aspect

As time goes on, robots have always seemed like the answer to our future problems. The new problem many people want to be solved is perfect calls in sports games. People throughout time have wanted this to make games “perfect,” but is there really a way to get every single call right?

Sports have been defined by specific moments, moments in time where nothing has mattered except that moment alone. For example, a crucial missed pass interference call against the New Orleans Saints in the 2019 NFC Championship game resulted in the Los Angeles Rams making the Super Bowl.

Aside from just missed calls in football, all sports have some terrible calls made. In soccer, one of the most disputed calls ever was in the 1986 World Cup as Argentina’s Diego Maradona “headed” a ball to score in the semifinal game. Further replays showed that Maradona actually batted the ball in with his hand and not his head. Argentina eventually defeated England 3-2 and went on to win the World Cup.

In baseball, the New York Yankees dynasty of the late 1990s might not have started if not for a very heated call on a big fly to left field. In game one of the 1996 ALCS, the Yankees were down 4-3 to their division rival Baltimore Orioles. With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, rookie shortstop Derek Jeter stepped up to the plate and came up big to help the Yankees win the game and the series. 

Now how he came up big is the issue. He hit a line drive to the right field wall of old Yankee Stadium, where the right fielder of the Baltimore Orioles Tony Tarasco had his back turned to the wall.  He was going to jump for the ball, but then a fan reached down and caught the ball. It was declared a home run. Tarasco and the rest of the Orioles team were livid as they believed that the ball was deemed catchable and interference should’ve been called. It would’ve taken away the home run from Jeter. 

With countless examples of poor calls in major sporting events across the world,  people today are calling for all the major sports leagues to consider or turn to robot referees. They believe that getting every call right will help make these games run more smoothly.

 The thing with going all-robot is that you’re missing the thing that makes sports so much fun in the first place, the human element. With robots, there will be little to no emotion, drama, gravitation, passion, or enthusiasm.

 Do the refs always get it right? No. Do they always get the call wrong? No again. We as a society and fans of these sports just have to let things happen and see what transpires. With robots, there is no risk to chance, and no fun. You’re not on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens. We want excitement, a thrill, something to make me come back and watch it again.