Monday, April 9, 2012

Angry Rant: Just Make the Goal Posts Higher!!

by John Huffstetler
of 11on11sports

How many times over the last few college and pro football seasons have we seen a crucial potential game-winning or game-tying field goal sail over the uprights to be judged good or no good by one guy standing over 30 feet below the ball? Field goal kickers have huge legs and and tons of spin on their kicks; as a result, many balls fly directly over the uprights while moving dramatically left or right. How can the system be to put one guy below the uprights and have him decide if the kick went in? After watching the Syracuse/Toledo game last CFB season, it's clear the refs can't even judge the kicks that clearly go wide!

Or how about this game winner in OT by the Dallas Cowboys' Dan Bailey over the Washington Redskins in week 11 this past season (kick about 45 seconds into the clip):

Maybe it went, and maybe it didn't. I have no idea. The kick was curling wide and went directly over the uprights. Can the human eye accurately determine from over 30 feet away if a ball crosses just inside or just outside of a large bar? Absolutely not. Here is another example from Oklahoma St./Iowa St. from this past season:

This kick essentially determined whether or not Oklahoma St. would play in the title game this past season. This "missed field goal" changed the entire season. Alabama wouldn't even have been in the title game if this was called good. I'm not arguing that the kick was definitely good, I'm arguing that none of us have any idea if it was good. Lastly, here is Boise St.'s only loss in the 2010 season to Nevada:

Again, this was a huge kick with national title implications that was determined through a controversial judgment call by one individual. So why not just extend the uprights? Every fan will still be able to see the field (the field goal posts aren't wide enough to be obstructive), but these ridiculous judgment calls will disappear. How difficult could it be to accomplish this? Extend the uprights another 15 feet to avoid this nonsense. Implementing some kind of technology to determine the exact location of the ball as it crosses above the uprights would work as well. Putting a chip in the ball that tracks its GPS in comparison to the uprights seems logical based on modern technology.

Every aspect of rule changes in professional sports has been designed and should continue to be designed to remove the human element of officiating from the game as much as possible (why do you think we're replaying almost everything now!). The human eye is terrible and inaccurate. Just look at research on the flaws of eyewitness testimony. Humans are idiots who make mistakes in their judgments ALL THE TIME. Any move to limit human involvement in determining the winner of a football game (or any other sport for that matter) should be utilized. Removing this antiquated system of human judgment and replacing it with a more accurate system is essential to preserve the integrity of the game.

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