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Post Done in by bad refs or bad camerawork?

Monday October 26, 2009

Maybe it’s because the LSU game was a month ago, but the weekly string-em-up routine now for SEC officials is starting to wear thin. This was the consequence of letting it all play out in pub-lick culminating with the rare if not unprecedented announcement to the world of a crew being suspended. Now every coach and fan base thinks it’s their place and obligation to make a mountain range out of every individual molehill of a perceived slight. Will the SEC have any active crews left standing by the time that Florida-Alabama (round 1) takes place in December?

The good news for Georgia fans is that we have another excuse to add to the list this week: location, heat, and now bad refs. Why wait until next weekend to start complaining?

Getting back to this weekend’s most controversial call (and, no, it wasn’t the OMG HE WON THE GAME AND TOOK OFF HIS HELMET nonsense), we have a Florida defensive touchdown that remained a touchdown even after a review failed to overturn the call despite seeing this:

The outcome of the call notwithstanding, why are we relying on those angles to settle one of the fundamental questions in football: did the ball cross the plane of the goal line? You have one angle that doesn’t even show the ball and another angle that’s well behind the play. With the money involved, the innovation in coverage, and the universal acceptance of replay, why aren’t there stationary cameras at either end of the goal line for every televised game? They don’t even need to be manned.

Knowing when a player has scored seems pretty important. We can have sophisticated cameras suspended by cables over the field, but is it too much to ask for a better angle on a touchdown? Even in the SEC someone is bound to cross the goal line once or twice a game. In goal-line situations the mobile sideline camera is usually good enough, but as this play showed not every questionable touchdown is a plunge from the 1-yard line.

UPDATE: Andy Hutchins of the Sporting Blog throws his support behind the idea of goal line cameras.

3 Responses to 'Done in by bad refs or bad camerawork?'

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  • They have cameras at the Horse races on the line. As you say, why not here?? A friend also suggets a small microchip in the ends of the ball. That would work well also. Like in B-Ball, something could light up to show they crossed the plain. (It would be off for kicks etc. of course).

  • I was thinking the same thing as Max about a “smart” football, but then the question of possession also comes into play. Hmm. How about “smart” shoes that could tell us when a receiver’s in or out of bounds? Ok. I’ve got to stop.

  • @NCT, if the WTA can put a chip in a tennis ball for the shot track thing I don’t understand how difficult it is for football to do the same. I’ve still never understood why there aren’t cameras sitting on the goal lines. The review always provides a skewed angle from the sideline which generally leads to inconclusive evidence.