No, IR doesn't ensure they'll get it right, but it gives them an added chance to do so. IR has its own limitations i.e. camera angles, obstructions, technical inadequacies, lighting, bad framing, etc. And yes, the human element does not guarantee what actually happened on the field is what will be adjudicated in the form of correct calls. But it does provide another impartial layer of the possibility of getting it right.
We've all seen clearly irrefutable evidence to overturn or confirm a call on the field and have it misinterpreted or called incorrectly anyway. But all in all, I'd rather have it than not. NFL & NHL both use it.
NBA ? Well, that's an entire mess all its own and the officiating is the main reason I NEVER watch a regular season game and won't even stop on the channel until late May and June. Then at least the higher caliber of the playoff game rids us of having to watch perennially lousy teams like Golden State, Denver, and a bunch of others. The refs in that sport are 99% dreadful and the personal bias is nowhere more evident than in that overly popular sport. That coupled with the archaic and silly free throw , the endless fouls in the last two minutes, the phantom calls and the whistled disruption of the rhythm of the game make it, for me, completely unwatchable.
But please, ask me what I really think.
There are many relatively simple (these days) technological things that could be done to ensure correct calls other than instant replay.
For instance, is a pitched ball over the plate or not?
I see so many pitches that are 3+ inches outside or in called strikes it's pathetic - ESPN's K Zone illustrates this wonderfully, although they seem to attempt to not embarass umps with it - prolly a condition of the MLB TV contract. The usual scenario is that the catcher sets up 6 inches outside, and if the pitcher hits his glove or the catcher frames it well, the ump often calls a strike.
One simple solution is to put some sort of material in the windings of the ball which would activate sensors installed at the front of home plate - ball crosses over the plate, light goes on (or something), ball doesn't cross, no light, = no strike. It would be tough to sensorize the pitch height due to different batter heights - too much tweaking between batters - but at least the ump could focus solely on the height of the pitch and take a hell of a lot of guesswork out. OK , pitch is at batter's knees, height good, got a light, STEEE-RIKE!! Bottom line is, if it ain't over the plate, it ain't a strike!
Another personal bitch of mine is the check swing, home plate ump doesn't know if the batter "went around", catcher appeals to first or third base ump, they make the call. These umps are roughly 90 feet away from home plate and are not at a good side angle, but rather facing the batter. I believe about half of these calls are friggin' guesswork. Make the rule that if the bat touches or crosses the front edge of the plate, it's a strike. Again, sensors. Get it right for chrissakes, no replay necessary, no arguments taken. Take this as far as you want - sensor the foul lines, the yellow lines at the top of the wall-another thing that drives me batshit - make it over the wall for a Home Run, not hitting the yellow line at the top - what moron came up with that ?
None of these enhancements would have done diddly for last night's dry screwing of the Angels, but all would make for accurate calls in important areas. I still think the Halos have a legit protest, but God knows how that whole process works...
Oh, and football? Who doesn't love the short yardage pileup at the goal line with the running back or QB trying to smash the ball over the goal line? With about a dozen 350 pound behemoths all trying to either push their guy over the goal line or push the opponent back, I don't know how the hell the ref's can see the player, never mind the damn ball, to judge whether or not the runner "breaks the plane".
Throw 'em on the sidelines too, get those pesky out of bounds calls right.
Some of this is way to techy for purists, but the bottom line is, replay doesn't always get things right-remember Testaverde getting stopped a good yard short last year, awarded a TD?
Changes such as these would not eliminate all shitty calls, but it would take the too damn close to tell factor out of balls and strikes, first downs (lousy spots suck!), TD's, etc, and would allow the ref's to be more cognizant of other important things happening on the field.
Like balls in the dirt...
And Drach, I gotta fully agree, the NBA has become to dull to watch.
Seems the only part worth seeing for the last few years is the last half hour, or in clock terms, the last 2 minutes. I can't sit through it either.
Lewis Black out...