Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Slowest 2 Minutes In Sports


Everybody always jokes that the last two minutes of an NBA game take an hour to complete. Now, they may be right. I don't know if I just wasn't paying attention in the past, or if it is a brand new rule, but the instant replay in last night's NBA Finals game caught me completely off guard and came off as a complete joke in my mind. Now not only do the teams have handfuls of timeouts to waste at the end of the game, but they have any number of instant replay reviews. I hope to never see these instant replays on judgement calls ever again.

Last night, the referees in the Lakers/Celtics game employed the use of instant replay on three out of bounds calls in the span of about 2 minutes. In my opinion, things like this open up Pandora's box in a league like the NBA. For instance, one call that ruled the ball out of bounds and Lakers ball was overturned to be Celtics ball, but it was clear on the replay that Rajon Rondo fouled the Lakers player in the process of causing him to knock the ball out of bounds. What then? Is the call "more correct" now? How can make that call when it was clear a foul was committed in the process? Refereeing is supposed to be an art, not a science. There is no need for these types of instant replay.

Not only do I have a problem with the type of replay employed last night, I also have a problem with when it is allowed to be used: only in the last two minutes. Since when are the last two minutes any more important than any other two minutes in a basketball game? Every basket counts, so why only allow things like this in the last two minutes? It's got to be all or nothing Mr. Stern. These punch and judy rules don't work.

Finally, these replay rules have to go for how freaking long they make the games go. Every 5 seconds within the last two minutes there is a stoppage of play and a seemingly endless parade of commercials. It makes for an extremely un-enjoyable game. The NBA is supposed to be exciting. I would rather have a running game that may not get every call correct than this garbage they are peddling now. All these time outs and now the new instant replay make for a very boring game and something needs to be changed.

The sports that have instant replay in effect have a very strict set of guidelines that come with them. The NBA instant replay rules seem to be very loosely structured and lead to even more speculation. Not only that, but they aggravate the problem of the final two minutes of a basketball game taking too long. The rule for instant replay needs to be all or nothing, and for the NBA I say nothing is the better way to go.

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