Ever since watching the film Rollerball on cable one rainy afternoon, we've been able to think of only one thing; the day that all sports officiating will be taken over by machines. The upside: George Brett doesn't charge you from the dugout like a deranged gibbon. The downside: We would not have been treated to the vocal stylings of John McEnroe for all those years.
And speaking of tennis, the future is now: they're already using instant replay. Let the record show that Jamea Jackson made the first tennis replay challenge in history, asking that her groundstroke be reviewed about an hour into her match with Ashley Harkleroad at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Fla. on Wednesday. For those keeping score at home, the call was upheld; it was out. "It takes a lot of pressure off," Jackson told the Associated Press of the replay system. "You don t get so angry. If you think a call is incorrect, you don t spend extra games thinking about it."
Things we like about this: The replay is shown on a screen above the court, where everyone can see it. It happens almost instantaneously, and the shot actually resembles a computer graphic, so there's no distortion. We still don't know what happens when an opponent hits a shot that you think is out, but is called in; you can't exactly stop play and ask for a ruling. But still, we would like to see it instituted in the NFL. And Major League Baseball. Ha. We'd love to see a manager run out and argue a call at second with a laptop computer. "He was out of the baseline! Get your head out of your ass!" ... "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that."