I read an article the other day about football, only this one wasn't about my favorite team or the game that had just finished. This one was about the referees, the third team on the field. It was all about how the officials weren't able to keep up with the speed of the game and were missing calls that might have cost one team or another the game. Part of me harrumphed and agreed with these gentlemen who wanted to have more technology brought to bear on those tiny moments when an extra inch or a tug on a jersey means the difference between winning and losing. I wonder why NFL referees are looking at instant replay on some tiny screen under a plastic pup tent when right above them is twenty-five thousand square feet of video just above their heads. Then there's the matter of the chain gang. These guys must have a great union, since even with the event of laser sighting and global positioning satellites, the best method we can come up with to determine ten yards between two points is by having a couple of guys with orange vests on carry around thirty feet of regulation links that will be used to decide whether or not a first down has been made. Why aren't there microchips in the balls, why can't they be tracked by the NSA, instead of listening in on our phone calls?
But I know the reality. It's a game. It's the same thing I tell the kids at our school when the ball goes out of bounds and they want to argue for the next ten minutes of a fifteen minute recess. It's a game. I understand that it's professional football and millions of dollars are at stake, but part of the joy that is left if there is any, is that it is being played by human beings, capable of catching or dropping the ball, making or missing that fifty yard field goal, or missing that one pass interference call that could have changed the whole game. It's still a game.
I expect that I will have this same response no matter what happens to the Broncos in the playoffs. Please be kind.