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Technology in sport is not out of the woods


Considering the vigorous debate that habitually swirls around DRS, I find the various views of elite sportsmen interesting when it comes to the implementation of technology in sport to adjudicate decisions. Some of course are totally supportive while others are adamant that any form of artificial intervention distracts from the spectacle and the raw contest.

The most glaring example of outspoken resistance comes from Uefa president Michel Platini regarding goal-line technology. His latest comments further confirm his stance and despite widespread calls for goal-line technology to be implemented Platini insists he would rather spend the money elsewhere. ‘I prefer to put more money into youth football and infrastructure than spend it on technology when there’s a goal in a blue moon that hasn’t been seen by a referee,’ he said.

We recently had another round of fun and games at Augusta on Sunday, this time regarding viewer intervention that resulted in technological assistance being introduced.

The incident regarding Tiger Woods at the Masters where he took an incorrect drop prior to signing his scorecard and was penalised two strokes stimulated an extraordinary amount of comment from many respected sporting individuals. Rules officials did not see anything erroneous about Woods's drop on Friday, but a further review was initiated after officials received a phone call from a viewer and Tiger admitted moving the drop in a televised interview. Bizarrely, a viewer had ‘dobbed Tiger in’ and the blogosphere spontaneously combusted overnight with strong and unyielding discussion about the possible ramifications.

Allow me to introduce you to one Joe Montana. ‘Joe Cool’ is a Hall of Fame quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. He is a four-time Super Bowl champion and three-time Super Bowl MVP. Joe is generally considered to rank in the top three of NFL football's greatest players. We are talking a sporting superstar, full stop.

He is also an enthusiastic tweeter when his hackles are raised.

A miffed Montana took to Twitter on Sunday morning with a tweet rant that resonated with many. The restrictions on the use of 140 characters meant that The Comeback Kid’s followers’ time-lines were clogged with six rapid-fire missives.

He tweeted: (1) USGA is full of crap. Just like replay in #NFL if you don’t catch it when it happens forget it. That would be like going back on a call in the (2) Super Bowl that would change the outcome of the game. People can’t wait to video and find something wrong with the game. Keep them out of the (3) game. They are spectators and should stay that way. If the USGA doesn't see it as it happens, too BAD. This is not about Tiger but about (4) keeping other people out of the game. How many fouls do you see in the #NBA that don’t get called? The day was over and no matter (5) what they say about integrity of the game, it doesn't matter. Not like anyone tries to break the rules. If you don't see it or call it as it (6) happens too BAD! It’s over! In my eyes... not a good precedent.

It interests me when sagacious guys who have been there and done it for a long time at the very highest level share their views.

Who is correct … Joe Montana, Joe Public … or the BCCI?


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