This Just In: Human Beings Have Killed Sports!

Michael AbenanteCorrespondent IMay 20, 2009

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 16: NFL referee Mike Carey (white cap) reviews a play as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Minnesota Vikings at Raymond James Stadium on November 16, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Sure, I belong to the race of humans.

Every day I see, hear, and read at least one thing that makes me question my fellow man and wonder how people can be so good, yet so terrible or—weird.

But, never do I question my brethren more than when I'm watching a sporting event. Never. The amount of time spent wondering what exactly I've just watched compared to the time spent relaxing and enjoying a game as a passive experience is no longer close.

My friends, in the world of sports human beings have become obsolete, both as fans and as officials.

No longer are we able to differentiate between a knee high strike and a curve ball in the dirt.

We no longer have the desire to allow large men to play contact sports through means of contact.

No longer do we have the capacity to understand what actions are intentionally hurtful and which are incidental, nor do we seem able to judge punishment for these actions rationally.

We see amazing, come-from-behind ninth innings, two minute drives, and fourth quarter comebacks in almost every game now and never question why or how it happens so often. We then chalk our growing frustration with modern sports up to our getting older and more miserly in our ways, becoming harder to please and impress.

We can call exactly what will happen in a game and when because we feel it coming. Officials do too, and their job seems predicated on affecting the outcomes of games according to that flow.

We continue to watch and root and buy. We spend money and time caring—maintaining loyalty. We watch great sports battles decided by phantom fouls, home court advantages, and TV ratings. We stay tuned. Even though we've been cheated.

We are as much to blame as the puppets known as refs, umps, and line judges are because we enable them.

We, the unwashed masses, are led to believe by labor unions and former players that without human error as part of our games, they will be hollow and meaningless experiences.

They've already become hollow and meaningless because we like our sports reality the way we like our television reality—brainless and scripted. Some of us prefer to watch an obviously fixed boxing match while others prefer watching celebrities go to rehab. It doesn't matter which you choose because you feel empty afterward regardless.

Sometimes it just seems that the scripts are too predictable.

One day, I might remember the day when umpires were replaced by QuesTec and referees were replaced with robots. If I do, I'll probably just mutter something about how much better it was when I was younger before everything changed.

But that will just be the human in me talking.