Thursday, 1 July 2010

Is change a scary venture?

Change – a word often used by politicians and other important public figures to indicate they believe change is coming, and quite often this is not the case (the word was thrown around a lot during Obama’s presidential campaign for example. I don’t follow US politics closely, but I’m guessing his low approval rate proves that his idea of change hasn’t changed an awful lot). People generally discuss change uncomfortably, as the idea of change can be scary. Moving into unfamiliar territory can always cause discomfort for whoever is making these changes. However in this blog, I’m not going to discuss any personal ventures where I might be making changes. I’m not talking about life or death; I’m talking about something much more important. This blog is about football, and the ongoing debate about video technology. (Would like to thank Bill Shankly for that intro – I’m sure that’s not the worst rip off of his words that’s happened). Two incidents took place on Sunday that related to the need of video technology in football (one happened in the England game that I’m sure doesn’t need discussing – one happened in the Argentina game with a Tevez goal that was clearly offside). Sepp Blatter has today apologised to the two nations affected by the poor decisions made by officials but that would have been an empty apology without the promise to reopen the debate about video technology. Thankfully, he did say this. I can’t help but feel cynical about this promise though. I can’t help but feel that teams/nations that support it come across as victims of bad decisions (which is kinda true considering Sunday) and people who come out in favour of keeping the system the way it is would change their minds as soon as a horrible decision goes against them (I’m looking at you Dunga!)

So what needs to happen? For a start, goal line technology is a must. With this technology available (and regularly practiced in Rugby & Tennis), it seems foolish not to introduce it into football. I mentioned Rugby and Tennis. It also is used in certain Cricket matches (not sure if it is used at all levels). In these cases where it is used, it does not bring the game to a complete standstill. This is one of the arguments against the technology, that it will cause the game to lose its fluidity (is that a word? It is now!) In Rugby, the longest I’ve seen Robot Ref take to make a decision is just over 1 minute which isn’t much at all. To the argument of the loss of fluidity, I say add the time lost where the goal line technology is used as stoppage time (after all, that’s what it’s there for). I also feel this would make sense because it is not a technology that would be used every football match (unlike Tennis at Wimbledon, where it is used frequently per set, let alone match). I’m very much in favour of goal line technology. But where should it stop? Should the technology be used for goals scored when there is an offside shout? I would say no. The problem with a beast like video technology is once people get a taste for it, they might want more (I realise I’m kinda likening it to cocaine, but whatever). Goal line technology wouldn’t ruin the fluidity of the game as it doesn’t happen very often, and when it does it can take a minute to look at 2/3 camera angles of the “goal” and say yes or no. Offside’s however happen every single game, and linesmen aren’t perfect (it would be impossible for them to be). Is there a way to improve the game so offsides are caught more accurately? I’m sure there is but what exactly, I’m not. Video technology in football must not ruin the fluidity of the game and that’s why I support goal line technology but not a lot else. It is actually quite painful to say that because I’d love a ref to be able to check the cameras whenever someone dives, or feigns that they got Kaka’s elbow in the face when actually they ran into his arm. I’d love refs to see that and make it so the player got punished. Which is why I think in-game video technology should be introduced for goal line decisions only, and referees should have the power to change decisions they have made up to 24 hours after a game. They couldn’t disallow goals as that could cause all sorts of mayhem, but they could undo cards, or change cards (for example, Kaka wouldn’t have received the second yellow, and the Ivory Coast player would be banned). It wouldn’t take too many players getting banned after the game for cheating during the game for them to get the idea, and stop it.

Anyway, that’s the football aspect of this blog over. Few follow up thoughts.

• My thoughts and best wishes are with Matthew from Madina Lake. He was attacked when he went to the aid of a woman being beaten by her husband. From what I’ve read, his current condition sounds awful, and I hope he can make a full recovery from this. I hate to see one of life’s genuine good guys suffers so badly. This story makes me wonder whets wrong with certain people out there. I posted a view suggesting that both husband and wife were bags of shit (husband for hitting wife and attacking man coming to her aide; wife for leaving him unconscious after he tried to help). However it was quickly drawn to my attention that I didn’t take into account the domestic abuse, and the control it had/has over the woman in this story. Perhaps she isn’t a bag of shit; however I’d hope this story getting publicity will prompt her to take action to change her situation.

• I suffered from a severe case of cynicism overload yesterday. I have not hidden the fact I am an unashamed Conservative voter. Apparently this makes me a cunt but whatever. I’d wager people who vote BNP or any other extreme right/left wing party are more of a cunt than me but what do I know? Anyway, I’ve expressed dismay at the last few weeks of PMQs. The first two weeks seemed good. Cameron was a fresh breath of air compared to Brown. He was answering questions, not using notes where he didn’t need them etc. However just recently, he has seemingly morphed into every PM before him, by dodging questions and attacking the opposition. I know that is kind of the point of the UK’s “punch and Judy” style politics, but it’s still annoying. I was hoping Cameron wouldn’t feel the need to revert to cheap shots like Brown used to. I discussed this with someone who said Cameron is taking every opportunity to remind people this mess is predominately Labour’s fault which I can understand. It doesn’t stop me being annoyed.

• Get involved. I see this phrase on FB quite a lot. I saw it on the new govt website about binning laws. I heard Simon Mayo on the radio suggest people should get involved. It occurred to me that I hate this phrase. I’m happy to do things, but to get involved with them makes it sound so douchey when it doesn’t need to be said.

That does it

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