Tuesday, June 17, 2008
A few short notes
Basketball is on the verge of having reffing as bad as soccer. Every game there is discussion regarding how the reffing determined the outcome. In soccer, the yellow cards / red cards are so ridiculously arbitrary, and have such a massive impact on the game (watch more than 1 Euro cup game, and see how differently each game is reffed! - Oh, and notice also, that when the USA plays, all of a sudden, contact that usually receives a yellow card goes as a no-call). It does not even matter whether refs have been directed to fix games by NBA authorities. Simply the inconsistency of calls, the appearance of favoritism, and the seeming lack of oversight or accountability has led to the sport's increasing appearance of corruption. As was noted on the Freakonomics blog, collusion does not even require explicit direction by NBA authorities. If NBA officials perceive a desire for an outcome, they may act independently to ensure that outcome. As long as they are not explicitly directed not to achieve that outcome, or sanctioned for their poor performance, this can lead to collusion. It seems that all of our sports in the U.S. need some sort of independent monitoring authority in order to ensure fair competition. Seriously - with football, baseball, and basketball all tarnished within the last several years, perhaps I should start watching... oh wait, i can't think of a sport that hasn't had a scandal in the last few years... golf perhaps?