Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tipsy Coachman Theory: Don Garber Version

To understand the theory, takea look at Lee v. Porter, 63 Ga 345, 346 (1879), or Wikipedia for a good summary.

This doctrine is a rule of law that upholds, in a higher court, a correct conclusion despite flawed reasoning by the judge in a lower court. In other words, the lower judgment was right, but for the wrong reason.

We are not talking about law per se here folks, but about GLT.

As most know I have railed about my dislike for the the use of GLT on the pitch, as I believe it is an erosion of the referees authority to control a match that has been replaced by automatons. I also do believe that there is no sure fire solution to detecting when a ball crosses the line as even the very expensive technology being put in place, has significant flaws.

For all my foot stomping, FIFA went ahead and implemented it anyway, and we will see it very, very soon.

Enter MLS ...

Take a look at MLS rules out goal-line technology from Fox Sports.

I was thrilled when I saw the headline. After all the Commish is standing up and saying that MLS is not going to march with FIFA on this one. I was thrilled ...

... until I read his reasoning.

He said it was a matter of ''prioritizing how we spend our money.''

Ugh ... It was like that moment that Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie Brown and he falls on his back.

It's too expensive ....

While an absolutely reasonable answer for a financially struggling league, he could have said more .... he SHOULD have said more.

He comes closer with ''... our view has been that we're going to wait and see how it works out. We certainly don't need to be the first league that has it.''

Which was better ... BUT ... why not say something like:

I believe in our referees to get this right and see them working hard in doing so. We can defer a decision based on cost, and not be an early adopter, and a desire to evaluate the need based on the circumstances, MLS stands behind its referees and their decisions.

His silence was deafening, as on the business end, they are happy for the "good" decisions, and quietly look for blood on the "bad" ones.

Managing professional referees in any league is not easy as these folks have to carefully balance the need for development at that level, with the "product" that is being sold.

Fortunately, the MLS refereeing management has some spectacular folks talented in this regard.

So yeah, MLS got it right ... but for the absolutely wrong reason IMHO.

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