To play or “to Replay?”

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS July 18, 2016 #602 Up next…To play or “To Replay?”

After further review…In a couple of recent sports contests the use of video replay has come into question. The Tunney Side offers some questions for your consideration. Let’s first back up and discuss my involvement with video replay, or as it was called then “Instant Replay.”

In the NFL pre-season of 1978, I was assigned to referee the Buffalo Bills vs Dallas Cowboys game in Texas Stadium. Unbeknownst to me and our crew of officials, Art McNally (Supervisor of Officials), Norm Schachter (legendary former NFL referee), and Tex Schramm (Cowboys General Manager and a strong proponent of video replay) were in attendance at that game. They were in a separate booth in Texas Stadium to “experiment” with instant replay, i.e., to determine if there was ample visible evidence, and an acceptable level of game delay to review officials’ calls. That test gave the NFL Competition Committee preliminary information on how it might be used. Many owners, general managers, coaches and game officials were hesitant to introduce such a radical officiating tool, and the results of that single experimental game did not change perceptions overnight.

Eight years later in 1986 the replay system was approved – on a one-year trial basis – as “an aid to officiating.” That system has exponentially grown into one that will be remain in constant use—doubtless with many tweaks and improvements –- by the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, MLB, golf, tennis some colleges, and etc. It has yet to be employed by high schools, but it may just be a matter of time before technology is affordable enough at that level.

In the recent 2016 Men’s U.S. Open Golf Tournament replay has raised another issue. That tournament played at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, PA., was won by Dustin Johnson. However, during the final (fourth) round as Johnson approached his ball on the green, the ball moved – a violation. Johnson pointed out that ball movement to the on-course official who then agreed with Johnson that his club did not cause the ball movement. But after examining high-resolution video replay in the official’s booth, it was determined that it was nevertheless a violation and that Johnson was subject to penalty. That penalty was assessed after the tournament. DJ won by three-strokes so the one-stroke penalty did not affect his winning, but has the replay equipment in this instance created a “false” positive?

Further in the 2016 Women’s U.S. Open played at CordeValle in San Martin, CA. there was a similar occurrence. Anna Norquist was ruled to have grounded her club in a bunker–a violation. Her club touched a single grain of sand not visible to the naked eye, but “caught” on high-def video. Norquist lost the championship playoff after the “grounding your club” penalty was invoked. The question here is: if it is now a given that rules violations exceed the live observation of players and/or officials, should every player and every shot be reviewed before a tournament is completed?

Will you log-in your thoughts about how far into the game the camera lens should extend?

contact Jim go to or email

Be sure to get the new “Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports” just out for $20.

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Free Agency Building a Dynasty!

On the TunneySide of Sports July 11, 2016 #601 Up next… Free agency building a dynasty!

The 2015 NBA World Champions Golden State Warriors have lured, with great financial incentive, Kevin Durant 6’ 9”, 240# and a 10 year NBA veteran super star into their fold. Durant was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics in 2007 (whose franchise then moved to Oklahoma City to become the Oklahoma Thunder). Durant has been with only one NBA T*E*A*M in his entire carrer, yet he has never won an NBA championship. Is he exercising his free agency: 1) for the money ($54.3 million/two years); 2) because he’s unhappy with the Thunder; or 3) for the chance to play with a team that set an NBA record winning 73 games?

A dynasty, it is said, is a “sequence of rulers from the same family, etc. with a more formal definition based on feudal or monarchical systems, The TunneySide assumes that’s what the Warriors intend to accomplish. I guess Durant liked what they do — along with least two of the three above. Could you blame him? Are dynasties really good in sports?

You may have, or have had, a sports dynasty? In the NFL would it be Lombardi’s Packers, Shula’s Colts/Dolphins, Madden’s Raiders, Noll’s Steelers, Walsh’s Niners, Belichick’s Patriots or another club that you followed and admired? There have been those types of dynasties in all professional sports, as well as in colleges and high schools. However, colleges and high schools don’t have the luxury of free agency that professional sports do – thank goodness! The Tunney Side has never been a fan of free agency!

The draft system established by professional sports was designed to maintain a balance of competition. That thinking is sound! If one team dominates the player market and is allowed to monopolize the available talent, the other teams, and their fans, become disheartened with their attendance and income diminishing. That team and their fans suffer.

Free agency is simply defined as a player, who signs a contract for a given number of agreed years, must remain with that team until the end of that contract before being allowed to seek employment from another team in that sports league. There are many, and always will be, exceptions to the argument that a player should remain loyal to the team that originally obtained that player. In today’s sports money-world that argument falls short.

Will you log-in on your opinion of free agency as well as dynasties?

To contact Jim go to or email him

Jim’s new book “Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports” is available for $20. which includes tax, shipping and an autograph, if requested. TunneySide takes current sports issues and transforms them into positive messages for better living. Thank You!

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“Ya gotta do whatcha gotta do!”

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS July 4, 2016 #600! Up next…”Ya gotta do…”

After further review…”Ya gotta do whacha gotta do” is an expression I’ve used for some 40 years. My doctoral-study partner, Dr. Jim Jenkins, reminds me that urging helped push us through our doctoral work at the University of Southern California. We both had been senior high school principals when we moved on, in separate school districts, to the superintendent position. Further we were deeply concerned with the negative environment that existed in schools. We called that environment: climate! Our climate study identified 14 factors that could turn a school from the negative to the positive — but that’s for another time.

“Ya gotta do… was born in me through my background in sports (ha! bet you thought I’d never get to the sports topic). There were many times when I didn’t’ feel like working out or practicing in preparation for playing a game; yet it had to be done. Coaches taught that you “play like you practice” and who of us doesn’t want to play at our best? There is a factor of procrastination deep inside each of us. Yet, you learn that your success is based upon you being proactive– the opposite of putting things off. Coaching has always been important to help me improve my life. History tells us that the word “coach” was defined as a “horse-drawn carriage used to transport people from where they are to where they want or need to be! Moving to the next level has always been important to me.

This my 600th On the TunneySide of Sports column/blog about the values in sports that can help bring out the best in each of us, I pause to THANK each of you who have read these writings over the last 11 & ½ years. I leave you with these aphorisms:

*Always remember what you receive, but forget what you gave.

*I can’t do all the world/my community needs, but the world/my community needs all I can do.

*Forget what hurt you; but never forget what it taught you.

*People are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth.

*Experience is the ability to recognize a mistake — when you make it again.

Confidence is when you’re down two scores in the 4th quarter, and still believe you can win.

*Best words of encouragement a parent can say: “I really enjoy watching you play.”

Will you do whatcha gotta do to create a successful climate for you and for others?

To contact Jim go to or email
Be sure to get a copy of Jim’s recent book “Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports” now available for just $20. – includes tax, shipping and autograph if requested. TunneySides takes issues from the sports world and transforms then into positive messages for better living.

Thank You!

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