Jim Siergey: The Challenge

January 10th, 2018

Like many sports enthusiasts, I’m a big fan of that new twist that has been added to some of our major sports contests—The Challenge!

This delightful new ingredient stops the action so an official can huddle with his head encuffed in earphones as he views a video monitor that tells and shows him if the call he made was accurate.

After studying video replays from various angles for several minutes, the official then emerges and announces to the crowd, as well as to Mr. & Mrs. America at home watching on television or listening on the radio, whether he has indeed made the correct call or that he has made a dreadful error in judgment, thus reversing the ruling that he misguidedly made during a split second decision.

Then, if everyone can remember where they were and what they were doing before The Challenge, play continues with the adjusted ruling in place This happens, of course, after the over-ruled official has been mocked with catcalls, booing and ancestral insults for an appropriate amount of time.

Baseball, in an effort to speed up the game for the benefit of modern day fans with attention deficit disorders, has gotten rid of the intentional walk, forbade batters from stepping in and out of the batter’s box, put a time limit on the pitcher’s deliveries and edited several verses from The Star Spangled Banner.

These efforts, of course, leave more time for television commercials. After all, one must pay liege to one’s Master.


Better pick up the pace, baseball…


The Challenge, copied from American Football, where a coach can toss a red flag onto the field to demonstrably protest his disagreement with an official’s ruling on a particular play, was adopted in an effort for the sport to attain the absolute apt amount of fairness that it possibly can secure.

Fairness is what America is all about.

Other sports, such as basketball, hockey, bowling and badminton plan to incorporate The Challenge into their particular pastimes as well. Can checkers and chess be far behind?

Baseball and football, as they ever are in staying way ahead of the curve (and spiral), plan to take The Challenge even further. Pitchers, after relinquishing a home run can protest and challenge the catcher for the pitch he signaled to be thrown. Quarterbacks can challenge a coach’s call if a play he sends in does not work. Errors, misplays, even camera closeups on a player yawning, scratching or adjusting his “equipment” can be challenged and reviewed.

At long last, cameramen can also be publicly chastised and humiliated, the same as any other human being.

Evidential use of The Challenge can already be found in both the home and the office.

To challenge a child’s denial of pilfering cookies or picking on his little sister, all a mother has to do is check with Alexa or Echo, not to mention Teddy Ruxpin’s embedded Nanny Cam. A boss can challenge a worker’s denial of spending time on Facebook instead of the Harrison account by merely checking the security monitors.

All done without the use of a flag, be it red, white or yellow.

You see, all those cameras and electronic information-gathering devices that surround us are not here to serve as an Orwellian “Big Brother”. No, of course not, they are here to provide fairness.

Fairness is what we all want, isn’t it?

So, come on, fellow Americans, let’s all “play ball”. The Challenge is up to you.


Editor’s Note: Jim’s last post for The Third City was Lila Leeds




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