Life Is like a River

When asked about instant replay in professional football on Mike and Mike in the Morning, Tony Dungy indicated that he opposes it, instead accepting the responsibility of “getting over” the bad call. Co-host Mike Greenberg asked, “if it’s correctable, why not correct it?” in response.

I find this a common, and curious, misconception. What has been done can not be undone, even if some things are restored to their previous positions. In the case of instant replay, the play has already occurred. Moving the ball back to the previous spot does not remove all of the actions of the previous play. In an extreme, player injuries are not instantly healed.

Time flows in one direction; there are no do-overs. We can accommodate what happened upstream but we can not go back and change it: we have already passed there. Our job is not to make things turn out the right way, but to make the way things turn out right.

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