What Would Happen if We Applied Augusta's Call-In Rule to Every Sport

By Paul Grossinger

Safe to say, the latest Tiger Woods saga was far less dramatic than the last one.

The first edition had sex, drugs, prostitution, rampant cheating, reckless driving, and one unlucky tree in Tiger's driveway.  The second had water, an errant golf ball, and a strange rule allowing fans to report violations directly to Augusta National.

Water and errant golf balls don't interest me in the slightest but Augusta's funny fan call-in rule was worth looking into a bit further.  I kept thinking, what would other sports look like if Augusta's rule was applied elsewhere?

So many iconic moments would be lost!

Michael Jordan, my childhood hero, ended his career (in Chicago, we have collectively forgotten that strange stint with Washington) with a last second shot over Byron Russell to win Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals over the Utah Jazz. What if a fan had called in and reported that Jordan had, in fact, pushed off Russell to get the shot and the league had revised it to an offensive foul?  The most iconic finish to a career would be off the record books.

LeBron James would lose half his career points and his career per game average would look like Andre Igoudala's.  James scores a good quarter of his points on what I will politely call "power plays" where he uses his incredible size and power to barrel over still defenders in the lane and another quarter on what we'll nicely term "long dunks" where he travels a good six steps with the ball before putting it in the bucket.  It's well known and clear as day in hundreds of thousands of You Tube videos – but what if fans could report it every time?

Tiger Woods hits at Augusta National Golf Club

Apr 14, 2013; Augusta, GA, USA; Tiger Woods hits from the pine straw on the 13th hole during the final round of the 2013 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Photo Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports.

Manny Pacquiao would have his deserved win over Timothy Bradley, might never have found God in defeat, and might still be on top of the world.  Fans watching Pacquiao's demolition of Bradley all wanted to report the judges for misconduct after their travesty of a decision.  What if they could have?

Serena Williams might have killed a fan by now.  Remember that lineswoman at the U.S. Open who Serena politely asked to rescind her foot fall call?  Williams commits foot faults frequently when she serves; lines-people simply see it rarely and almost never call it (because, really, why would you?).  But what if fans could call it in every time?  Would Serena menacingly charge the stands, screaming at fans that she would – politely of course – 'shove that ball up their %^&'; simultaneously pulling a Ron Artestand degrading tennis as a sport?

Who knows?  I know I'm just going to say one thing I never thought I would say before.

Thank God for officials!

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