Last night, I attended the Chivas USA-San Jose Earthquakes game, you know, the one that Chivas lost 2-0. The turning point in the match was a penalty awarded to the visitors near the end of the first half. I sat in the stands, so I couldn't tell what was happening, but after play stopped because Alan Gordon was on the ground, some time passed, and John Valencia was given a yellow card. Then, the referee gave San Jose a penalty.
On television, it was easy to see what was happening, because there were replays shown. But there were no replays shown in the stadium to the crowd in attendance. Why not?
I've noticed that Chivas USA seem to have a policy of never showing replays of controversial calls or calls that make the Goats look bad. On one hand, I understand this, as many teams do not show controversial calls, or try to keep them to a minimum. This happens for safety reasons, as there's concern the frustration of the fans could be taken out on the officials, on the players, or on other fans.But by not showing what was clearly a penalty, it left the fans bewildered. Would fans have been mad and booed if they had been able to watch the replay of Valencia's forearm shot to Alan Gordon? Yeah, probably. But there wouldn't have been a concern that the call was coming out of thin air if we had been able to watch again.
Also, consider this: the players and coaches did not get to see a replay until after the match. If Robin Fraser had been able to watch the replay, seen that Valencia made a really dumb play, maybe he wouldn't have gotten himself kicked out. Maybe the players could have turned their attention to the game instead of feeling like they were hard done by. We can't know for sure, but to keep the fans and teams in the dark is unfortunate.
I don't feel unsafe when I go to a Chivas game. Maybe the team can trust the fans a bit more and show them some of the tough calls, so that they don't know less about the major game events than everybody else? Is that too much to ask?
I get not showing opponent's goals over and over again, because we don't need to be tortured. I understand why you wouldn't show the blow by blow of an on-field fight or something similarly difficult. But without showing us why a penalty was called in an off-the-ball situation, we literally didn't know what was happening. It shouldn't be this way. This is a quick fix, and I hope the club can fix it from here on out.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!