Roman Refs Sucked, Too

Jun 21 2011 Published by under Sports

A Roman gladiator’s tombstone blamed his death on a missed call by a referee. [LiveScience, via Yahoo]

I don’t get how a gladiator – battle, fight, scrum, whatever the word is – has “rules.” Perhaps out of modern arrogance I just assumed two guys tried to see who could kill the other one first. The article hints without much explanation that there may be more order to these things than I thought.

The important thing here, though is the human element – umps have been blowing calls for damn near 2,000 years. And that only counts games since the year 0, known as the “modern era” of gladiating.

The Roman senate tried replay. Each time a play was under review, they had to bring in an artisan to etch the replay-glyph into stone. The delays became too lengthy so the senate voted to end replay after three seasons. There was one dissenter, who was thrown to the lions.

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