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7 emails that could have changed the worst calls in sports history

Golf fans can fix bad rulings via email. Here are seven other sports moments that needed the same treatment.

On Sunday, an email from an astute fan changed the outcome of the ANA Inspiration on the LGPA Tour.

This eagle-eyed tattletale quickly leaped to their computer to point out that Lexi Thompson did not place her ball correctly during the third round, which, on further investigation, led to a two-stroke penalty. This meant that Thompson was tied for first place with So Yeon Ryu, and after a playoff, Thompson lost the event.

Every viewer has a moment where they clearly see something that was botched. So how would sports history have changed if every league got emails in time and reversed decisions based on the anger of fans?

Miami would be 2002 National Champions.

Look, I know this one is contentious and Ohio State fans have dedicated significant time and resources to find other missed plays in this game that purportedly would have sealed the game for the Buckeyes in regulation, but we’ve got to go with the big one here.

In overtime of the Fiesta Bowl in 2003 Ohio State attempted a pass on fourth-and-3. A stop by Miami means the Hurricanes win the national championship — which is precisely what happened. At least, until an official threw a flag for pass interference almost three seconds after the play was over. It gave the Buckeyes a fresh set of downs, and then would eventually score and go on to win 31-21 in double overtime.

Would an email have reached the field in time? If someone had their inbox open, then sure. Also, let’s keep in mind that if calls would be overturned with emails then Michigan fans would have a field day.

The Yankees wouldn’t have won Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS.

One of the most infamous moments in playoff history could have been avoided if MLB was checking its email. With the Yankees down 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth, 12-year-old Yankees fan Jeffery Meier interfered with a Derek Jeter fly ball that would have been likely caught by Tony Tarasco at the wall. Instead, it was incorrectly ruled that the ball was already in the stands, therefore making it a home run.

The Yankees would win the game 5-4 in extra innings, and take the series 4-1 before going on to win the World Series.

The NFL dispute with referees might have never ended.

In 2012, the NFL and referees were in the middle of a labor dispute, causing the league to use scab refs for the season. A year’s worth of bad officiating came to a head on Monday Night Football in Week 3 on a play that has come to be dubbed “The Fail Mary.”

A last-second Hail Mary from Russell Wilson was caught by Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings, with receiver Golden Tate grabbing the ball just after. The refs on the field were confused, with one official ruling it as a touchdown, the other an interception. Finally the referees agreed the call of “touchdown” would stand, while the entire football world was confused.

If someone emailed the field and corrected the call it might have been correctly ruled as an interception. Instead, the Fail Mary was a huge blemish on football’s referee problem on one of the game’s brightest stages. The fallout from the bad call was a huge motivating factor in ending the dispute and getting the real refs back to work.

Matt Duchene’s goal never would have counted.

This is arguably one of the worst calls in the history of hockey. During a 2013 game between the Avalanche and Predators, forward Matt Duchene was offsides by a mile. He knew it, the arena knew it, everyone at home knew it — the refs didn’t. Since there was never a whistle he just kept playing, and scored.

Duchene is so far offsides that everyone basically stopped playing, except for the scorer himself. Maybe an email could have fixed it.

Colorado might not have won the 1990 National Championship.

This is another contentious one because Buffaloes fans will point to the terrible field conditions which should have resulted in a win — but if email was in a thing in 1990 this would be one of the most grievous examples.

Allowing a quarterback to spike the ball and stop the clock was a new concept introduced for the 1990 season. This caused the officiating crew to be confused when it happened in the dying moments of a game vs. Missouri.

When the Colorado QB spiked the ball on first down, the crew never advanced the downs. This caused Colorado to have a fifth down on the final drive of the game and eventually beat Missouri, 33-31.

They would go on to a 11-1-1 record and share the national championship with Georgia Tech. Had they lost that game it’s unclear if Colorado would have had claim to the title.

Armando Galarraga would have a perfect game.

In 2010, Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga should have been awarded a perfect game — but umpire Jim Joyce missed the call. With two outs at the top of the ninth inning, a ground ball to the right side was going to be close, but it appeared to everyone that the Tigers had secured the perfect game for their pitcher.

However, the runner was called safe at first despite overwhelming evidence showing that he was out. This permanently kept Galarraga’s name out of the record books, while Joyce, knowing he botched the call, had an emotional return when he next umpired a Tigers game.

1972 Olympics USSR vs. USA

One of the most infamous passages in sports history happened at the end of the gold medal basketball game in the 1972 Munich Olympics.

The U.S. had effectively won the gold medal when Doug Collins sank two free throws to make the game 50-49 with under a second to go, but a series of bizarre events, including intervention from then-FIBA president Renato William Jones gave the USSR three seconds left on the clock.

This continued once again after a failed inbounds pass when the FIBA chief decided to give ANOTHER three seconds to the Soviets. They would eventually score to win and the USA refused to accept their silver medals. No email would have helped.