Tony Verna, the inventor of instant replay has died at age 81, according to a number of media reports.
“Verna died Sunday [Jan 18, 2015] at his Palm Desert home after battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, daughter Tracy Soiseth said,” ESPN reported.
Writes the Associated Press, “CBS used instant replay for the first time in the Dec. 7, 1963 Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, after Verna developed a method to cue the tape to pinpoint the play he wanted to immediately air again. He said he was looking for a way to fill those boring gaps between plays during a football telecast.
The concept was so new that when Army quarterback Rollie Stichweh scored a touchdown, announcer Lindsey Nelson had to warn viewers: ‘This is not live! Ladies and gentlemen, Army did not score again!’”
Writes the Los Angeles Times, “Entertainment Weekly has listed instant replay’s debut among its 100 greatest television moments. In 2004, Sports Illustrated cited instant replay as one of sports’ ’20 great tipping points’ of the previous 50 years and wrote of instant replay’s impact, ‘The revolutionary premise was that sports could be improved not by changing the games but by changing the way they were packaged.’
“Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review later called the introduction of instant replay…’The day televised football changed forever.'”