The Top 20 things that need to be changed in the world of sports
Part of what makes sports great is the discussion it inspires as well as the arguments — and debates — that span across age, ethnic and gender gaps. How the Jazz are doing this season may be the only thing that a grandchild and a grandfather can connect about. Fans from completely different ethnic backgrounds, who would never interact otherwise, sit next to each other at places like Fenway Park, Madison Square Garden or Cowboy Stadium and hug and high-five when their teams succeed.
One of sports fans' favorite pastimes is complaining about all the things that are wrong in the world of sports. This list is designed to get us thinking about how to fix all those things.
These are the top 20 things that I would change if I were the (fictional) Commissioner of Sports.
20. Get rid of the Pro Bowl
If you were one of the six people who watched the Pro Bowl, you would know how much of a joke it was. OK, I admit, I watched part of it. At first, I had it confused with a flag football game. First off, you can’t have an all-star game if all the best players can’t play in it.
All your league’s best players are playing in the Super Bowl, which means they can’t play in the Pro Bowl when it is played during the off week between the league championships and the Super Bowl. So if you have to subject us to that game, go back to playing it when it can actually be an all-star game.
19. Establish an NFL rookie pay scale
In 1984, the Dallas Cowboys were sold to H.R. Bright for $84 million. Last season, Sam Bradford signed a contract with the St. Louis Rams with incentives that could make it worth up to $86 million. Something wrong with this picture? This becomes even more outrageous to think about when you realize that Bradford had yet to step on the field and do anything for the Rams. No wonder all the owners in the NFL want more money, they’re giving it all to unproven rookies.
18. Stop reviewing every play in college football
Did anyone else notice that almost every close play this past college football season was reviewed after the officials stopped play for the umpteenth time. On more than one occasion these past few seasons, after a play that could have been called in multiple ways, I got up to go to use the restroom or get some snacks because I knew that they would stop play only to confirm the ruling on the field.
The main push back to implementing replay in the first place was how long it would make the games. So now they’ll replay three or four plays every quarter, but keep the clock running when a player goes out of bounds and have four-minute TV timeouts after a kickoff which had just been preceded by another TV timeout. Let’s go back to the challenge system like the NFL where coaches challenge plays when they need to, and let’s limit the TV timeouts and stop the clock when players go out of bounds. More football, less looking at officials and commercials, please.
17. Get rid of guaranteed contracts in the NBA
If a player is hurt or faking an injury or causing problems in the locker room, a team should be able to cut him without worrying about having to pay. The NFL does it, it works well. And, let’s be honest, how many Carlos Boozer’s do you know out there who fake injuries and sit behind the bench in their $10,000 suits, which they bought with the money they have collected while doing nothing.
16. Have a 1-on-1 tournament during NBA All-Star weekend
Could you imagine the hype around a match-up between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in the championship of a 1-on-1 tournament the night before the all-star game? That would draw more viewers than the actual game itself, maybe they should just do this instead of the game.
15. Implement the designated hitter in the National League