Rules Changes in Sports I Would Like to See
I like sports, but most of them could be improved
Baseball ended a few weeks ago, football season is approaching the halfway point, and basketball season began last month. It is a magical time of year for sports fans. Many folks don’t enjoy sports, but I do. I love basketball, football, tennis, boxing, volleyball and many others. I even sometimes enjoy wrestling, with the accompanying ringside melodramas. Sports are entertaining. There is a thrill to watching intense competition. There is satisfaction in watching a player or team overachieve. There is a sense of shared history in observing a moment that will be remembered as great.
Some folks see sports in a different way, however. They see a group of sweaty men or women running and jumping around, taking a simple contest far too seriously. They watch indignant athletes refuse millions of dollars to play a game, only to later agree to even more millions while insisting the issue was never about money—they just wanted respect. They see kids with few skills who believe they are among the greatest players of all time. They listen to athletes give credit to God for defeating the other team, as if God cared enough about who wins to fix the game. When I see these things, I understand why some would prefer to catch a “Roseanne” marathon on TV Land than watch the Super Bowl. I will even confess there are sports I don’t enjoy very much, either. I’ve never liked golf and I don’t appreciate hockey. Auto racing seems monotonous and baseball games last too long.
There are a few things I would change to make sports more exciting for everyone. With my simple rules changes, everyone could become a sports fan. My adjustments would add an air of unpredictability to sports that would transcend wondering who was going to win—they would make sports FUN!
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Sports the way the should have been all along
Let's make sports fun for everyone!
While each game requires specific corrections to make them enjoyable to everyone, there are ways to make all sports more entertaining. If it were up to me, I would mandate all sporting events embrace the following changes.
Only the winning team gets paid. So many players in all sports give a half-hearted effort once they have secured their huge salaries. What if only the winning team gets paid? That should eradicate lackadaisical efforts by players with millions in the bank. Let the losers dance with Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars or get a job.
Give all athletes, coaches and broadcasters “kid” names. Everyone loves the Fox NFL Sunday show because grown men get to act like kids. Not only do they crack lame jokes and argue with each other, they even have kid names. James Brown hosts with Jimmy Johnson, Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw. Who couldn’t have fun with Jimmy, Howie and Terry? Let the games be played by Mikey, Billy, Buster, Freddie and Dickie and everyone can have a good time.
These simple changes would change sports forever, but let’s not stop there. Let’s fix the problems with each major sport in one fell swoop. Here is what I suggest:
Baseball: Put fewer players on the field. Why have nine players when five would allow for more action? Scoring would increase because it would be harder for players to cover the field. Everyone likes high-scoring games, right?
Tennis: In singles tennis: Give players a racket for each hand. In doubles tennis: the four tennis players are all opponents, and the player who scores the most points wins—not the team. This should promote considerable jockeying and altercations on both sides of the net.
Basketball: Make basketballs slicker so they are harder to dribble, catch and shoot. The unpredictability of handling the ball will add an aura of unpredictability (and a comedic element) to the game.
Football: Eliminate coin tosses and kickoffs to determine who gets the ball first. Place the football on the fifty yard line, blow the whistle and let all twenty-two players try to get it. Whichever team emerges from the mayhem with the ball is on offense first.
Golf: Eliminate the boredom of a guy hitting the ball and watching it sail away, only to leisurely stroll after it or ride in the golf cart. Let’s put a shot clock on golf. After the golfer hits the ball, he has 45 seconds to run it down. No carts, no relaxed strolls. I want to see that golfer sprint after his ball!
Hockey: Amateur hockey is a breathtaking sport, but violence has ruined the professional game. It is disappointing to watch players dressed in modern day armor act like they’re tough. Let them skate around naked and we’ll get a better idea how tough they really are.
Auto racing: Auto racing requires an amazing level of skill, but many fans seem to watch only in hopes of seeing a crash. If this is all fans want to see, make the drivers race in reverse. This will certainly provide the aura of danger fans relish. For additional thrills the race should be declared over only after each driver has successfully parallel-parked their vehicles.
Volleyball: Volleyball tournaments should be played on a surface resembling a trampoline. The action would be amazing if volleyball players flew through the air at unpredictable speeds and angles.
Swimming: Forget swimming in pools. How about swimming in oceans and streams with uneven surfaces, curves and perhaps a few uphill or downhill surfaces to traverse? Would swimming meets be put into proper perspective if swimmers were also competing against fish, as well?
Poker: Poker on television is deathly dull. It is impossible to watch more than 90 seconds of card-playing pros or celebrities wearing funny hats sitting behind stacks and stacks of poker chips and peeking at their cards. How about adding a random element to the equation? Perhaps once each hand, a player can raid another player's cards, "Go Fish" style. In fact, let's take this a step further. How about a loser's table where the participants are forced to play "Go Fish" instead of poker? I might sit down and watch that.
Bodybuilding: We know these folks have muscles--we can see that without their endless posing. I think I might enjoy bodybuilding more if there were skills challenges, also. I would love to see men and women bodybuilders team up for a "Dancing With the Stars" type of event. Just to make things challenging, perhaps tap dance or ballet could be thrown into the mix.
Pro Wrestling: This sport is so absurd, nothing could improve it….
Watching sports on television creates an additional set of challenges for the casual fan. Viewers with a marginal interest in sports can be put off by inept broadcasters with no qualifications for their jobs. How often have you sat through a game larded with moronic comments from so-called broadcasters? To make sports more interesting, television broadcasts should consider the following:
Create a cable television channel that allows cursing on-air during sporting events. I am not a proponent of cursing, but the game will seem far more real to viewers if they are able to hear how players and coaches really talk. It would be interesting to learn which broadcast fans might prefer: the standard “family friendly” presentation or the “rated M for mature” telecast.
Add a musical score to broadcasts. A soundtrack should be added to each broadcast appropriate to the players and event. For example, Tiger Woods can golf to “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places” and Michael Vick can play quarterback to the tune of “I Fought the Law and the Law Won.” Tom Brady should never be allowed to play football without hearing the “Brady Bunch” theme song, and Brett Favre should end his annual retirement to the tune of “Baby Come Back.” Conversely, “We Are the Champions” should be banned from sports forever.
A little pandemonium would be best for all sports
It is unclear whether my rules changes would help or hurt the world of sports, but they would certainly increase the entertainment value of sporting events. My suggestions would add an element of pandemonium currently unseen on television today. If you’ve never liked sports or have grown bored with them over the years, join with me in advocating for reforms. Let’s make sports fun again by making them crazy!
Or, if sports can’t be fun, let us at least make them humorous.
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