I consider myself a sports fan. But then again, most people probably do. My brother can name the starting offensive line for any NFL team, can tell you what year and round they were drafted, and tell you fun-facts about pretty much anybody (“See the right tackle? He went in the 2nd round out of Penn State four years ago and he cross-stitches unicorns in his spare time. His mother was born in Belgium and always sneezes twice in a row.”)
I can’t do those things, but I do nonetheless have some hot sports opinions. In all sports, the rules are periodically reevaluated, and then changes are made to evolve the games. This concept is pure blasphemy to the sports purists out there, so this article is not for you. But for the rest of you, I have some suggestions.
The individual players and coaches who win the Pro Bowl earn an extra draft pick for their team. Right now the Pro Bowl is a beating for all involved. The players and coaches don’t want to risk injury, the best players are often not even there because they’re preparing for their Superbowl the following week, and the fans reward this lousy exhibition game with terrible ratings. Let’s energize the game with a new round of draft picks that takes place after the first round — During the new ‘Pro Bowl Round’, the teams that had players represented on the winning team (only) take a random draw to see who goes first for their extra draft pick.
Allow 10 seconds of touchdown celebrations. When it’s all said and done, we watch sports because they’re entertaining. Don’t penalize a guy for taking off his helmet and doing a chicken dance, or for lining up with excited teammates and doing coordinated strutting about, or punting the ball back across the field. Give them 10 seconds for shenanigans — the fans (and ratings) will love it. If the opponent gets their feelings hurt by the celebration, then try harder not to let them score again, you big babies.
No rebounds allowed for missed free throws in the last two minutes of the game. I’ve seen many games end up with this awful version of basketball — these desperation scrambles to foul someone for a chance at a free-throw rebound. It’s a lame version of trying to force a turnover, slows down the last 2 minutes into a 20+ minute long exercise and takes the climax out of the game.
Half court shots are worth 4 points. It would spread out the court a bit and add some exciting comeback opportunities. We’d see alot more players try to lob one up from the other side of the court. These shots are occasionally made at halftime or the ends of games and they’re always entertaining.
The cost of bringing in a relief pitcher is an extra out required to end that inning. Rotating fresh bullpen pitchers through makes the games lower-scoring, longer, and more boring. Sure, it’s nice to see 98 mph fastballs the whole game from fresh pitchers, but teams should be rewarded for having tough pitchers who can hang in there longer. The offense suffers from the current trend of bringing in more and more fresh pitchers. I fear that we’re eventually headed towards a sport where the pitchers can’t handle a pitch count over 50 and the bullpen becomes a 20-man circus. Only allow position players to sub in during a game.
Pitchers have to bat. Not only is the AL designated hitter system a super wussy way of playing, it’s incredibly odd to have two divisions of the same league that have different rules. Pinch runners are also a lazy travesty. Before these guys were prissy millionaires, they had to work harder, and be tougher. Oh, and every time you bring a little jacket out to a runner on first base, we are booing you at home. This sport is heading towards getting to use scooters to travel around the bases so they don’t hurt their wittle legs.