Because I can’t help myself, and because I need a break from our newly enshrined Dear Leader, my thoughts below and after the jump on how to fix the three major professional American sports (sorry hockey and “soccer”), starting with the one most in need of fixing.* Also, too, Open Thread. The best. Have a steak.
(1) Shorten the season by 20-40 games. Season is too damn long, especially with the current playoff system. P&C report at the end of February and the WS ended on November 2 in 2016. That 8 full months. Then comes award season where the Cy Young, MVP, etc. are dribbled out over the rest of November. Enough. The season should finish by early October. Yes this makes historical record comparisons harder/meaningless, but PEDs have already done sailed that ship.
(2) Go back to two divisions per league and only the division winners make the playoffs. Alternatively, no divisions and the top two make the playoffs. 3 division winners plus 2 wild cards is just plain made up junk.
(3) Either import the DH into the NL or eliminate it from the AL. That the two leagues play under different rules is atrocious, which one is the JV league? There should also be a standard field size, but I won’t insist on it.
(4) Batter takes second base on any four pitch walk. Want to intentionally walk someone? Pay up. Too bad this rule wasn’t in place for Bonds in SF (I mean, 120 in a single season and more in his career than the next two players combined?!!? I know he was juicing, but come on!).
(5) Games are too damn long. Thus, no more than three pitching changes per 9 innings and only between innings. If it goes into extras you get an extra change at the beginning of the 10th, 13th, 16th, etc. If you have to change pitchers for an injury (or “injury”) the other team gets one run if it’s between innings or the greater of one run or the number of runners on base if during an inning.
(6) Games are too damn long. Strictly enforce the time between pitches rule and no stepping out of the batters box between pitches.
(7) Contract by 2-4 teams.
(1) Eliminate the PAT. The new modified system is no better than the one that came before it – losing a game because of a missed PAT is boring and dumb and Un-American and kickers are still hitting 94% of them anyway. Instead, touchdowns are worth 7 points. If you want 8 you can go for two either as it’s done now or by kicking a field goal of the distance where kickers have a 50% chance of making it based on the past five years of field goal attempts (my guess this is in the 50+ yard range). If you don’t make the end zone or miss the kick, you go down to 6 points.
(2) Change the OT rules. In the regular season – no overtimes. Tied at the end of regulation? It’s a tie. It’s really not that bad people, and they make the standings more interesting. In the playoffs – get rid of the current rules and play a full 15 minute overtime period no matter who scores when, but play continues from where it left of at the end of the 4th quarter, just like between the first/second and third/fourth quarters. Tied at the end of OT? Move to another 15 minute period but this one is sudden death (we don’t need anyone dying on us), and again play continues from where it left off at the end of the prior OT period.
(3) Eliminate one or two preseason games and add a 17th regular season game. The 17th game to be played in a city without an NFL team. Thus, Seattle and SF could play in Portland. Minnesota and Kansas City in Des Moines. The LA Rams and Arizona Cardinals in St. Louis (hah!). Pittsburgh and Cincinnati in Cleveland (just kidding Browns!). The possibilities are endless and exciting! These teams would then have their bye the next week, or have their bye the week before the game. The NFL already holds neutral site games in London (followed by a bye for the teams, I believe), why not in the US? Seems like a no-brainer.
(4) Eliminate Thursday night games. Barring that, have them played between teams coming off a bye week. Or combine with the above and have the Thursday night games played at a neutral site after a bye week for both teams.
(5) Add a second bye week, this would help compensate for the extra regular season game from an injury standpoint. The NFL did this for a few seasons but went away from it because, IIRC, there were too few games many weekends, especially in the 4pm Eastern slot. This could be partially remedied by moving the current Thursday games to Sunday.
(6) Add another playoff team in each conference and give a bye week to the regular season conference champion only.
(7) Change the playoff tiebreaker by demoting division winners with poorer records than non-division winners. No team with a record worse than a non-playoff team should make the playoffs over the team with better record just because they are a “division winner.” This has happened a number of times in recent years. Thus, a 9-7 division winner misses out on the playoffs if there are enough other teams with better records to fill up the playoff slots. If you want winning a division to “mean something” for God knows what reason, then have it be the first tie-breaker with another team, even if the division winner lost a head to head matchup with that team.
(8) Play the Superbowl on Saturday – 8pm Eastern kickoff. Everyone, including younger kids, gets Sunday to recover.
(9) Eliminate the extra week between the conference Championships and the Superbowl.
(10) Eliminate the salary cap and/or guarantee salaries. It’s a brutal sport, players need to be paid if they’re at serious risk of life long disabilities.
(11) Stop with the TD, commercials, Kickoff, commercials, crap. I mean, Jesus people.
(12) Fire Roger Goodell. The most overpaid executive in america.
(1) Shorten the season by 15-20 games. Too many games that matter too little and too many stars taking a game off to “rest.” What is this, Pre-K? This would help keep teams away from games on consecutive nights and 3 games in 5 days – which leads the aforementioned naps, er, rest.
(2) Contract by 4-6 teams. Too many teams spreading talent too thin. This would complement a shortened season and make games better – it may also cut down on things like Kevin Durant going to Golden State and LeBron to Miami (but perhaps not).
(3) Enlarge the court – not sure by how much, but a longer, wider court would allow more spacing, opening up passing lanes and more fast break opportunities and also…
(4) Move back the three point line – too easy now and Steph Curry is like mocking us. Perhaps a foot in all directions, maybe 18 inches (this can’t be done now because the court is too narrow). Steph could still mock us but we’d be more impressed.
(5) Fewer timeouts – both for the entire game and at the end of games. Limit timeouts in last minute to 1 per team.
(6) The first round of playoffs should go back to a best of 5. In fact, reduce the # of playoff teams from each conference from 8 to 6 and give the top 2 teams a first round bye. Also, no more than one day between playoff games in a series (this could be changed for the finals).
(7) Eliminate the salary cap, if you want to keep a rookie wage scale that’s fine, but no more than 3 years.
Falcons in a blowout.
*Yes I’m trolling you Count!