Ever since the NFL came up with the idea of spotting the PAT kick at the 20 — why didn’t they come up with this plan when the game was invented back in Jim Thorpe’s infancy? — I’ve long felt that sports could be “improved” like that.
Can’t believe we spent decades with that stupid short-kick-for-a-PAT.
Moving the Olympic Games, for instance, every two years between the Winter and Summer Games, way back in the 1990s, was brilliant. Getting Olympics every two years is tremendous. Not this year, of course. Sad to say.
There’s no reason why golf and tennis, football and baseball, basketball and its NBA draft can’t be modified. Modified, that is, to deliver a more sane way of doing business. Some things are off-the-charts no-brainers.
Here are a few:
College basketball’s “one-and-done” rule, for instance, can quietly go away if the NCAA will adopt a simple policy. When a player leaves for the NBA after a year, that scholarship has to be “frozen” by that school for the final three years of his eligibility.
In other words, when Karl Anthony-Townes left Kentucky for the Minnesota Timberwolves after his frosh season a few years back, Wildcats’ coach John Calipari wouldn’t be allowed to replace his scholarship for Townes’ remaining three years.
It forces colleges to recruit serious student-athletes instead of turning college basketball into a training ground for the pros. What’s the hold-up on this, folks?
Does the NCAA and its colleges really want to improve its image?
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Speaking of the NBA: Tired of teams tanking? Try this:
All non-playoff NBA teams should play single elimination games for the right to that No. 1 pick. Mini-tournament following the season. Instead of that stupid lottery pick, the Draft Tournament Champ gets that No. 1 slot.
It’s called playing to win a draft pick, not playing to lose for it.
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Baseball’s ground rule double is interesting. Balls that bounce over the fence should be ground-rule triples, not doubles. Maybe outfielders will try harder for a ball if that extra base is in play.
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College football: NO MORE CUPCAKE GAMES! Props to USC and Alabama for scheduling that Sept. 5 game in Arlington, Texas -- stadium home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Too bad they didn’t get to play it.
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So if you’re trying to protect NFL quarterbacks from actual harm, why not allow offensive linemen to use their hands more often, doing all they can to keep defenders from getting to their passers?
Go ahead. Let them “hold.”
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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Like golf’s U.S. Open, tennis should also rotate its Open at spots around the nation, with one stop every few years at nearby Indian Wells out in the Coachella Valley. Why does New York get the Open every year?
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Speaking of the Coachella Valley: It’s a golf haven. Dozens, even hundreds, of courses. Hotels everywhere. An airport. So why? Why? Why has the USGA not awarded a U.S. Open in that location? Or the PGA rewarded the PGA Championship with their major tournament in that region? Why?
Now that the PGA Championship is played in May, becoming the season’s second major championship instead of the last, this will keep it away from the Coachella Valley’s summertime heat.
A U.S. Open at, say, Ironwood or Big Horn, might just work.
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Pro football, of course, can straighten out its scheduling malfunction with a simple strategy. Sixteen teams in each conference? Looks like 17 games might be coming. All NFC and AFC teams play each other once. Throw in two games against teams from the alternate conference. The top eight teams from each conference heads into the playoffs, all having played balanced schedules.
The Rams need to play Chicago and Atlanta and Dallas and New Orleans and Green Bay, etc., every season. Who cares about two games a year against Arizona, the 49ers and Seattle?
Rams’ fans get Brady and Brees, Wilson, Rodgers, Jimmy G, Wentz and Murray and a nice slot of QBs each season.
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Chargers’ fans, meanwhile, get to see their team go up against Patrick Mahomes, Carr in Las Vegas, plus Mayfield, Watson, Rothliesberger, Jackson, along with ex-USC star Sam Darnold each and every season.
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Finally, the National League adopts the DH.
How can this not make sense to fans in any barber shop, bar room, auto repair garage, doctor’s waiting rooms, Johnny’s Tacos or Uncle Howie’s —anywhere that baseball is discussed — while talking with a straight face?
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More football: Don’t you get tired of all those penalty flags flying on virtually every punt return, not to mention various kickoff returns?
Simple: Legalize blocks in the back, but only above the waist. Below the waist is too dangerous. Punt returns can be the most exciting plays in football instead of the most disappointing.
We all know, by heart, the referee’s speech by now. “Block in the back … receiving team … half the distance to the goal … first-and-10 …”
While all of us are nodding away.
(Got any sports tips or just want to chat about sports? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)