If I ruled the sports world …
I have a friend, who to put it mildly, has a power complex. Occasionally, he will outline, in frighteningly precise detail, how he plans to conquer the world and what changes he would make. On the surface, his ideas seem far-fetched and extremely unlikely. But if you suspend your grip on reality for a minute, his musings do make some sense and, if nothing else, provide interesting topics of conversation over a pint or two.
And while I hold no aspirations to take over the planet, I started to think about how great it would be if I was the czar of the sports world. Just imagine, my personal sports utopia. A place where Astroturf was banned from all playing fields, and my loyal subjects were forbidden from ever voicing the inane argument that, “NASCAR drivers are too athletes.”
So, should I ever come into power in the aforementioned position, this would be my doctrine. I realize, because of their absurdity, these changes will more than likely never be made, but like my friend’s plan, they do make a bit of sense.
Lower the rims in women’s basketball
This would be my absolute first order of business. That the WNBA, with its cornucopia of breathtaking layup highlights, has survived this long is a minor miracle. I compare watching WNBA games to watching baseball games where the players can’t hit home runs … or reach the outfield, for that matter. Let’s lower the rim to nine feet and make the game exciting. Take it easy, lady hoopsters. I respect your skills, but let’s face it – some more action closer to the rim would do wonders for the paltry WNBA ratings. I think more people watched reruns of the Westminster Dog Show than tuned in to the WNBA Finals last weekend.
Naysayers will argue that lowering the rim would be changing the game, but concessions are already in place, taking into account the physical differences between men and women. The ball is much smaller so why not make the rim lower? Changes can’t be made after this many years of women’s basketball, you say? Sports have been altered to increase television ratings before (the implementation of the shot clock, for example) and are constantly in flux (remember the days when there was no three-point line?). If the sweeping change was made, it would take a period of about 5-10 years for jump shooters to adjust, but in the long run it would benefit the game.
Shorten the Major League Baseball season
I would make baseball a 100-game season. I mean, does anyone care about the 102nd game of the year between teams like Tampa Bay and Baltimore? A shorter season would generate closer pennant races, make each series more important and guarantee the poor Detroit Tigers and Milwaukee Brewers would not have to play in snow flurries at the start of the year. It would screw up all the total stats for the season, but players always insist they don’t play for the records anyway. Plus, they would get a longer off-season in return.
Make end zone dances mandatory
That’s right. I won’t just allow end-zone celebrations in the NFL again. I would make them a requirement. Remember the good old days of Billy “White Shoes” Johnson? How about Washington’s “Fun Bunch”? I don’t know whose bright idea it was to outlaw celebrating a touchdown, but it’s preposterous. I want to see the “Ickey Shuffle” again. Mandatory dancing after a score would produce some great celebrations, but even the ones that were horrible could be hilarious. Can you imagine what Mike Alstott or Brad Johnson’s antics would look like? Or even better, some bumbling offensive lineman who happened to fall on a fumble in the end zone?
Contact Brandon Wright at email@example.com