Monday’s Den: In a perfect world, where I made all the decisions……

13) Kids could go right from high school to the NBA; going to school for only one year is a farce, so if a kid goes to college, then he is there for at least two years. College baseball has that rule, but I think it is three years for them. 

12) Both leagues would have the DH; this will happen in a couple years. Add a player or two to rosters, to appease the players’ union.

11) NFL would have an 18-game regular season, only two preseason games; Super Bowl would be Sunday night of Presidents’ Day weekend. 

10) College football teams wouldn’t play I-AA opponents; SEC teams do this a lot. Last year, Alabama played The Citadel, Ole Miss played Southern Illinois, South Carolina played Tenn-Chattanooga. Seriously? Go play a MAC team or a Sun Belt team, at least. 

9) Online poker would be made legal so the poker companies would advertise on TV and ESPN would start replaying the World Series of Poker again, like they used to. The stuff ESPN puts on in daytime on weekdays is mostly terrible. Mike Greenberg, Stephen A Smith both make around $6M a year, a tremendous waste of money. 

Listening to talking heads in contrived arguments is a waste of electricity. Much rather watch people play cards, or replays of games, actual competition. 

8) As far as college basketball transfers go, if you poach a transfer from a team, then you have to go play a game in that team’s gym. Most of the teams that poach transfers are way better than the teams they poach from anyway, but they often don’t have the onions to play road games. 

By way of explanation, over the last seven seasons, Duke has played only three non-conference road games, all mandated by the ACC-Big 14 challenge. When Duke poached Seth Curry from Liberty, they should have had to go there and play a true road game. 

7) I would take the radios out of NFL players’ helmets; coaches have six days to prepare their teams to play. Gameday should be the players’ day; let the QB’s call their own plays, which would make the game lot more exciting. QB’s calling the plays would make the game more fun. 

6) I’d eliminate the American/National Leagues and go to geographic realignment, which would reduce travel costs and invigorate regional rivalries. Going to 32 teams (which will happen soon) will make scheduling a lot easier. 

5) NBA playoff series would be best-of-3, with finals best-of-5. Less games, more drama; it is more interesting when the best team has a chance to lose. Would the NCAA tournament be at all interesting if a 16-seed played Duke/Kentucky best-of-3? 

4) I’d get rid of the Electoral College in our presidential election; whoever gets the most votes wins, just like in all the other elections. 

3) Would definitely move the NBA Draft Lottery back to a half hour before the actual draft; imagine the drama then? Lot of executives would have to think on their feet. 

2) You want to make baseball’s All-Star Game more interesting? Make it USA vs the World, and it’ll become a serious game fairly quickly. Maybe too serious.

1) Would like to make people happier; nowadays, there is so much anger in the world. There is a lot less tolerance of others than there used to be. You be you, and let others do what they do. Cheer the bleep up!!!!

Monday’s Den: Early Week 1 NFL trends……

NFL Week 1
Green Bay @ Chicago— Packers won last four season openers, but lost five of last seven road openers; over is 11-2 in their last 13 RO’s. Chicago started 0-1 the last five years; they lost four of last five home openers (under 3-1-1). 

Atlanta @ Minnesota— Falcons won three of last four road openers; they split last eight season openers. Five of their last six RO’s stayed under. Minnesota won four of last five season openers; they won/covered their last four home openers- Vikings’ last five HO’s stayed under. 

Washington @ Philadelphia— Redskins snapped a 5-game skid on Opening Day LY; they won last three road openers. Over is 7-3 in their last ten RO’s. Philly started 1-0 in seven of last eight seasons; they won four of last five home openers (under 4-1). 

Buffalo at Jets— Bills are opening on road for first time in five years; they lost last three road openers, scoring 7-3-3 points. Since 2002, they’re 9-7 vs spread as an underdog in their RO. Jets won six of their last eight home openers. 

Baltimore @ Miami— Ravens won last three Week 1 games by combined score of 80-10; they’re 7-4 vs spread in last 11 road openers. Over is 8-3-1 in their last dozen RO’s. Miami covered five of its last six home openers  (4-2 SU). Dolphins’ last ten home openers stayed under the total; nine of their last ten RO’s went over. 

San Francisco @ Tampa Bay— 49ers lost last four road openers (1-3 vs spread), losing by average of 13.8 ppg; four of their last six road openers stayed under. Tampa Bay won its last two Week 1 games, scoring 31-48 points; they didn’t play in Week 1 in 2017 because of a hurricane. Arians was 2-3 in openers while he was Arizona’s coach. 

Kansas City @ Jacksonville— Chiefs won last four season openers; they covered five of last six road openers. Over is 5-3 in last eight RO’s. Jacksonville won its last two season openers, but lost six of last seven home openers- they’re 3-9 vs spread in 12 HO’s. Four of their last five home openers went over. 

Tennessee @ Cleveland— Since re-joining NFL in 1999, Browns are 1-18-1 in Week 1; they tied Steelers in LY’s opener. Cleveland did cover five of last seven home openers. Titans lost last three season openers, but won/covered five of last six road openers. 

Rams @ Carolina— Under McVay, Rams won their season openers 46-9/33-13; since 2000, they’re 4-15 vs spread in road openers (4-5 in last nine). Four of their last five road openers stayed under total. Carolina won its last five home openers, allowing 8-3 point last two years; they won four of last five season openers. Under is 5-1 in their last six HO’s. 

Detroit @ Arizona— Detroit started six of last eight seasons 1-0; Lions covered last three road openers; over is 9-4-1 in their last 14. Cardinals lost last three home openers, scoring 14.7 ppg; six of their last seven home openers stayed under. 

Cincinnati @ Seattle— Seahawks won their last ten home openers (8-2 vs spread); under is 15-2-1 in their last 18 HO’s. Bengals won four of last five road openers; eight of their last nine RO’s went over total. Cincy won four of last five Week 1 games. Seattle 

Indianapolis @ Chargers— Colts lost seven of last nine road openers; they’ve started last five seasons 0-1. Indy’s last three season openers went over. Chargers lost last two home openers and winning six of previous seven; 13 of their last 16 HO’s went over. Bolts started last three seasons 0-1. 

Giants @ Dallas— Giants lost seven of last eight season openers; they’re playing road opener in Dallas for 6th time in last seven years. NY is 2-7 in last nine RO’s overall, 1-4 in last five RO’s here- their last three RO’s stayed under. Dallas won six of last eight home openers; they split last ten season openers, with four of last five staying under.  

Pittsburgh @ New England— Pitt opens on road for 5th straight year. Since 1997, Steelers are 1-8-1 vs spread when an underdog in their road opener; five of their last six RO’s stayed under. Patriots won 15 of last 17 home openers, but are 2-4-1 vs spread in last seven (under 5-2). NE started 13 of last 15 seasons 1-0, losing in ’14/’17. 

Houston @ New Orleans— Saints started last five seasons 0-1; NO lost its last four home openers and were favored in three of them- last three went over total, with Saints giving up 35-36-48 points. Texans lost three of last four road openers (under 4-0); in franchise history, they’re 4-8 vs spread in RO’s. 

Denver @ Oakland— Broncos are opening on road for first time since 2010; they won last seven season openers, but obviously, all of them were in Denver. Broncos are 7-8 in last 15 road openers, with three of last four going over total. Raiders lost four of last five home openers; since 2003, they’re 4-12 vs spread in HO’s, with four of last five going over.