Friday’s Den: Some suggestions to make the (sports) world better

It is easy to sit here and criticize everything, so before I sit here and criticize everything, here are some good ideas that have been put into play:

— NHL, NFL moving their drafts around the country— Anything that gets the fans closer to the league is a good thing. NHL started this; NFL kind of stumbled into it, but it helps them.

I’m guessing the NFL Draft in Las Vegas this spring should be fun.

— Hard Knocks in season— Brilliant idea they’re doing this year for the first time. The more people see behind the curtains, the better for the league’s business. Plus, the Colts are hot now, so it makes the show more interesting.

— Whoever put the TV camera in the end zone pylon deserves a raise; gives us an interesting view of the action.

— Baseball adding the Wild Card needed to happen, now they want to expand the playoffs further, maybe to 14 teams.

Why? To make more money from the networks (that’s the answer to every question)

Some suggestions to make the (sports) world a better place:
Non-sports stuff:
— More game shows, less of these BS talk shows where the hosts stage arguments so they can yell at each other. Game shows were excellent, made people at home think some.

— We need to respect each other more; just because we disagree about something doesn’t mean we have to hate each other. Agree to disagree, but maintain respect for each other. Debating stuff can be fun.

Sports stuff
— Universal DH is a must. Why?
a) Pitchers suck at hitting
b) Pitchers get hurt hitting/running bases
c) DH’s make more $$$ than relief pitchers; the players’ union likes the DH.
d) More offense equals a more interesting game.

— Banning shifts. Why?
a) Line drives in the gap are more fun to watch than having every guy swing for the fences.
b) More balls in play equals quicker games, more action.
c) Great fielding plays make for better highlights, which attract fans.

— Allow draft picks to be traded.
a) This will give smart teams (maybe with less $$$) to outwit rich, impatient teams.
b) Gives fans/media more stuff to talk about.
c) Anything that keeps baseball in the forefront of conversation is a good thing.

— Market the game better. How?
a) Create an NFL Films-type group that produces a Hard Knocks show where we can see some of the inner workings of baseball. It would be great.
b) Imagine last cuts in spring training? Would be good television.
c) Trade negotiations at the deadline? It would be like watching Moneyball all over again.
d) Show Winter League games from Central America.
e) Get rid of all TV blackouts; you WANT people to watch baseball.

— Geographic realignment. Why?
a) Create more local rivalries— Padres TV guys were complaining that every time they visit Dodger Stadium, they pass thru Anaheim, yet they rarely play the Angels. 

b) More rivalries mean bigger crowds, better TV ratings, more $$$
c) Reduce travel costs.
e) All five California teams in one division; those teams would play 119 of their 162 games in California.

— Market ALL the teams, not just New York, Boston and the Dodgers.
a) Every team has to appear on Sunday Night baseball every so often.
b) Mike Trout is really good; put the Angels on national TV more. 

c) Houston/San Diego are big cities; show the Astros/Padres more on national TV. 

— Make Wild Card playoffs best-of-3. One game just doesn’t cut it; you fight for six months to make the playoffs, then lose one game and you’re out. 2 out of 3 would be better, plus it gives the other playoff teams a few days to rest up for their playoffs.

— Showing games from Japan/Korea in the mornings wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

— Let kids go straight from high school to the NBA, the way it was when Lebron James was in high school. Kids going to college for one year is a farce.

— They’ve turned college basketball into a glorified version of AAU; players transfer at the drop of a hat. Kid at a mid-major makes two layups in a row, he wants to play in the ACC. Not too sure how to fix it, but having obvious pro prospects skip college altogether would help.

— Shorten NBA playoff series, make series best-of-5, increase the drama.  Upsets now and then are a good thing, like the NCAA tournament.

— I’m curious to see how this play-in tournament is going to work. It’ll shorten the regular season by four games

— Big East should host their conference tournament at Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse one year, the gym where they filmed the end of Hoosiers. You have Butler in your league, take advantage of it.

— No more Thursday Night Football, except for Week 1 and Thanksgiving. Instead, they should have Monday night doubleheaders, 7:00/10:30 kickoffs. It would be popular. Football wasn’t meant to be played on three days’ rest.

— Add a second bye week for each NFL team, play a 19-week schedule with 17 games, and have the Super Bowl on Sunday of Presidents’ Day weekend, when everyone is off on Monday.

— Add the AAF’s onside kick rule, when instead of an onside kick, the kicking team gets the ball on their own 35-yard line, 4th-and-15. They get the first down the keep the ball; the onside kick rule they use now isn’t good. Too hard for a recovery by the kicking team.

— If a kickoff goes thru the goal posts, the kicking team gets one point.

— Higher seed in playoffs chooses their opponent in playoffs; they do this in the G-League and it is a good idea. Would make for a good TV show when they choose their opponents.

— College football needs to change their recruiting calendars, to end the insanity of the coaching carousel before bowl season. What happened this fall was embarrassing, schools throwing $$$ at coaches, just before the early recruiting period.

Too many bowl games with lame duck coaches and quarterbacks transferring as soon as they’re not the starter anymore. 

— College football playoffs should be 12 teams; cut out some of these low-level bowl games which mean nothing.

These are just suggestions, but they would improve things.
What do you think? Have any ideas? 

Saturday’s Den: Some of my favorite TV/movie quotes

13) “There’s no such thing as a sure thing, thats why they call it gambling.”
Oscar Madison, The Odd Couple

12) “I’ve got a trig midterm tomorrow and I’m being chased by Guido, the killer pimp.”
Miles, Risky Business

11) “You’re a goddamn quarterback! You know what that means? It’s the top spot, kid. It’s the guy who takes the fall. It’s the guy everybody’s looking at first – the leader of a team – who will support you when they understand you. Who will break their ribs and their noses and their necks for you, because they believe. ‘Cause you make them believe. That’s a quarterback.”
Al Pacino, Any Given Sunday

10) “He’s a great player, but I don’t think we can get him in academically.”
Jerry Tarkanian, Blue Chips

9) “A little song, a little dance……a little seltzer down your pants”
Chuckles the Clown, from The Mary Tyler Moore Show

8) “I’ll get to the bottom of this……if I have to go all the way to the top.”
Colonel Flagg, M*A*S*H*

7) “Listen, Lupus, you didn’t come into this life just to sit around on a dugout bench, did ya? Now get your ass out there and do the best you can.”
Walter Matthau in The Bad News Bears

6) “God likes me!!! He really, really likes me!!! What a day!!! What a fabulous day!!!”
Richard Dreyfuss in Let It Ride

5) “Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s not about winning. It’s about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth…….”
Billy Bob Thornton, Friday Night Lights

4) “……here’s the thing. If you can’t spot the sucker in your first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.”
Mike McDermott, Rounders

3) “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”
Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own

2) “Why would you want to dance with someone who doesn’t want to dance with you?”
Adam Sandler, The Wedding Singer

1) “Do whats in your heart, son. You’ll be fine.”
Robin Williams, from Good Will Hunting