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America Wants Change? Let’s Give ’em Change.

The Change Man himself.

The Change Man himself.

As Obama takes over our country, you can’t help but hear everyone whisper one word (or shout it)… change. As this is a sports website (most of the time), let’s talk about change in sports. Change comes more easily in sports than in most other areas of our culture. We now have replay in baseball! Things are changing all around us. What do I want to see changed? You didn’t ask? Too bad, ’cause I did. Follow me on a journey through the sports world as I pick out all the things that I wish were different.

NFL

Overtime – For me, this is the most major because it applies to theoretically every game in a big way. If it’s called “overtime” why can’t they just play more time? Just add a 15 minute quarter. If it’s still tied, it’s a tie. This shouldn’t be this hard. Whatever you do though, make sure you tell Donovan McNabb.

Preseason – Shorten it to two games. Pretty much every body agrees that this needs to be changed. Clearly, too many guys get injured and the players no longer need as much prep time as they did before they had OTAs and other things.

Imagine the NFL, on this.

Imagine the NFL, on this.

17th game – Extending the regular season has been talked about for some time. I think that if we are going to go to 17 games, this is how we do it… Every team plays one neutral game. Your opponent is selected by last year’s standings (1 vs. 32, 2 vs. 31, etc.) and played at a site that does not normally see NFL action. This will promote the NFL to areas of the country that have little chance to see the game. The sites are London, Germany (Frankfurt or where ever they thing will get the biggest crowd), San Juan, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Mexico City, L.A., Las Vegas, Lincoln, Birmingham, Boise, Hawaii, Norman, Salt Like City, and Louisville.

Time of Superbowl – I don’t know about everyone else, but I hate/hated going to school/work the day after the Super Bowl. Everyone’s at a party, the game ends late, etc. Now that we’ve established that there is a bye week before the big game, there’s no short week. This leaves two options: 1. Move the game back to Saturday. 2. Leave the game and make Monday a holiday. Personally, I vote for option two because it’s another three day weekend.

Live With Your Contract – This is the mantra of GM’s and owners throughout the league whenever a player tries to hold out for more money. The bottom line is that it’s a double standard. The team can terminate any contract when they want, yet expect the players to live up to their end. Either give NFL players guarenteed contracts or stop whining when they hold out.

Let this guy off the hook already.

Let this guy off the hook already.

Stop The Belichick Whining – No one shall mention the Patriots as cheaters from now on. I think we all know that they did what everyone else was doing. I even heard Jimmy Johnson on FOX saying that he had an intern who had the job of going through the garbage hoping to find things left behind by opposing coaches after games. Everybody does everything they can in the NFL.

Pro Bowl – Done. Look, nobody wants to play 1/16 of a season worth of all star games. Just give them plaques, salary bonuses, and have them hold press conferences. Now they are moving the game to the week between championships and the Super Bowl so that nobody from the Super Bowl teams will play. Let’s just end this.

Playoff Seeding – Change to the NBA-like system of seeding the division winners higher but also determining home field by record. If the 4th seed division winner doesn’t have a better record than the 5th seed wild card, the game is played at the 5 seed. I don’t want to see the bad teams getting home field even though they had a worse record in a worse division than their opponent. No more Philly at Arizona.

Doesnt this man deserve a full time job?

Doesn't this man deserve a full time job?

Referees – Make them full time employees. They are in every other league. During the week, refs must attend practice for teams and instruct them on when they would call what penalties. They also generally consult teams whenever they have questions.

NBA

European Conference – I would like to see there be a third conference to go along with the East and West. Each conference would give up a few teams (Memphis, OKC, Sacramento, Bucks, Pacers, Bobcats) and they add 6 expansion teams. Each conference would have 2 divisions of 6. If you play the other 5 teams in your division 4 times each (20), the 6 teams in your conference but not your division 3 times each (18), and the 24 teams in the other conferences 2 times each (48), you get 86 total games. For the playoffs, the six division winners and the ten best records form a sixteen team bracket. The reason for this is that we need to rescue some franchises, and we can’t afford to lose good players to Europe (which will clearly keep happening).

This... should never play in college.

This... should never play in college.

Draft Limit – Get rid of the age limit. High schoolers should be allowed to go to the NBA if they want to and the teams want them too. Make it the way it used to be with the exception of not allowing high schoolers to sign agents until after they are drafted. Imagine if LeBron or Dwight had to play NCAA ball. That wouldn’t have been pretty. If the guy gets drafted he can go to his team, if not he has his eligibility to fall back on. I would also say that restricting the drafting of high schoolers to the first round should be considered.

Get Rid Of Stupid Names – That means anything that isn’t plural (Heat, Magic, Thunder, Jazz). That means changing the name of my Wiz back to what they should be; the Bullets. I’d consider ragging on the Lakers because their name makes no sense, but they may be too legendary to change the name.

Give The Sonics Back – We all know the travesties that were committed here. They need their team back. I mean, now.

WNBA Ends – During these rough economic times, the NBA can’t afford to lose all the money that it does supporting the WNBA. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of the WNBA. But it drains too many resources, not to mention the confusion it causes when trying to read the Bottom Line on ESPN. Personally, I favor Sports Guy’s solution of turning the team names pink.

All Star Voting – We won’t find out until 7pm Thursday if Yi Jianlian is starting for the Eastern Conference in the All Star Game. The fact that I typed that sentence should tell you there is a problem. I don’t want to take it out of the fans hands. I just want them to add a player vote that counts for 25% so that the fans can’t make huge mistakes.

H.O.R.S.E. – Credit Bill Simmons for this one. Who wouldn’t watch a bunch of NBA guys play this on All Star Saturday Night? Seriously, this would be the best thing ever.

How cool is that?

How cool is that?

Names On Jerseys – Very minor one here. How cool is it that “Pistol” Pete Maravich’s jersey actually said “Pistol” on the back with the quotations included. The league would have to regulate this of course, but it would be cool to see guys with really established nicknames wearing them.

Time Between Games In Postseason – One day between games in the same city, two days if you travel. End. Of. Story.

MLB

Carry Over Scores In Homer Derby – No more Josh Hamilton losing to Justin Morneau because they wiped the slates clean. Just… no.

Ban Maple Bats – This needs to be done and will most likely be done after next season when the study that the MLB has commissioned will prove the hazards. Bonds used an ash bat. He did fine.

Skills Competition – I can think of four things that I want to see; speed around the bases, hitting targets, pitching targets, throwing targets. Tell me you wouldn’t watch guys try to get out of the batter’s box and around the diamond as fast as they can go to get back to home. The target competitions are so easy to do that I can’t believe they haven’t happened yet. For hitters the guy gets into the batters box and tries to hit pitches into targets around the field. There are close ones on both sides for bunting, ones down the line at the bags (can you pull the ball on purpose?), one in short center (is that bloop really a fluke), and larger ones in the outfield. For pitchers it acts almost exactly like that thing they have for the NHL with the plate looking things. The throwing contest involves accuracy and power. Guys stand in the outfield and try to hit targets at all the bases. They progressively move back for more points. This would be awesome.

Hall Of Fame Voting – I’d like to cut the time on the ballot to five years.

This trophy is bad. Really bad.

This trophy is bad. Really bad.

Better Trophy – Seriously MLB, your trophy just flat out sucks. Get a new one and I don’t care who you need to pay to design it. Let’s just say that the guy dragging your World Championship from his bumper through the stadium parking lot might have had the right idea.

Let Steroids Guys In – At this point, it’s simple. There’s no way to tell who did or didn’t do it. If you don’t let in the guys with the best numbers, you can’t let anybody in. You can’t have nobody representing an entire decade, so let them in already. I especially feel bad for guys like Sammy Sosa where there is no proof other than he hit a lot of homers when other guys were doing it.

NHL

Way Less Teams – I say that the following teams are gone: Islanders, Blue Jackets, Predators, Thrashers, Ducks, Hurricanes, Stars (although the Wild remain and become the North Stars), Panthers, Lightning, Coyotes, Sharks, and Ducks. That leaves 18 teams. Much better.

Smaller Goalie Pads – They restricted them since the lockout but it’s still not enough.

Every team should have this chance.

Every team should have this chance.

One Outdoor Game Each – With only 18 teams, you have 9 outdoor games a season and everybody gets to play in one once a year. I’m sure they could sell the TV rights to this series of games for a bundle. Once every three weeks, there would be a game that the country would watch and they’d get to see each team.

College Football

BCS Is Out – So many reasons… can… not… compute… But seriously, eight team playoff. BCS conferences get auto-bids, so does the best mid-major, and there’s one at-large spot. The other bowl elligible teams go and play in their stupid games like they always would. A pair of smaller bowls, most likely the Cotton and one other, become first round games every season. Of the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange, a rotation is created to figure out which will be semis and which will be quarters.

Every Conference Has A Champ game – This needs to happen. There is no excuse at all. The conferences can use this as some time to make back some of the money that they are supposedly losing with the playoff system.

Overtime – see, NFL overtime. No more fake football with no clock or special teams.

Don’t Stop Clock – So in college the clock stops while the chains reset even though we know it’s unnecessary because they don’t have to in the NFL. So… why is this the rule in the first place?

I bet this guy could have gotten both in.

I bet this guy could have gotten both in.

Two Feet In – Why do college players only need one foot? I just don’t get this one. What is the point of this rule? To drive up scoring? To drive down being ready for the pros? Give me a hint at least!

2 Minute Warning – Why don’t they have one? Beats me.

College Basketball

Bigger Tourney – 96 teams, 32 conference winners get a bye leading to more compelling conference tournaments. The tournament is overdue for an expansion. Historically, as more teams joined Division I, more spots were created. The Tournament hasn’t undergone a more than one team expansion since 1985. So it’s been 24 years since we went to 64 teams. Do you know how many teams were in the tournament 24 years before that? 24 teams. There are also just way more teams that are capable because of how many more teams there are nowadays. Does 96 really sound like that many? It’s one more game.

Restricted Area – Since the NBA invented this concept, college basketball has disapproved. Most people think that it has something to do with the fact that college is normally the testing ground for rules like this, not the NBA. What’s even weirder is that the NBA created the restricted area to solve the problem of guys taking charges under the basket. That’s a bigger problem in college than it is in the NBA. In the NBA, refs were already starting to not make the calls on their own. In college, guys do this way too often. Not only is it an unfair rule, it’s unsafe. One day Greg Paulus is going to run under somebody and that guy will try to brace his fall and destroy an arm and the millions of dollars he might make.

This is clearly too hard to do twice.

This is clearly too hard to do twice.

Jump Ball – So apparently they still use a possession arrow in college basketball because they think that it’s hard for the refs to throw jump balls correctly. I understand that NBA refs are better, but can we not treat the college refs like children, please? We have to just alternate possessions randomly instead of jupming it up or just having it go to the defense? Isn’t that just stupid?

Shorter Shot Clock – I watched a bunch of high school games on ESPN this week that were played in Massachusetts. That is one of the few states in the country where they have a shot clock for high school ball. How long is the clock? 30 seconds. So the college clock is 35, but high school is 30? Do you realize how long 35 seconds is? Who can’t get a shot off in 35 seconds? I say they change it to 30.

As for the smaller sports…

Aluminum Bats – They should really be banned on all levels. The bottom line is that we are just lucky that a pitcher hasn’t caught one in the right spot to end his life yet. That could so easily happen and the possibility needs to be eliminated.

So that’s all for the changes. What do you think? What would you change? Comments below are open for debate.

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50 Responses

  1. I did not approve the first image….

  2. imagine if someone wrote an entire post on changes needed in hockey….

  3. Can I escape Obama anywhere?

  4. cbh-see my first comment.

  5. However, nice work with the post.

    I am really against the NFL going to 18 games, if it isn’t broke why fix it?

  6. I hope this is the last event of the inauguration

  7. Lots of great ideas. I especially like the 17th rotating game. However, I don’t see anyone running the bases full tilt. One misstep on a bag and there goes a knee.

  8. I am looking at the NBA and cannot find anything about traveling being called?

  9. GITC is a Wizards, ahem, Bullets fan? Good, someone else who can share my pain.

  10. oh, and the Patriots are cheaters.

  11. Also very much against adding to the NCAA Tournament, another if it aint broke don’t fix it type thing.

    The better question for the 2 minute warning is why have it?

  12. cbh- 2 minute warning means more advertising money.

  13. Re: Time of Super Bowl….just move it to Presidents day weekend

  14. Your opponent is selected by last year’s standings (1 vs. 32, 2 vs. 31, etc.) and played at a site that does not normally see NFL action.

    Not sure that’s how the games should be decided, but the idea is pretty neat.

    Most of those changes seem pretty realistic…would love to see H.O.R.S.E. in the NBA skills comp….can’t see them adding a baserunning drill for the same reason knightro mentioned…and don’t agree with smaller pads in the NHL since scoring is up lately.

  15. Aaaah…what the hell happened to that one…looks like I missed a > or < somewhere…and what’s with the Ctrl+P & poop posts today?

  16. This is the angle Whitlock should have taken.

  17. mikey–Good morning…I can’t see moving it back another week…I wouldn’t wanna wait even more.

  18. Hey wait, didn’t I write about My 17th game, neutral site OR annual regional rivalry last summer?

    I agree. Most forget the NFL gained popularity by playing several neutral site games around the country. Mostly in minor league ballparks and college stadiums.

    Could you imagine the Broncos and Seahawks squaring off in Boise? Maybe a game in the Rose Bowl? Foreign games. of course.

    Or an annual rotating game between St. Louis/KC? An 50/50 stadium of Giants and Jets fans (over/under on arrests 300)? Houston and Dallas going at it? San Fran and Oakland?

  19. ever since they took out the ban on the 2 line pass in hockey, scoring has been up. best decision they have made.

  20. cbh –

    You may also see illformula around here. He shares our pain as well. Come on Ricky Rubio!

    knightro-

    17th neutral game is such a great idea. I forgot to mention that there is one neutral game every week, it has to be on national TV, and it should be pretty high on the tiebreaker list when it comes to playoffs.

    sparty-

    I’m also a little Obama’d out.

  21. I like almost every single change. I can’t possibly get behind not calling Belichik a cheater though.

  22. I used to be for the H.O.R.S.E. idea, now I’m against it. I just think it would be a crowd killer, because of the time inbetween made shots.

  23. Re: colleege chain rule – keep it. i love it, it’s so much better than a 2 minute warning. Nothing worse than a tough 1st down late in an NFL game and the clock running out because the chains cannot get set in time.

  24. here is one that bothers me. 2pts if you return an interception, fumble or blocked kick on a conversion attempt in college. NCAA needs to adopt the NFL rule that it is a dead play. High school calls it dead as well.

  25. rek…you wouldnt have to if a 17th game was added…and it wasnt a good morning …ive been up for six hous now…i did 14 loads of laundry already and now i am trying to get this proposal out

    /behind’d

    oh – and happy hour is up whenever you guys are done here

  26. I don’t remember if it was Simmons that came up with this idea or not, but anyways…put up $1 million (for charity) to the winner of the slam dunk competition in hopes that it would lure the big names. A Lebron vs. Kobe vs. D-Ho slam dunk competition would be more entertaining than the ASG.

  27. while we are at it with the two feet rule, how about needing contact to be called down in college and not just a knee or elbow.

  28. I think college should go to two feet, i’m indifferent on the contact rule. i think eventually you will see it change. I was what? 25 years ago you couldn’t advange a fumble?

  29. mikey–If they added a 17th game, they’d probably get rid of 1 preseason game and tack the 17th game onto the beginning of the season.

    14 loads of laundry in 6 hours? You must not be using the dryer or you’re really on top of things.

  30. trey–I hate when time runs out because chains couldn’t get set in time…you shouldn’t have to rely on other people to get a play off…if you’re set, then you’re set.

    sparty–Agree on the dead ball for blocked conversion…and 2 feet down along with contact to be down should definitely be added into the college game.

  31. sparty-

    Good call, can’t believe I missed that.

  32. took it to the laundromat

  33. there is no reason for college football and college basketball to have different rules.

  34. Just saw it in Happy Hour…must really suck…good luck on getting the proposal done.

  35. What about wild and zany rules?

    4 Points for a Half Court Shot?
    2 Point Goals in Hockey?
    Bring back 4 point FG if drop kicked?
    Ghostman on 1st instead of letting matt Stairs run the bases?

  36. I can’t see how having a Euro conference will limit ballers defecting to Europe. It’s all about the money; you think people like living in Europe?

  37. 4 Points for a Half Court Shot?

    when my friends and I were 6 and 7 and had no idea of the rules, we thought this was true.

  38. I think I’ll go back and add the dead conversion, down by contact, and any other good suggestions.

  39. Fiesta-

    We are losing Euro players back to Europe.

  40. you make sure credit is given to the commenters (me) that made the good ones.

    also, add a link to trey’s post about the 17th game, and mine about NHL changes.

  41. Yes, player are going to Europe, but for the money. An NBA Euro Conference would have the same salary cap rules as now, and Childress would not have gotten the same $$$ that some sucker in Greece gave him.

  42. Sorry gitc. I re-read your comment. I guess Euro born players to like living in Europe.

    /it’s still about the money, though.

  43. Fiesta-

    The big Euro owners would own NBA franchises now and therefore not over spend on NBA guys.

  44. Could be. It’s still a good idea, though.

    What about time-zone differences? Many East cost fans don’t watch there teams play at a west coast arena since it is so late. It would be even worse for Euro fans.

  45. dont the euroball teams have a minor league system? if we cherry pick the euro teams like barca / real madrid / panathinaikos, etc… we should have a similar system as well with the d-league.

  46. btw, if you expand the field to 96, do you abolish the NIT / CBI?

  47. Hahhaha, the CBI is a joke, they basically took anyone that would say yes, it had no criteria at all, most college basketball fans don’t even know it exists.

  48. CBI = what’s left of the crumbs.

  49. Although, full disclosure, if George Mason had to settle for it and then actually won the thing, I would brag.

  50. […] Since Obama is talking about change, guyinthcorner over at Sparty & Friends, offers all the things he thinks should be changed in Sports.  Pretty good read- CLICK HERE  […]

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