Goodbye college football...we'll see ya in a few months.
I like originality in writing, so I'm going to apologize from the start for what you're about to read. I stole this idea. Just letting you know upfront. Bill Simmons from ESPN.com did his own list of "if I were in charge of making all of sports better, this is what I'd do" and called himself the Sports Czar (Tsar if you like).
Well, I liked the idea, so I came up with my own list as "Sports' Attorney General." I don't believe in Communist titles.
I'm ripping him off and announcing my platform before he elaborates on his, my apologies, but I'm not going verbatim off what he had. I have a list of my own changes I'd like to make; some of them obvious, some of them merely nuances that irritate me.
I'm interested to see what other people would change as well, so feel free to elaborate in the comments section below. And yes, I'm avoiding the basic "change the BCS," "start playoff games earlier," "salary cap for baseball," and "Erin Andrews does her sideline reporting in a bikini and/or topless" comments because I think we all can agree on those.
My 25 Sports' Attorney General Changes
1) Tim McCarver—Gone
Much in the same way I never have understood who listens to Nickelback, I don't get why Tim McCarver gets the penultimate baseball gig every postseason.
No one claims to like Nickelback, and no one claims to enjoy listening to McCarver. Yet, each October we get McCarver telling us that a lead off home run usually leads to more runs than a lead off walk.
2) Universal Fantasy Football Rules
We've all had the same conversation with a friend or co-worker in which, in the midst of trying to explain your last fantasy football point explosion, you realize it means nothing to the person you're telling it to.
Your three quarterback, one running back, 17 points-per-reception league is completely different than his one quarterback, three tight end, two kicker league in which you get negative points for a team losing the coin toss.
Fantasy sports is just a sports version of WoW anyway, but at least they know what achieving the rank of paladin means.
Stop with the stupidity.
Fantasy baseball shouldn't include a WHIP, OBP, OBS, CS, WP, Balk, or anything else requiring more than pre-algebra to solve.
Fantasy football needs a universal setting of one quarterback, one running back, two wide receivers, one flex running back/wide receiver, one tight end, one defense/special teams spot, and one kicker.
Until we all agree on fantasy sports rules, you'll continue getting glassy-eyed looks from co-workers everywhere.
3) The NHL Cuts Six Teams, MLB and NBA Cut Two Teams, and the NFL Moves a Team to the Second-Largest City in the Country
The NHL is easy: Bye-bye Columbus, Florida, Nashville, Atlanta, Carolina, and LA.
MLB is a little rougher, but I'm going to go with Florida and Toronto (goodbye "O, Canada").
The NBA contracts Charlotte and is banned from that experiment for 1,000 years, along with Memphis.
The NFL relocates Jacksonville to Los Angeles, and no one outside Northern Florida notices.
Furthermore, the city of Atlanta is put on notice that since it has the ninth-largest metropolitan population in the United States, it needs to support its teams as such.
They have four years to move their teams into the top half of average attendance in each league, or their teams will be the first to be relocated.
This is based on the fact that the Falcons (29th of 32), Braves (19th of 30), Hawks (20th of 30), and Thrashers (30th of 30) all rank in the bottom half of attendance respectively.
You've been warned (that's me channeling my inner Colbert).
4) Gambling Is no Longer a Dirty Word in Sports
Gambling is illegal in every state outside of America's Playground of Las Vegas, and yet open up your daily newspaper from Portland to St. Pete, and you'll get the daily lines in the sports section.
When was the last time you heard of someone being prosecuted for using online gambling websites like Bodog or Covers, even if they aren't from Nevada?
I'm not promoting the nationwide legalization of sports betting, I'm just saying, you don't see local marijuana prices everyday in the business section.
5) The Heisman Trophy Rewords its Definition of "Most Outstanding"
The Heisman Trophy website says the award goes to the "most outstanding college football player" each season. Since 1996 "most outstanding" has been synonymous with "best QB on a winning team" nine of 13 times.
The only other four that won it were RBs Ricky Williams (who set the all-time college football rushing record), Ron Dayne (who broke Ricky's record the following season), and Reggie Bush (a freakish return man and running back), to go along with all-purpose player Charles Woodson (who is still the only primarily defensive player to ever win the award).
So unless the Heisman voters start truly voting for the most outstanding player, they should add a clause that states, "unless you do something that has never, ever been done before at your position, we will award this trophy to some QB who led his team to a high ranking while having a historically above-average season."
6) NBA All-Star Weekend Adopts H-O-R-S-E as a Four-Man Game Involving a Rookie, a Superstar, a Former Legend, and a Celebrity.
Imagine Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Charles Barkley, and Jay-Z.
Or O.J. Mayo, LeBron, Bird, and Will Smith.
How about last season, with Kevin Durant, KG, Dr. J, and Billy Crystal?
Or see who would stop talking first between Joakim Noah, Allen Iverson, Reggie Miller, and Spike Lee.
Next year it could be Luke Harangody, Andrew Bogut, Greg Ostertag, and Conan O'Brien for large, white man supremacy.
I could go on for forever.
7) One PGA Tour Event on a Municipal Course
I want to see what Vijay Singh does on my local 495-yard par five with cars driving by, honking their horns. I want to see what Phil Mickelson does when he has to abide by the Municipal Tournament sponsored by Natural Light requirement of a six pack/nine holes rule.
I want to see Tiger Woods fly the green on a 345-yard par four. They either need to break 50 in a round or be plastered by the 15th with their shirts over their heads arguing with fans.
John Daly is host.
8) Congressmen Aren't Allowed to Involve Themselves in Matters of Sports, Unless...
If and when there is a comprehensive immigration bill finalized, there is no ongoing war, the economy is growing a five percent or more rate, unemployment is below three percent, a renewable energy resource has been found, and infrastructure has been built to support it. When people aren't filing for foreclosure like it's a Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes, and that whole gambling thing I was talking about is fixed.
Then and only then can a U.S. Congressman state he's looking into the legalities of the BCS system, steroids in baseball, or any other sports topic. Until then, you're a self-serving ass that should have better things to do.
9) Institute a Three Strike Policy in All of Sports for Drug/Steroid/Conduct Violations: First Offense—a Month Suspension; Second Offense—a Year; Third Offense—Banned for Life
Let's say you're a banker, and you consistently show up late for work, argue with co-workers and whatnot, but you're a great banker. Then you get arrested over the weekend for assault and drug possession, and it's in the news.
Do you think you would or wouldn't have a job on Monday morning?
Let's say you sweet talk your boss into it, and he is willing to give you a second chance, and then three months later you're arrested for a DUI and leaving the scene of a crime. What do you think would happen? Would you work for that bank ever again?
10) Stephen A. Smith is...Ahem...Taken Care of...Ahem
Voice box removed, driven to the middle of the desert and left for dead, fired—I don't care. I just know my life would be more complete if I knew I never had to hear his voice ever again.
11) Rick Reilly Is Never Allowed to Write About Beer Pong (Retroactive)
Check his latest article. It's like Bob Costas reporting on the Hawaiian Tropic Bikini competition, or Jim Nantz reporting live from the infield of the Kentucky Derby—just weird.
12) NFL Sunday Ticket is Offered to All Cable Providers, Not Just DirecTV
"These cable operators are denying their consumers fair access to this popular NFL programming or charging them exorbitant monthly fees to view the Network," said Roger Goodell.
He was talking about cable operators not carrying the NFL Network. And yet, Sunday Ticket remains exclusively on DirecTV. I'm choking on irony.
13) The Elimination of the NFL's Touchdown-Timeout-Kickoff-Another Timeout Rule
This gets combined with a rule that no more than two promos for a single show are allowed to air during one sports broadcast, and if advertisers want to have 10 time spots in a three-hour game, they better have more than one commercial.
I have nightmares about The Mentalist going to buy a $5 dollar foot long with "it's just the beginning of a happy go fun day" playing in the background when President Palmer busts through the back door to tell him about Allstate's stand, and all the while the chick from the Prilosec commercials is just dancing behind the counter.
If you didn't get that tangent, then you didn't watch enough football this fall.
14) The NBA Either Rescinds its One Year Removed from High School Rule, or Enacts an NFL-Style Three-Plus Rule That Actually Makes Sense
Because Greg Oden wasn't spending more than one year at Ohio State.
Because O.J. Mayo was full of crap when he said he was contemplating staying for his sophomore year at USC.
Because the NCAA is providing a free minor league system for the NBA but receiving no benefit from returning players/developing rivalries/career record breakers.
Because Ohio State would have Greg Oden, Kosta Koufos, Daequan Cook, and Mike Conley. Because Texas would have Kevin Durant and D.J. Augustin. Because the top five draftees from last season would still be at their schools as sophomores.
Because college basketball wouldn't be something people just paid attention to from after the NFL ended until baseball starts.
Because I'm a selfish person and would rather watch better quality college teams over the NBA. There! There's my real reason!
15) Either a Full Adoption of the DH, or Eliminate It
If the AFC played with 12 men on the field while the NFC played with 11, it would be like the MLB.
If the Eastern Conference of the NBA played with six players on the floor and the Western Conference played with five, it would be like the MLB.
Personally, and I'm a NL guy here, I'd love to see adoption of the DH in both leagues.
Pitchers batting is a farce nine times out of 10, so a DH would improve quality of play, I believe. Plus, it gives players like Hideki Matsui and Frank Thomas jobs that do not require them to bend over—I'm all about helping the elderly.
16) The Super Bowl Moves to Saturday Night and Employee Productivity for the Monday after a Super Bowl Increases Nine Billion Percent
Of the 97 million people who watched the Super Bowl last year, let's say for this exercise that I'm about to make up that 40 percent of those people drink during the game.
Of those 40 percent, half of them become highly intoxicated. That's nearly 20 million people who have to go to work on Monday hungover and thus, unproductive.
Throw in secretaries reading about the best commercials from the night before (okay, and me) and water-cooler talk about a spectacular helmet catch that crushed Tom Brady's soul, and the Monday after the Super Bowl is, to me, the least productive day of work in the year, edging St. Patrick's Day, the day before Thanksgiving, and Aug. 16 (my birthday—I don't work on my birthday).
Move the Super Bowl to a Saturday night and businesses everywhere benefit, thus lifting us out of a recession and creating millions of jobs.
See, I just solved the economy problem; you're welcome, random Congressman that wants to take on the sports world. There's one less step now.
17) College Football's BCS games are Played in College Stadiums
Further, they also aren't played in cold weather.
Sorry Boise, Toronto, Detroit, and Washington D.C. Since we aren't taking on the whole "the BCS must end" argument, let's just assume we are keeping the Bowl system for now. I don't want to see the Cotton Bowl move out of the Cotton Bowl stadium next season to go the new Texas Stadium.
I loved the atmosphere in 2002 for the Fiesta Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium. University of Phoenix Stadium was horrific (and I'm specifically talking about the atmosphere, not the debacle on the field). College football, college stadiums: It makes sense.
18) The Stanley Cup Ends Before the Last Snow Has Melted in Montreal
Now don't think I'm out to get just the NHL on this one; the NBA's season is active in nine of 12 months in the year, too. But settling a cold weather sport's champion in the mid-June balm of Carolina isn't exactly what Lord Stanley had in mind.
Cut your playoff teams down to six per conference, at the most and reduce the regular season by 10-15 games.
Actually, just copy and paste that previous sentence and apply it to the NBA while we're at it.
19) If an Owner Maintains a Below .400 Winning Percentage for 10 years or longer, He/She is Forced to Sell the Team
(We'll call this the "Mike Brown Mandate," or in LA, the "Donald Sterling Clause.")
Lost in the Cardinals making the Super Bowl is the fact that one of the worst owners in all of professional sports finally gave up the reins to his team, and this is what happens when competency takes over.
Bill Bidwell held St. Louis hostage for a new stadium, and then moved the team to Arizona when he didn't get one. He then spent the better part of the past two decades whining for a new stadium in Phoenix while maintaining one of the cheapest payrolls in all of the NFL—The cheapest and the worst.
His son took over, and bam, people got things done.
As Sports' Attorney General, I would force any owner that continually runs a team into the ground to pay for his actions. Draft David Klingler, Ki-Jana Carter, Reinard Wilson, Peter Warrick, and Akili Smith all in the top 15 in the span of 10 years, and you deserve to have your ownership revoked.
Make a great investment in players like Michael Olowokandi, Darius Miles, or Chris Kaman, and you lose your ownership as well.
20) Vinny Testaverde Must Remain Retired—Just in Case
In a cultural sense, I'd also like to see the following remain retired with no comebacks, remakes, movie specials, or second go-arounds: The Wonder Years, Courtney Love, Nirvana with a new lead singer, Chevy Chase, Rax, McGyver, anything with Flava Flav, Dane Cook, Olean, ESPN original movies, Wham!, SNL's Jeopardy sketches, Pogs, and Brett Favre.
21) All Big Four Sports Leagues Must Carry All Games in HD
It's not too much to ask, is it?
I've gotten so bad, that I almost refuse to watch anything in non-HD. I don't get Comedy Central HD with my cable provider, and therefore that station has nearly become dead to me in the past four months.
Let's just say I've recently spent more time watching The Food Network than Comedy Central for this one reason.
It really isn't that hard to broadcast in HD these days, is it? It eventually is going to happen anyway, so why are we still waiting for some games?
22) The Elimination of the Sideline Reporter Asking a Coach Questions at Halftime
Have we ever had a truly profound question answered during one of these awkward things? A
ll the coach wants to do is get his stat sheets and instruct his team, and all the sideline reporter wants is to ask something like, "Coach, No. 43 had 32 points that half, what will you do next half to stop him?" Ummm, guard him maybe?
I just watched one of these interviews at the half of the UK/Tennessee game in which UK coach Billy Gillispie was asked a long, in-depth question by the reporter, to which he responded, "I'm sorry, I didn't hear any of that, the band was playing too loud," and then it had to be repeated. I changed channels.
23) Companies Allow Employees to Take Two-to-Three of Their Sick/Personal Days a Year for Sporting Events
Lying is bad. I don't want to lie to my boss that I'm sick when in actuality I just really like European soccer and want to watch the finals of the UEFA Champions League live and because of time difference it just so happens that occurs mid-afternoon.
Or maybe I want to go to Opening Day? Or what about when the U.S. Open went to a one-round playoff last year? And does any true sports hound really work on the first Thursday or Friday of March Madness?
Allow me to take two or three "sports days," and I'm much happier.
24) An MMA or UFC Fighter Behind Home Plate at Every Baseball Game
Hey D-bag behind home plate on your cell phone waving to your mistress, I'd like you to meet Randy Couture. Would you like to hang up the phone now and stop waving? Thanks.
25) Bud Selig is fired as Commissioner of Baseball
So let's go back to the beginning and state that I do not know anyone who likes Nickelback, Tim McCarver, or Bud Selig. Baseball has gone from "America's Pastime" to "America's time spent in the summer waiting for football to start again."
If anyone thinks Bud Selig's positives have outweighed his negatives in the past 16 years, you probably also enjoy a good Vin Diesel movie, think Milwaukee's Best is delicious, and have Nickelback's newest CD on your iPod.
In other words, you suck. Just like Bud Selig.