Top 10 Current Fallacies In Sports
Sports. We all love them. We love to watch them. We love to play them. And most importantly, we love to debate them. Did he get that shot off before the buzzer? Was his foot out-of-bounds when he came down with the ball? Was he out at the plate?
But sometimes, the debates expand beyond specific plays in a game. Many of today’s most current issues are the hottest topics of household sports conversations, and with this list, these debates are put to an end.
No. 10 Major League Baseball Needs a Salary Cap
Let’s see, the Tampa Bay Rays made it to the 2008 World Series versus the Phillies. Out of 30 MLB teams, Tampa had the 29th highest (a.k.a. second lowest) payroll, at nearly $44 million. And Philadelphia had the 13th highest payroll, just under $100 million.
Five of the top 10 payrolls in the MLB did not make the playoffs, including the top three (Yankees, Mets, Tigers). The 2007 season was fairly similar, as again five of the top 10 payrolls didn’t make the playoffs.
Why stop an ownership, like the Steinbrenner family, from putting majority of their profits from the franchise right back into the team? They already “punish” them with the Luxury Tax, it doesn’t guarantee victories, and it shows that the top priority is making the team exciting for the fans, which is the point of professional sports in the first place.
No. 9 College Football Needs an Early Signing Period
As mentioned in an earlier article (“Committed” to a Problem: How to Fix College Football Recruiting), high schools teenagers have a difficult time deciding which school they want to spend their next four years.
Putting in an early signing period would just create potential scenarios where a kid commits to a school, only to later find out that he prefers a different school, often for reasons out of his control such as coaching changes, scheduling conflicts for visits, or changes in a family situation.
And if he had already signed with that school, getting out of the commitment would not be that easy. As of right now, recruits are given until National Signing Day in February to try to make the absolute best decision, and keeping only the one later signing day helps eliminate the chances of them making a mistake on it.
On the flipside, coaches need the extra time to be sure that they are bringing in the kind of student that their school desires. An early signing period would probably occur before first semester grades are finalized, leaving a gamble on the status of the student entering their final semester or enrolling early in college.
There certainly are issues that it would fix, such as the constant commitments and de-commitments, but ultimately an early signing period would make some aspects of recruiting better and some aspect worse, and if that’s the case, it might as well not be instituted.
No. 8 Finding Out About Past Steroid Use in Pro Sports Is Important
For starters, steroids have no place in sports—be it professional or college, down to pee-wee leagues. But today’s focus should really be on stopping usage of the drugs going forward.
While finding out that Barry Bonds “allegedly” used steroids during his remarkable 73-home-run season is a disappointment, it seems that performance enhancers were spread throughout all of sports.
If time could be reversed and thorough checks of all athletes were performed, it would probably be discovered that an extremely high majority of them used something.
It just wasn’t nearly the topic that it is today, so the tests and prevention tactics weren’t that great. Why attack history when you can only attack part of history? Just let it go, and move on to correcting the problem in the future.
No. 7 Kobe Is Still a Better Pick Than LeBron
This debate no longer needs clarification as to if it's over who’s the better pick for this season versus who’s the better pick for the future: LeBron is the better pick for both.
LeBron’s Cavs are 21-0 at home this season and have the fewest losses in the NBA. And while Mo Williams has been a great addition to the Cavs, there is no debate that Kobe has significantly more talent surrounding him, with Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum, among others.
LeBron averages 27.9ppg, 7.5rp, and 7apg, which is exactly 1.7ppg, 1.9rpb, and 1.8apg more than Kobe. In fact, Dwyane Wade has more of an argument to be a challenger to LeBron, as he is 2.6rpg lower than James, but ahead of him in both assists and scoring, leading the NBA at 28.9ppg (but of course, that’s not to start a whole other debate).
So at last, I don’t think there is any ground for this LeBron versus Kobe debate to continue to exist.
No. 6 College Athletes Should Get Paid
The average tuition for a public college in 2008 was around $6,500. For a private school, it was around $25,000. That’s for one year.
So ignore rising costs of college and assume that in four years, a full-scholarship athlete gets $26,000 to $100,000 in free education, if they choose to stay the full time, which is a pretty good deal.
Additionally, that scholarship often includes other college expenses: books, meals, practice and game apparel, etc. So in essence, college athletes are getting paid to play.
Without the scholarship, the challenges and financial hardships that face many student-athletes versus many non student-athletes to get accepted to a college and stay in school are no different, so why sacrifice the amateurism and purity of the sport?
Keeping money out of the equation as to where a student goes to school to play a particular sport helps create a more level playing field and is why college sports are so popular today.
No. 5 Hoosiers Is the Best Sports Movie in History
Or Rudy, Miracle, Rocky, Field of Dreams, etc. The list goes on. But hands down, the best sports movie in history is Varsity Blues. Think about it. There is a quarterback controversy, dramatic love stories, team turmoil, and of course, a whipped cream bikini.
No sports movie has more one-liners that are repeated on a regular basis. And no sports movie has a more motivational ending speech than Johnny Moxen’s: “play the next 24 minutes for the next 24 minutes…If we go out there and we half-ass it because we’re scared, all we have is an excuse…[if] we give it absolutely everything, that’s heroic…lets be heroes”.
Okay, perhaps that’s a stretch as the best motivational speech in a movie. But the movie is still the greatest sports movie in history.
No. 4 Notre Dame Football Needs To Join a Conference
No matter has disappointing the Notre Dame Football program has been since its last National Championship in 1988, they remain one of the biggest, most talked about programs in CFB. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they are always in the spotlight.
There is a target on their backs, and there is a tremendous excitement that surrounds a game when another team gets a chance to play them, and putting ND in a conference would eliminate the schedule flexibility that allows those matchups to happen.
Plus, perhaps unfortunately for the rest of CFB, in the end the sport is a business. NBC clearly loves having ND, even when they are only an average team, on their station every Saturday, as evidenced by their recent five year extension through the 2015 season.
Bowls love to get ND involved because they draw fans and raise ratings. This year’s Hawaii Bowl had a rating of 3.03 (just under 3 million households), which was a 106 percent increase from that of last year’s 1.47 rating. That’s just good business.
And if ND’s business allure is enough to let them remain independent, why should they give that up? They shouldn’t.
No. 3 The NFL Needs To Come Down Hard on Helmet-to-Helmet Hits
Come on. Football is a contact sport. Players are taught to hit each other as hard as they can since day one, and they know they risk injury when they are out there.
Of course, attempts should be made to avoid unnecessary injuries, but the bottom line is that they are going to happen. And trying to take away the excitement of a safety blowing up a wide receiver is not the way to do it.
There is a very obvious difference between a questionable hit and an extremely illegal hit – worry about the extremely illegal ones.
When the NFL fined Justin Tuck for a perfectly legal hit on Brooks Bollinger, which didn’t even draw a flag, and then later Commissioner Goodell had the $7,500 fine rescinded, it was made clear that this “crack-down” has gotten out of hand.
Let them play football.
No. 2 President Obama Should Help Fix the BCS
Actually, hopefully he doesn’t spend even a minute trying to fix the BCS. Whether the BCS is liked or disliked, or a playoff is necessary or not, the new President has far more important issues to be dealing with.
For one, the United States’ economy is on the verge of potentially the worst recession ever experienced, with the potential collapse of the banking system. ESPN does not need to run on their bottom line, as a lead story, that “while President Obama is in favor of a playoff for College Football, he will not make that one of his main focuses when he begins his term”.
That should be obvious. And this absolutely should not be discussed ever again.
Which leads to the No. 1 fallacy...
No. 1 College Football Needs a Playoff
Plain and simple–no, it doesn’t. It would never work. There will always be a team on the outside who thinks that they were robbed. CFB can never have a postseason similar to College Basketball, because there just isn’t room to add many more games.
Get over it. It’s just the way it is that teams have the regular season to take on a challenging schedule (looking directly at you Utah–Utah St. and Weber St. in addition to the rest of the MWC?) and win.
If you’re going to lose–make it a respectable loss, and use the rest of the season to show you are the best team out there, just like Florida did in 2008.