The State Of The Union Address: What Barack Should Really Say

Gene ZarnickCorrespondent IJanuary 27, 2010

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 25:  President Barack Obama (R) poses for photographs with Kobe Bryant (L) and members of the National Basketball Association 2009 champions Los Angeles Lakers in the East Room of the White House January 25, 2010 in Washington, DC.  The Lakers bested the Orlando Magic to win the NBA Finals in 2009.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

As President Obama prepares for his State of the Union Address tonight he will be talking about many policy, economic, and social factors that he plans on changing.  We have a high unemployment rate, a massive amount of government spending, and a war that continues in Afghanistan that he will have to explain reasoning for.  Do I really plan on hearing anything we haven't heard before from any other politician? No.  Whatever is going wrong will be made right.  Whatever is going right will continue to prosper.  That's politics, that's business, that's life.  Fix the problems and keep the positives in the black.  We've heard numerous promises from President Obama that haven't been achieved yet, but there is one glaring one that we all hoped and prayed for that never happened.  The elimination of the BCS system.  Now this may not increase jobs or fix the economy.  The fix of this problem probably won't end the war in Afghanistan.  That would be pretty awesome if it did.  The generation of a playoff system would however put America's faith back with President Obama, and that's exactly what every politician wants; faith in them.

I think President Obama should switch his whole speech up.  If he really wants to capture America's attention and get us back in his good graces then he needs to not only fix the BCS, but also fix the rest of the sports world in general.  Sports organizations in general are some of the hardest structures to crack.  It would take 10 years for the NBA to increase the air in the basketball by one PSI and the only changes the NFL makes in recent years is increasing penalties for anyone that skims the face of the quarterback.  President Obama could change all that in one speech.  Tonight is his chance to shine; his time to capture America again.  Instead of trying to change issues that are so partisan based he needs to attack issues that the whole nation wants changed.  Those are the sports issues.  So I'm going to outline some of the major changes that President Obama could claim to change within the next year, and if done, he will not only bring the country back to the great nation we are, but he will also solidify his spot as one of the greatest President's ever.


1.  First thing to fix is the collective bargaining agreement between the players and the owners.  It may be fun to see a year with no salary cap, but it won't be fun if there's a year with no football.  If he saves football then he saves America.

2.  Get rid of the pussy rules.  No more hands to the face or accidently tapping a quarterback below the knees.  No more helmet-to-helmet penalties when the offensive player tucks.  No more unsportsmanlike penalties for end zone celebrations.

3.  Overtime Rules.  Everyone complains when overtime happens because both teams may not get the ball.  Change the system so it's similar to college football, but the teams start out at the 50 yard line instead.  It makes it interesting, it doesn't end in sudden death, and it could make for much more exciting games.  This would eliminate special teams, but if that's a major fault then I'm sure we could throw that into an overtime system as well.


1.  Start a salary cap.  Salary caps will not increase parity and they will not make all the bad teams good.  What salary caps do is allow the bad teams to build up their teams and keep the team intact to remain successful for subsequent years.  This is a definite for baseball.

2.  Institute blood testing.  Baseball wants to get tough on steroids, but they still don't want to go with blood.

3.  Eliminate the DH.  Is there any other professional sport that has a completely different lineup and set of rules from one league/conference to the next?  It may make the games better for the American League, but I think we can handle watching pitchers attempt to bat.


1.  Bring back the toughness.  The game is so much more finesse right now.  There are no more brawls or battles.  There are no more Rodman/Malone scuffles where they kept tripping each other.  We need some more contact in the game.

2.  Force the stars to participate in the dunk contest.  Make it some sort of stipulation like baseball does with the all star game where you get suspended if you don't.  Just think if baseball did this with the home run derby and we saw the likes of Mark Reynolds, Aaron Hill, Adam Lind, and Kendry Morales battle it out as the league's best long bombers.

3.  Kobe/Lebron.  Make it happen somehow.  We want to see it in the finals.  ESPN wants to see it.  Everyone wants to see it.  If the NBA can setup Cleveland getting Lebron then they can setup Lebron and Kobe in the finals.


1.  Bring the NHL back to ESPN.  The NHL is actually great right now.  Only four teams in the league have records below .500.  Let's see that in any other sport near the midway point.  The NHL is still a major sport and it needs to be broadcasted and marketed as such.

2.  Rename the European players.  The toughest part of the NHL is not knowing the names of the players.  Let's rename players and make it much simpler.  The least we could do is create some more nicknames.

3.  Cage Fights.  Let's make fighting an even bigger spectacle.  Bring them to center us.  Drop a round cage around the center ice circle and let them go at it.  The winner is decided if someone gets knocked out or someone climbs the cage.

NCAA Basketball:

1.  Preseason March Madness.  Let's have an October Madness.  An early season tournament with 128 teams at the beginning of the season that will help us rank teams initially at the beginning of the year, while also bringing some excitement to the sport right when it kicks off.  Who needs Midnight Madness if we had that?

2.  Investigate John Calipari.  I don't know anyone more corrupt as a coach.  This guy jumps from school to the NBA to school to school right as investigations or offenses are displayed.  He leaves the school out there to get the brunt of the punishment and then goes on to the next university where he will begin some more illegal recruiting techniques again.

3.  Keep kids in school.  This one works with the NBA and NCAA as we need the age limit to be increased to 20 years old so then most players will have to stay in school for more than one year.

NCAA Football:

1.  Eliminate the BCS.  This was his number one sports change during the campaign tour and now he could really make a bold statement and make the change.  A playoff system would totally change the landscape of college football for the better and this one change would bring everyone to Obama's side.

2.  Change recruiting rules.  Too many recruits verbal early on and then jump ship later when teams don't get a prized recruit and then try to steal a recruit from another team.  Have an early signing period or some sort of recruiting system that would help minimize recruiting issues.

3.  Bring back Tim Tebow.  Tebow belongs in college football.  He belongs being behind center on the Florida Gators.  Enforce the Tebow rule that would allow Tim Tebow, and only Tim Tebow, to have an unlimited amount of eligibility, while allowing him to obtain money from endorsements.  We could see Tebow play in college football for 15 more years.  We'd get sick of him, not like we already aren't, but it would still be great to see.  Just think of Tebow at 40 years old with eye black on that reads Matthew 6:25 as he trucks some 18 year old kids on his way into the end zone.

Those are some of the changes we need in the sports world that President Obama could help institute.  He should forget the gibberish that he was planning on speaking of tonight and go with a full fledged, balls to wall address that lays out these changes for the sports world.  Fans in each sport will be excited to experience the changes for the good.  People across the nation will see that he wants to make changes for the greater good of all of America, not just stick to his party's agenda.  This could be the speech that puts him on the plateau of other great speakers that changed the country.  This should be tonight's State of the Union Address.