25 Things We'd Change About Sports

Michael AkelsonCorrespondent IAugust 8, 2010

25 Things We'd Change About Sports

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    The world of sports is a fantastic place.

    It's a place where you can forget about life, escape your problems, and root on your favorite teams.

    I don't think I'm alone when I say I'd be lost without sports.

    However, just because there are so many great aspects of sports doesn't mean there aren't more than a few things we'd change.

    While most rules and aspects of sports are almost perfect there are more than a few that we'd like to see changes.

    Here's 25 things that I would change about sports if given the opportunity.

25. College Football Down Without Contact Rule

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    College football separates itself from the NFL in many different ways.

    Two of the most notable differences lie in the overtime rules and of course playoff system (or lack thereof).

    However, one college football rule that would make the average NFL chuckle would be the down without contact rule.

    The rule is exactly the way it sounds—If you unintentionally fall down at any time with the ball in your hand, whether you're touched or not, the play is immediately dead.

    You heard me, as soon as the ball-carrier hits the ground, under any circumstance, the play is dead.

    In my mind, this is one of the most idiotic rules in sports and I would change it without a moments hesitation if given the opportunity.

    According to this rule, I could lay out to make a diving catch on an overthrown ball in the open field, and despite the fact that no defenders are within 10 yards of me I'll still be down.

    Not too logical.

24. NFL Pass Interference and Illegal Contact Penalties

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    This rule is just one big mess in itself, and it seriously needs to be addressed.

    According to the rules, if your quarterback launches an 50-yard pass within the vicinity of his receiver, and the cornerback makes "intentional" contact with him and the ball drops, the offensive team is awarded an 50-yard gain.

    Sounds OK, right?

    Well listen to this, if that same 50-yard pass is chucked and the cornerback has a chance to make a play on the ball, the receiver can make intentional contact with the cornerback and receive just a 10-yard penalty.

    I know, I know, you can't penalize the offensive team 50 yards for their violation, but is it really fair that there is that much of a yard differential for the same penalty?

    Why can't the defense just receive a 10- or 15-yard penalty for their violation?

23. NBA Defensive Three Second Violation

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    Zone defense has become a popular style of play over the last few years.

    However, it can leave huge holes in the middle at times, leading to open layups.

    The reason for this? Defensive three second violations.

    The NBA is pretty much telling the defenders, play man-to-man or make sure nobody can get through the seam in your zone.

    The worst part: A defensive three-second violation results in a technical foul.

22. The Scandals

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    Pete Rose. Tim Donaghy. Tonya Harding.

    These are just a few of the names that we'd like to forever erase from our memories.

    Their stupid behavior has gone on to forever change the sports landscape.

    Arguably one of the most depressing things to watch is a huge sports scandal.

    Tim Donaghy betting on games, USC bribing Reggie Bush, steroids in baseball.

    These are just a few of the more recent and serious sports scandals.

    Sports scandals will continue to happen for the rest of eternity, and it's really tough to see.

21. Add A Pitch Clock In Baseball

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    Baseball is an interesting sport.

    There are the traditionalists who absolutely live and die with it, while there are a large number of people who can't understand for the life of them how anybody could sit through a nine inning baseball game.

    As a diehard baseball fan, even I find it tough to sit through a full game at times.

    One of the reasons for that is the amount of time where nothing is actually happening.

    The pitcher has to step up the rubber and the batter has to call time five times per at bat, for what reason?

    These physiological games rarely have any affect on the pitcher or batter and just tend to be an annoyance to those watching at home or in the stands.

    But there's a solution that Major League Baseball has flirted with before: A pitch clock.

    A pitch clock would work similarly to a shot clock in basketball-get the pitch out of your hand before the clock strikes zero, or suffer the consequences.

    I say that if a pitcher can't get a pitch off before the clock expires then the batter is awarded a ball in the count.

20. Make Stricter Rules About Intentional Walks In Baseball

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    Our next issue also relates to Major League Baseball, but it also brings to light maybe the biggest wussy play in all of sports- The intentional walk.

    I pay good money to go the ballpark, and I don't expect to see the games elite shunned an opportunity to do something great because the other team is afraid to pitch to them.

    I understand sometimes it's your only choice, but it happens WAY more often than it should.

    And for that I have a solution: Allow each team one intentional walk per game.

    This would not only take away from the pathetic intentional walks that always seem to find the games best hitters, but it would also add even more strategy to the game.

    Which could definitely make it more fun to watch.

    It's a double whammy.

19. Relocate A Major Sports Franchise To Las Vegas

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    Everybody could agree that Las Vegas, Nevada is one of the most popular cities in the world.

    So why are Siberian cities such as Memphis, Tennessee, Buffalo, New York, and Jacksonville, Florida awarded major sports franchises rather than them?

    Are you telling me that those three cities are more able to support a franchise than Las Vegas, Nevada?

    It just doesn't make sense. Manhattan, New York has the Knicks and Rangers. Los Angeles, California has the Dodgers, Lakers, and Clippers.

    So why is Vegas deprived?

18. No More NFL Blackout Restrictions

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    According to the NFL Blackout rules, any game that does not sell out will not be aired on the local market.

    I think that's one of the most unfair rules in sports.

    It's tough for some of the smaller markets to sell out games, especially when they're not doing well.

    And this rule is depriving people of football. Which isn't right.

    Just think of all the kids who may never get interested in football because of this.

17. No More Conceited Athletes

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    This is something that we wish we could see but likely never will.

    However, if given the opportunity I think it's a no-brainer that we would all like to see some of these conceited athletes straightened out. 

    There is no more irritating feeling than when a professional athlete thinks he's better than you.

    He doesn't have enough time to snap a quick photograph with your son or sign his baseball card because it may be worth something one day.

    It's all bull.

    Because they make more money than us and their name is brought up frequently on ESPN.

    There's also the Barry Bond's of the world who feel that giving any other human being the opportunity to stand within 100 feet of them is a privilege.

    They're all jerks.

16. Looser Guidlines For NFL Penalties

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    Football is a man's game.

    It's played in hail, snow, sleet, rain, and freezing weather.

    Men spend 60 minutes doing all they can to hurt the opposition.

    And that's why Americans have come to love it so much.

    However, over the past few years more and more yellow flags have been gracing the gridiron and making the game less and less physical.

    It's gotten to the point where touching a quarterback is almost illegal.

    I say, if they're in uniform, they're fair game.

    If you don't want to get hit, then you better suck it up because you chose the wrong sport.

15. Change NFL Regular Season Overtime

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    Oh boy, what a mess NFL Overtime is.

    It's absolutely ridiculous that the first team to put any form of points on the board is deemed the winner.

    After 60 hard-fought minutes to keep the game even, one single flip of a coin can more often than not determine the winner.

    How is that fair?

    The part that I really find interesting about this whole situation is that the NFL knows their system is ridiculous.

    They proved that when they changed the overtime rules for the playoffs but not the regular season.

    Let's hope this problem is addressed in the near future.

14. Improve the Pro Bowl

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    The NFL Pro Bowl is about as big a joke as the WNBA. (No pun intended)

    Every year the MLB All-Star Game is a must-see. The NBA All-Star Game (and weekend) is a must-see.

    So why is the All-Star game of the most popular American sport about as watchable as According To Jim?

    I know that football is a dangerous sport and the league certainly doesn't want to see it's best talent get hurt for a game that technically speaking doesn't mean anything.

    But how do you expect us to watch a game where players jog down the field and half of the players invited don't go?

    The NFL needs to take a lesson from the NBA and make an All-Star weekend.That should interest people.

    Have Devin Hester race Chris Johnson and DeSean Jackson. Or have Mason Crosby and Sebastian Janikowski put all their leg into a ball and see who can boot it farther.

    As for the game itself, make attending mandatory for those who are voted in, and find a way to award the conference that comes out on top.

    That should make it watchable again.

13. NBA Leaving The Bench Rule

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    The NBA can often be unfair when it comes to punishing players.

    Technical fouls and fines are assigned on almost a daily basis it seems.

    However, no NBA rule is more ludicrous than the leaving the bench rule.

    According to the rule, any player who leaves the vicinity of the bench (under any circumstance) will be suspended.

    Even if the player doesn't get involved in any altercations, he will still be punished.

    The stupidity of this rule was never more evident than in the 2007 NBA Western Conference Finals.

    During Game Four of the series, Spurs forward Robert Horry performed a giant hit on Suns' guard Steve Nash that sent him flying into the announcers table.

    It almost seemed like a hockey hit.

    Suns' forwards Amar'e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw both stood up in anger and took a few steps towards the court.

    However, neither player got involved in any altercations as they both sat down.

    Yet they were both suspended, and considering the important roles they both played for Phoenix it's safe to say that this had serious affects on the outcome of the series.

12. MLB Copyright Rules

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    Want to re-watch Gary Matthews Jr.'s ridiculous home run rob or Derek Jeter's historic flip?

    Well too bad, because Major League Baseball's copyright rules state that it is 110 percent illegal to post MLB footage on the internet.

    And for the daring people who post the videos anyway, well that video usually will be deleted within a week.

    This is something I would really like to see changed.

    There is absolutely no way to watch MLB footage after it happens unless you get lucky and see the game on TV.

11. Abolish The NBA Draft Lottery

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    Some people may disagree with me here, but I think it's ridiculous that a team who hovered right around .500 all season can potentially get a better draft pick than a team who struggled to win 15 games.

    While I won't lie that it's exciting to watch the futures of 14 teams bounce around, I don't think it's fair.

    If you were the worst team in the league last season you deserve the rights to lock up the best prospect in the world.

    No ifs, and, or buts about it.

10. DH In The MLB

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    Something needs to be done about the designated hitter rule in the MLB.

    It doesn't make any sense that the American League uses the rule and the National League doesn't.

    Especially in Interleague play and the World Series where it's clear AL teams have the advantage. Teams in the American League are set up with at least one big bopper to fill up their DH spot, while NL teams are set up with good gloves to come off the bench.

    Major League Baseball needs to either put the DH in both leagues or abolish it completely because what they're doing right now doesn't make much sense.

9. The Idiots Who Throw Their Talent Away

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    This is kind of like what I said about conceited athletes in that it's something that we'd like to see stop happening but never will.

    I really don't understand athletes sometimes.

    You're rich, admired, and talented. But you have to throw it all away for the stupidest reasons.

    Michael Vick is one of the most talented players in NFL history, he also had the biggest contract in NFL history. Yet he had to throw all that away because he needed to fight dogs.

    You've got to be kidding me.

    There are people who would literally kill to be as skilled as him, and that's his reason for not living up to potential?

    Give me a break.

    I could list dumb athletes like Vick all day, but I'll spare you the frustration.

8. The Ridiculous Contracts

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    I get it. Alex Rodriguez, Peyton Manning, and Derek Jeter are really good.

    But do they really need to make enough money to give a calculator indigestion?

    I think we can all agree that some of the contracts in professional sports today are completely ridiculous.

    Would you pay $275 million for an aging Alex Rodriguez's service?

    I know I wouldn't.

7. The Tarnished Records

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    This one applies mostly to baseball.

    As we all know, the likes of Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, and many, many more have cheated over the last 15 years.

    This cheating has severely tarnished the meaning of home runs in Major League Baseball, which is a true shame.

    The home run was arguably the most prestigious stat in all of sports at one time.

    The numbers 600 and 60 had HUGE meanings before this steroid era.

    It's really depressing to watch what happened to the MLB record books, and it's something we'd all like to see change.

6. In Soccer Tell The Fans How Much Extra Time There Is

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    In soccer, only the referees are allowed to know how much time is officially left in the game.

    Do you really need any other information as to why this is one here?

5. Re-Contract NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

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    There's a saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

    That saying is never more evident than with the recent changes to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

    March Madness was arguably the most exciting time in the sports year already, there was no need to change anything.

    But they decided to expand the field by three teams and add an extra round to the tournament.

    We all loved March Madness the way it was, we didn't want any changes.

4. Make Touchdown Celebrations Legal In NFL

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    In my opinion this is one of the stupidest rule in all of sports. 

    Touchdown dances are one of the most fun aspects of football. Why did they need to take it away?

    Do you really think the opponents are going to be that offended by a guy celebrating the six points he just put up on the board?

    I'd pay to see what some of these guys could do in that minute or two after they score.

    God only knows what Chad Ochocinco and T.O could do if touchdown dances were made legal.

3. Make An MLB Salary Cap

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    When it comes to baseball, money is the number one most important thing.

    It's a sad truth, but something we all have to acknowledge.

    The fact is, teams like the Rays and Marlins will never be able to keep up with the Yankees and Red Sox because they'll never have the money to hang onto their franchise players.

    These small market teams are forced to trade their franchise players for prospects as soon as they're ready to pick up their first real paycheck. Or they can just lose them to free agency.

    The balance of power in the MLB will always be shifted towards the bigger market teams until the somebody steps in.

    Salary caps have worked out in the NBA, NFL, and NHL.

    What are you waiting for MLB?

2. The MLB All-Star Game

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    There is so much wrong with the MLB All-Star that it's almost depressing.

    First off, the every team needs a representative rule is ridiculous.

    Considering the amount of All-Star selections a player gets is a determining factor on his Hall of Fame resume, shouldn't only the best players get in?

    Not only are you lowering the All-Star total of those who deserved to get in, but you're also padding the total of those who got in because of the team they played for. 

    Another ridiculous aspect of the All-Star game is the fact that it determines home field advantage for the World Series.

    The managers goal is to make sure he gets as many people as possible into the game, it's more of an exhibition than a competition.

    So why is it determining home field advantage for the most important seven-game series in all of baseball?

    This would be one of the first things I'd change about sports if I had the opportunity.

1. The BCS

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    Even President Obama has openly criticized the BCS.

    Is there really anything else you need to know?