Random Sports Thoughts That Are Sweeping the Nation
Anyone else think the NFL brass is thanking its lucky stars that there is a bye week this year with the Super Bowl? An outdoor game this Sunday in New Jersey, mixed with a Winter Storm Warning that includes possibilities of 14 inches of snow, wind and cold? That might have been fun. For us at home. The question is – will next weekend be any better? … ScoreBoard’s own Reverse Barometer had a couple of big calls go its way this year in the NFL: we picked Seattle over Denver in the Super Bowl and for the Kansas City Chiefs to be the surprise team of the league and make the playoffs after only two wins last year. It’s never too early to make a couple of calls for next season (with the right to change them, come September). I’m going with Indianapolis over Arizona in the Super Bowl next year, with Tennessee being the surprise team.
Roger Goodell recently suggested that a possible rule change might be getting rid of extra points after touchdowns. It’s a good idea, mainly because it does not affect the game much, yet trims off five to six minutes every game. What to do with those extra minutes? What do you think? Commercials. Cha ching. … When I was working for the Anaheim Ducks (they were “Mighty” back then), we were shooting the bull with head coach Craig Hartsburg one day and he had a suggestion for a rule change that I still think would be very interesting for the NHL: when a normal minor penalty is called, the team getting the advantage should be able to chose either 2:00 of power play time or a penalty shot (taken by the player who was hooked or held, etc.) … If you don’t like that idea, you’re going to hate this one – Disney Chairman Michael Eisner had an idea in the Ducks’ first season to propose a “two-point goal” to the game, which basically followed the same rules as an NBA three-point shot, with an arc painted on the ice where a team would get credit for two goals on the scoreboard instead of one if a shooter scored from beyond it. I think someone (thankfully) talked him out of proposing it officially.
Rules I Would Change
NFL: I’d make the last two minutes of each half mirror college football, with the clock stopping on first downs. I think we’d have even more fantastic finishes. Alcoa would love me. … Instant replay – the way it is done now is awful. Follow the NHL’s lead and have a “command center” in New York that oversees the challenges and makes a clean call of the play, without leaning on the call on the field so much. Use some common sense and have some backbone; if something looks painfully obvious, stop looking for “indisputable evidence” to reverse it and simply make the call. If I can make the right call from my couch, so can the NFL. And if you win a challenge, you get the challenge flag back immediately. It’s not the coach’s fault you screwed up. … MLB: Set home field advantage for the World Series with games that COUNT. This is simple and the All-Star Game should have nothing to do with it. Simply take the cumulative record of interleague play between the American and National League and give the overall winner home field. … Speaking of the All-Star Game, why not allow free substitutions so that, a) every player gets to play in the game, and b) you don’t run out of pitchers should you go to extras. … NBA: I hate zone; go back to man-to-man D … Not a rule change, but, lose the sleeves on the jerseys. … NHL: Kudos to the league because they finally got something right this season – a more balanced schedule and justice for teams like Dallas and Minnesota by getting them in a division within their own time zone. Every team visiting every other building is a must and they achieved that as well. … One thing I still think the NHL needs to do is to put more value on a regulation or overtime win (with less gained for a shootout victory). Make these wins worth three points in the standings while a shootout win is worth only two.
Advice to live by: “Don’t (mess) with Mr. Zero.”