All in the Details
Ever look at the sports landscape and think about some of the minor details that are actually a big deal? Some of the default methods of operation have been overthought and shouldn’t be ignored as they are.
What would I do if I were in charge? I’m glad you asked.
The NHL needs to change its default home uniform rule back to the whites. The problem is that the GMs in hockey run the league. They make calls that literally have zero to do with the actual game on the ice, and that has to change. Worry about the power play, I always say. Leave the marketing to us and remember the fans while you’re at it.
The switch to wearing dark uniforms at home came about eight years ago, in the middle of the third-jersey boom. Every team was rolling out a new third, and almost all of them featured a dark color. Of course, teams wanted to wear these in front of their home fans, so teams would have to request visiting teams to bring their white uniform when visiting their fair burg.
This made life more complicated for NHL equipment managers, so the GMs came up with the brilliant idea of simply switching to making the darks the default threads for home teams. Problem solved, right?
Wrong. The result – fans in every building in the NHL get to see the same two colors every single game; the whites of the visitor and their own team’s dark color. No more variety, no more blue shirts of the Rangers when they come to town, no more red with Detroit or Chicago, not to mention no yellow for Nashville (you know, since nothing says hockey like mustard yellow).
Boring. Switch it back. Come up with a system that would work to allow your team to wear their thirds at home without mucking up the works. Otherwise we’re stuck with no splash of color in home rinks across the league. Unless someone gets tagged good in a fight. Where’s Shane Churla when we need him?
Loosen Up the Mid-Season Classic
There are actually two things wrong (in my opinion) with Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game
2. Let managers sub.
OK, first off, I get why Bud Selig made the All-Star Game count for home field in the World Series. Making the game count for something isn’t a bad idea, but this is too much. Instead, home field should be determined by the season-long cumulative standings among all inter-league games played. To me, this makes much more sense. I’d rather go back to alternating years for home field than using the All-Star Game to determine it. Then maybe Nelson Cruz wouldn’t have to fail in right field at St. Louis in game six. No, I’m not bitter.
And let’s loosen up the ole baseball substitution rules so that every player can play, and be re-inserted later in the game. You wouldn’t run out of pitchers and everyone would be happy. How is this so hard?
Flip Flop Your Inter-League Rules
“You’re doing it wrong.” – Annette to Jack in Mr. Mom.
When MLB inter-league play was introduced in 1997, I was elated. It was a long-time coming, in my mind, and it was a breath of fresh air. Now we have it every single day of the baseball season since each league has 15 teams and it forces an NL team to play an AL team due to the odd numbers.
Fantastic. Except for one thing – you forgot about the fans again.
I’m an American League guy; I grew up here in Texas and have been watching the AL my whole life. San Francisco at Texas was the first inter-league game played in MLB history, and the Giants’ lineup featured a DH during the regular season for the first-time ever.
That’s the way inter-league has been played since it was introduced 17 years ago – the rules of the game were played according to the home team’s league.
Here’s an idea – how about flipping that and playing by the opposite league’s rules in your home park, thus showing your fans a different game? After all, this is entertainment, is it not?
It’s actually pretty simple. Come on – north to drop off, south to pick up. It’s all ball bearings now-a-days. (somehow it always comes back to Fletch).