Sports Czar for a day
We're in the biggest lull in the sports year. No NFL, NBA or NHL. We're a ways away from the next big championships in golf and tennis. Baseball is in its dog days. NASCAR's Chase for the Cup is not for a while. No big boxing matches coming up. So what do you do when there's nothing to do? You come up with ways to fix sports. Pretend for a day that you are the Sports Czar. You can change anything you like about sports. Here are my suggestions, but I'm also looking for what you would do. Send an e-mail of your suggestions to [email protected] and be sure to include your first and last name as well as where you live. Here are some of the things I would do if I were Sports Czar for a day.
Change the NBA rules regarding timeouts
First, you should be allowed to call timeout only twice in the final minute of an NBA game. On top of that, what's this business about then getting the ball at halfcourt after a timeout? Nope, I'm eliminating that.
Take boxing off pay-per-view
Anytime you want to watch a big boxing match (Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton, for instance) you have to fork over 50 bucks or more for pay-per-view. No wonder boxing is losing customers and is no longer among this country's most popular sports like it used to be. Put some championship fights back on regular old network television and start to build an audience for your sport again.
Put another NHL team in or near Toronto
I don't care if it's an expansion team or the relocation of a current team. If the New York metro area can support three teams and Southern California and Florida each can have two teams, surely the epicenter of hockey is capable of handling two teams.
Kill interleague play in baseball
Okay, maybe not kill it, but scale it back. This year, teams played 18 times against teams from the other league. That's overkill. Let's cut it back to just six interleague games: one three-game series at home and another on the road.
Change NBA draft rules
Either let high school kids enter the NBA draft or make kids go to college for at least three years before entering the NBA. But this one-and-done rule is bad for everyone, especially college basketball.
Put a salary cap in baseball
The disparity between big-market free spenders such as New York, Boston and Los Angeles and the small-market teams such as Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Oakland is just too great. The salary cap seems to work okay in other sports. Why not baseball?
Alter the NFL schedule
Four preseason games is too many, especially when teams charge regular-season prices. Let's cut it to two, or at the least, three. But don't alter the regular-season schedule to 18 games like the NFL is talking. That's too many, too. Sixteen is just right.
Eliminate any possibility of a college football playoff
I know I'm in the minority on this one, but I like the BCS. A playoff in college football would devalue the importance of college football’s regular season, which is the best regular season in any sport. See, folks, there already is a playoff in college football. It starts the first week of September. Hey, you might not like it, but I'm the Sports Czar today.