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Tom Jones' Two Cents

Sports analysis, perspective and more.

Ways to fix the America's Cup



Americas_cup So, I got up early this week started whipping up a five-star breakfast with eggs, bacon, Belgian waffles, pancakes, freshly  picked grapefruit and freshly squeezed orange juice. (Okay, to be honest, I got up late and ripped open a package of blueberry Pop-Tarts.)

But I did get up to watch the America's Cup. We have a local guy (St. Petersburg's Ed Baird) driving one boat and I thought I'd at least try to get fired up even though I don’t know which side is port and which side is starburst … or whatever it's called.

It started at 8:30 a.m. I lost interest at about 8:30:16. Seriously, do people actually get into this? I mean, like a lot of people? I can't imagine. But I'm willing to give the America’s Cup one more chance if they would only agree to make some changes. So here are my ways to improve the America's Cup.

Cannon_3  That's right. Mount a cannon on the port side (or starfish or whatever way is facing the other guy's boat) and fire away. So even if someone has a big lead going down the stretch, that lead can be erased if the side of the boat gets a hole the size of a, well, cannonball. But you just don't get as many cannonballs as you can haul. Make it like the NFL's replay system. You only get three cannonballs, so you must use them wisely.

Submerged mines
These yachts take off and then they just race to the end. Just race. That's it. Boring. At least track and field was smart enough to add hurdles and stuff. Well, we can't very well put hurdles in the water, but we can put mines. Those are kind of like hurdles. The difference is if you trip on a hurdle, you get back up. If you trip a mine, you have an instant burial at sea. So we can't load up these mines with too much oomph. Just make them strong enough to puncture a hole in the bottom of the boat. So, it goes like this. Race starts. One boat gets big lead. Boat goes boom. Guys start swimming. Hilarity ensues.

Call it the Deadliest Cup
Ever see that show on the Discovery Channel called the Deadliest Catch? ThatCrabs  show is awesome. So why not combine America's Cup with a cool show like that? Instead of just racing, you have to catch crabs along the way. The more crabs you catch, the more time you get to shave off of your final score. Come home empty and you get penalized. I don't know, get some smart math guy in there to figure out all the particulars.

Same venue
The great thing about college baseball is the World Series is played every year in Omaha, Neb. Ah, you can hear it now, "Oregon State is on the road to Omaha.'' Or, "North Carolina is looking to get on the road to Omaha.'' Or, "Sister Mary of the Helpless can't find the road to Omaha.'' So, I propose the America's Cup is held in one place — the Bering Sea. Yeah, I hear it's rough there. And, yes, I realize the boats are made of fiberglass. Yes, I realize that rough seas and fiberglass boats are not a good combination. "The boats could break apart piece by piece,'' you say. Yeah, yeah, now you’re starting to get it.

I guess you could say that using a motor in a sail race is like a home run hitter using the juice. I'm not looking to give one team complete advantage, just a little extra boost when they desperately need it. So here's the idea: each team only gets one gallon of gas for the above-mentioned motor. Like the cannons, use it wisely.

Depp Load the ships with treasure and then set bands of pirates loose on the course. Tell the pirates they get to keep what they can steal. Of course, we can arm the America's Cup teams with swords and we’ve already given them cannons. Swashbuckling sword fights on the deck as boats race to a finish line? Oh, this is gold. Disney can get involved and make a movie and a thrill ride and action figures. The possibilities are endless.

Add shark cages … and sharksShark_3
Man goes inside cage. Cage goes in the water. Shark in the water. Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies. Hey, anytime you add sharks, you add viewers. It's a television fact.

I'm not exactly sure what to do with the harpoons, but I'm pretty sure harpoons can be used for something. This idea remains a work in progress.

Strip sailing
Bloom Just like strip poker. Lose a race and a piece of clothing comes Biel off. Of course, who wants to see a bunch of naked sailors? So — and here’s the genius part — we add celebrities. One team has, say, Brad Pitt and Jessica Biel and the other team has Orlando Bloom and Jessica Alba.

Well, that's about it. I can't think of anything else … well, anything else that's not illegal or wouldn't get an angry letter from PETA. I'm still working on it. Hopefully, I'll be able to get it all hammered out by the next America’s Cup, which will be held in …  either Omaha or the Bering Sea.

[Last modified: Monday, June 14, 2010 2:40pm]


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