Any random alien that had the misfortune of blundering into an earth landing would certainly assume that every living soul on the planet is thoroughly captivated by pro sports. The airwaves and internet are completely saturated with breathless hourly coverage of pro athletics by talentless hacks and toupee wearing sportscasters, (completely bald if black ex athletes). There is an apparently endless level of interest in the groinal condition of obscure lefty relievers, the personal grooming habits of star cornerbacks, and the sneaker preferences of starting point guards.
However, there truly are millions of people who don’t give a rip about pro sports. Sometimes this is for highly understandable reasons, such as a preference for movies based on Jane Austin novels (there are apparently two thousand of these), those that prefer hiking or kayaking to memorizing box scores, or those afflicted with the zombie virus. .
However, I believe there are millions of possible pro sports enthusiasts out there, who simply find the games to have become endless plodding snooze-fests. Major league baseball consists mainly of batters stepping out to pull on gloves and adjust their privates. Games can take four hours, more if there are extra innings. You really have to be reading a novel, or grooming your cat, or something productive to fill in between the minimal actual pitchin’ and hittin’. So, clearly sports needs some livening up if they ever hopes to attract new fanatics. I humbly offer the following rule changes to speed up the games and reinject excitement into sport. I am only covering the big five sports here, you will have to come up with your own ideas to how to liven up golf, dog and cat shows, competitive hot dog eating, etc.
I myself used to enthusiastically watch pro basketball, when the game was a fluid fast break oriented ballet played in Air Jordans. Today it is 43 minutes of commercials and free throws played at three quarter speed, followed by five minutes of millionaires with glandular issues who suddenly give a shit about the game. However, the action in the last five minutes (such as it is) is punctuated by 200 timeouts. IF there is any potential for drama, tiresome coaching tactics and the desire for endless commercial breaks have pummeled it to death like left wing zealots at a conservative on- campus speech. And that is if you watch GOOD teams playing; god help you if you are watching the Philadelphia 76’ers, whose idea of fielding a pro team is to sign their janitorial staff to minimum contracts and send them out to slaughter like chickens at the Perdue processing plant.
So here goes, how to fix pro basketball.
- No timeouts during the last ten minutes of the game FOR ANY REASON, including nuclear accidents. Currently the last ten minutes of any basketball game takes 90 minutes to play, due to timeouts and fouls. Any potential excitement is suffocated by a seemingly bottomless well of 10 second timeouts. Coaches see what play is being called by the other team after a timeout, then immediately call another timeout to reassess their defense. Meanwhile, the fans are trying to remember which of the teams they are actually rooting for. Under my rule, injured players can crawl to the sidelines, and then a sub can come in. NO play stoppages till the final gong sounds.
- No more free throws. Does anyone, anywhere, want to watch the best athletes in the world pull up their socks, pick their noses, wipe the bottom of their shoes, bump fists, appeal to the lord, or whatever, then clang free throws off the back of the rim? Seriously, there is no more boring aspect of any major sport than free throws. Under my new rule, the team whose player is fouled is awarded 1.5 points, or 2.25 points on three point shots; this is the equivalent of a 75% made free throw ratio. The team who fouled is awarded the ball underneath their basket, play resumes.
- Penalize intentional fouls. When it is clear that the infraction was committed to prevent a fast break basket or easy dunk, the offensive team gets five points. How many times has your favorite players made an awesome move that causes his defender to look like his shoes were stuck to floor with epoxy, only to run into a mugging at the basket that results in the dreaded free throw bore fest. This new rule would effectively end intentional fouls, so that talented players can make spectacular plays without getting hacked. Admit it, you want to see this, don’t you?
- Players foul out after four fouls. The intent of this rule change is to prevent chippy fouls, intentional fouls, and free up offensive players to drive to the basket. Teams would have to carry a deeper bench, as the stars will start fouling out if they choose to hack the opposing teams’ star. More action, less play stoppage. Woo-eee.
- Dunks count for three points. Who wouldn’t want to see more guys attacking the rim? Given the small number of dunks seen currently in a typical game, this would really build some excitement. With the disincentive to mugging guys driving the hoop, (see proposals 2-4 above), combined with a bigger reward, I see dunks doubling. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Oh, maybe you prefer mid range jumpers? I assume you are also a brony. Grow a pair, willya?
- The team that is ahead at the half is awarded an extra five points, plus the ball at the start of the second half. All of a sudden, winning the first half matters. We might see some players expend real energy in the first quarter, which would be a very welcome change to the current torpor inducing performances we see today.
- The teams play shirts and skins, with speedo shorts. This new rule is intended to draw female fans, and help offset my undoubtedly growing reputation as a perverted leering misogynist. So, if these buff male athletes were shirtless half the time, wearing speedo bathing suits, wouldn’t a whole lot more females watch this game? I figure that 80% of the fan base for women’s beach volleyball is due to fact that these tall, lithe, sweaty, athletic, blonde bombshells are wearing bikinis, (not that I personally have taken an especial note of their near nudity). On this basis, I figure shirtless, speedo wearing athletic gods would certainly draw female viewers, even if they are statistically less sex-obsessed than us guys.
- It almost goes without saying, given part 1 of this series, but the cheerleaders should be available for PIP split screen viewing, especially during the mind numbing timeouts that will remain.
I will expect an 8 figure check from the NBA in exchange for these fan pleasing measures.