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 snoozefests. I myself used to watch pro basketball, when the game was a fluid fast break oriented ballet played in high top cons. Today it is 43 minutes of commercials and free throws played at three quarter speed, followed by five minutes of intense action punctuated by 200 timeouts. 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 to fill in between the action. And don’t get me started on soccer, (excuuuse me, futbol), where there is a goal only once per vernal equinox.
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, competitive hot dog eating, etc.
Baseball is the world’s slowest game this side of cricket, which literally can take three weeks to play. The game is desperately in need of speeding up. The game proceeds in desultory fashion, with much spitting and slouching on the bench. The actual amount of action, counting all the pitches and balls put in play, is approximately ten minutes out of a three hour excuse for a nap. I kid, this is a game that I love! Herewith my suggestions to increase interest in the game:
- Pitcher has ten seconds to pitch. Otherwise the batter gets a ball.
- Once the batter is in the box, they stay there unless beaned or their bat breaks. Stepping out costs a strike.
- Maximum five foul balls. After that, you are out. Is there anything more annoying than watching batters tip balls out of play endlessly?
- One pitching change per inning. Don’t you absolutely despise the parade of righty/left matchups, with a warmup for each new pitcher?
- While we are taking potshots at relief pitchers, why do they need to warm up on the mound? Haven’t they been out there in the bullpen, polluting the dirt with foul and nasty chewing tobacco expectoration, while warming up for the last half hour? Jog in and pitch the freekin ball, dammit.
- Add cheerleaders. Clearly missing a big attraction here. Broadcast on the jumbotron, and have some of them randomly serve beer in the stands between innings. This would have the dual benefit of more fans and higher beer sales.
- Use the computer to call balls and strikes. It is absurd that stat heads keep track of how good catchers are at fooling umps to call strikes that should have been balls. We have technology which is clearly superior to the human judgement, why in this particular instance to we want to hold onto the obese jerks who keep blowing games today? This solution even SAVES MONEY!
- DH in the National League also. Why anyone wants to watch pitchers flail helplessly and kill the excitement of a rally every third inning, is a mystery to me. Plus we get to watch home run hitters extend their careers for a few more years. Home run hitters are exciting, automatic outs are not.
- Max two throws to the base to hold the runner on. Steals are fun, multiple throws to first is stupor inducing. Steal are a blast, watching throws over to first is awful.
- Tight, form fitting pants with the old fashioned long stirrup socks. I think the gals out there would appreciate really, really tight pants (aging sluggers over 35 and Price Fielder would be exempt from this rule). And the players who wear the long pants don’t look like ball players, they look like sweatpant wearing slobs.
- Allow celebrations over home runs and strikeouts. For some reason, it is some huge offense to celebrate achievements. This is known as “showing up” the opposing players. Who are these pussies with such fragile egos, anyway? You got beat, bear up and endure some preening. You get to do it next time, after all. The game takes all the fun and exuberance from the players and quashes it like a Dean Wormer at a frat party. Guys, get over yourselves, willya?
- Infielders stand in the infield, and a max 2 in infielders on either side of the 2nd base bag. Violations create an automatic walk for the batter at the plate. No more softball shifts. Its killing the game.
There you have it, advice literally worth zillions to pro baseball if they would only listen to a lifetime fan. I believe that I should be fairly compensated for the increase in ticket sales and ad sales from increased ratings, I will happily accept the highly discounted price of $10 million, (put in perspective this is the cost of a one batter lefty reliever for a season, so hardly a rounding error for the sport).
If I don’t see a check on Monday, I will assume the powers that be are just ungrateful bastards. God will get you….