Ball Five: If I Were Sports Czar…

*This originally ran in the Wayne County Press. Buy a damn paper.

Just about every Dick Schapp wannabe out there has a “If I ruled the sports world” column. Well, here is mine.

In a world where I can make any changes to any sport with unilateral autonomy, my priority list would include:

DH In Both MLB Leagues

I really thought we had this done last year. Anyone trying to preach No DH is doing it out of nostalgia, not a love of strategy. “But it makes it more interesting to manage”. Shut up, ’82. No it doesn’t. You just resist change at every opportunity. Pitchers hitting a buck 11 doesn’t make the game better.

JV Running Clock Starts At 20

This should be self-explanatory. This is also a lesser case scenario made meaningless by one below. This will seem mundane by comparison.

Volleyball Third Sets Are Sudden Death, Win By Two

You want to crank up the intensity in volleyball? Try this one. In volleyball, teams are required to win each set by three. Third sets are sometimes played to 15, sometimes to 25. I would shorten that to the first team to lead by two in the third wins the match. Short burst of energy takes the intensity to a whole new level, both for the players and a crowd.

A New Conference

In an era where seemingly no one in southern Illinois likes the conference they are in, I have a simple fix. We put Mt. Carmel and Eldorado in their own conference together and they can only play each other. A win-win for the rest of the state.

Elam Ending

How many times have you watched the final two minutes of a basketball game knowing it will take 20 because of fouls and timeouts. This is an effort to fix that. The Elam ending is this: at the first dead-ball whistle inside of the last four minutes of a game, the clock gets turned off. From there, a target score is set, equaling the leading team’s points plus seven. The first team to reach that number wins. So, if a team is up 53-45, the first team to 60 wins. It eliminates the plethora of fouls at the end of a game. This has been used by some smaller pro leagues to much fanfare. I say we implement it at all levels.

Song Ban

It is time to ban two songs from ever being played at another sports game. The Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling is the worst song of all time and should be treated as such. In my 10-point song rating scale, it is the only 1-star song I have, because it deserves to sit in misery all alone. The other one is Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. Never again. Not on my watch.

Also on the music subject, know that I’m resisting the urge to make the new national anthem Rick Derringer’s Real American. That may be a second term item once I’m not running for re-election as sports czar.

I have others, but this is the priority list. Call it my 100 Days Agenda.

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