‘Tis the season for all of humanity to make resolutions. As the calendar changes, we look to the future. We seek to improve our existence. With resolution in the air it would be a good time for many in the sports’ world to make changes and improve the games for the fans. Here is a list of my ‘suggestions’ as to how members of the sports’ world could make improvements.
Suggestion #1 (Let’s get the obvious out of the way) Barry Bonds you need to give full disclosure. You have claimed that you love the game of baseball; that baseball is your life. There is a cloud hanging over this game you love, and you have contributed to the overcast skies. If you love this game as much as you say, you need to give us some sunshine. We want to know the exact date when you started using performance-enhancing drugs. We want to know exactly what you used. At this point we can adjust your numbers in the record books. Instead of these inflated numbers that you have accumulated, we can pro-rate the numbers according to your averages before you began using performance-enhancing drugs.
As far as numbers go, Barry you have had a hall of fame career. You did not need drugs to make the hall of fame. But you did need drugs to be king of a mountain. As you ascend to these personal heights, you have made a mockery of the game of baseball. Instead of fans discussing batting averages, ERA’s, etc. we now discuss who we perceive to be using drugs. Maybe if you come forward, others will admit their wrongdoings. A leader is needed. You should be the leader, Barry. You have put yourself in this position. It is time for all the king’s horses and all the king’s men to put baseball back together again.
Suggestion #2 Boise State get a new rug. Once again I tried to watch the bowl game (the MPC Computers bowl) that takes place in Boise. Once again after squinting, for several minutes, at your BLUE field I changed the channel. I don’t know why this is, but I do not have a problem watching football games that take place on GREEN fields. Does anyone else have this problem? Can anyone explain this arresting phenomenon of why a BLUE football can give me a headache?
Suggestion # 3 To the NFL: Play a doubleheader on Monday nights. Is this really that complicated? You did this in the aftermath of Katrina. It worked well then. It will work well now. We do all of this jockeying trying to find a starting time that will accommodate both the East coast and the West Coast. Instead have an early game and a late game. Both coasts get a game. And the Midwest gets the best.
Suggestion # 4 To Allen Iverson: put Coach Thompson on your speed dial. You will be thirty-two years old later this year. We all marvel at your deft playing abilities and your seemingly infinite level of energy. But time is running short, and the way you play with reckless abandon you might not have many more chances to win a chan’ship. Call Coach Thompson. Call him regularly. Think of it this way: you can be Mitch Albom and Coach Thompson could be Morrie. Coach Thompson could share his wisdom. You had the opportunity to listen to his wisdom, but you needed to leave Georgetown after two years. AI you need his wisdom. You have abilities that 99.9% of the human population does not have, but without some wisdom, those talents almost take on the appearance of a circus act.
Suggestion # 5 (With AI in mind) To the enterprising youth of America: Someone needs to invent a laser removal of tattoos. Make it quick and make it painless (that’s the way we like to deal with our mistakes in the United States). I guarantee that at some point in the future, be it next year, five years, or twenty years from now, there’s going to be a percentage of the population that will wake up one morning, look in the mirror and say(borrowing from David Byrne): “My God, what have I done?”.
Suggestion # 6 To the NCAA Men’s Basketball committee: Keep the NCAA tournament to a field of sixty-five. For one reason and one reason only you need to keep the field at the current number: I love the Saturday before Selection Sunday. Think about what takes place on that day. Both the ACC and Big Ten have semi-final games. Beyond that numerous conferences have their chan’ship games. For many of these conferences (American East, Horizon, MAC, etc.) only one team will advance to the National Tournament. These teams play with a high level of urgency. Their season comes down to one game. And all of these games get televised on a variety of stations. We, the fans, get to choose which games we want to watch and for how long instead of CBS dictating our viewing.
Suggestion # 7 To the governing body of American basketball: eliminate the dunk!!!!!! There you go; I said it. Pick up your jaws. Please withhold all expletives when responding to this suggestion. Think about this. I am the first one to admit that I enjoy the dunk. But American basketball has been exposed at the international level. Why is this? There are many reasons. One of which is that our kids spend too much time trying to use the game as a tool to elevate their own personal status. You can watch an NBA game for an entire quarter and see several missed shot attempts from behind the three point arc. In that same quarter you can see three or four dunks, and the subsequent celebrations while the game continues. Whether it is pointing to the heavens, pointing at the crowd, shaking a head at the opposing bench, etc. it is not what should be happening at that time. It is as if these kids spend more time practicing what they will do after a dunk than working on a jump shot. Then we play at the international level, and we can’t even get in the lane for a dunk. Why is this? Because the teams from other countries actually play defense!!! Our kids are forced to shoot from the outside and guess what? We are not prepared to do this. The dunk has become larger than the game. Get rid of it!!!!
Suggestion # 8 (Piggy-backing the previous suggestion) To all professional athletes: act like you have been there before. The endless array of in-game, contrived celebrations detract from the sport and are an embarrassment. Somehow we have gone from Joe Montana lifting his clenched fists in spontaneous delight to players making cell phone calls. Play the game!!!!! (Borrowing from Kenny Rogers) There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done!
Suggestion #9 To Georgia Tech University: rent or buy a floor sander. Cremins’ Court?!?!?!?!? Let’s examine the evidence: Coach Cremins led your Ramblin’ Wreck hoopsters for nineteen years. He amassed a record of 352 wins and 233 losses. Not bad. That’s an average of less than nineteen wins per season. Cremins managed to win one regular season ACC title, make a few sweet sixteen appearances, one final four appearance, but zero national titles. Then Cremins did this whole I’m leaving…I’m staying thing as he considered a job at South Carolina. For this he gets immortalized? Look at it this way: The Tar heels come to town. The teams are on the floor for a pre-game shoot around. Huckleberry Hound…er…Roy Williams is standing off to the side. Tyler Hansbrough ambles over to see his coach.
Hansbrough: Hey coach! I gots a question.
Williams (striking his best fatherly pose as he puts his arm on his stud’s shoulders): Sure son. What’s eating at ya?
Hansbough: Well coach, me and the guys were tryin’ to figure somethin’ out. Who is Cremins?
Williams (removes his arm from Hansbrough’s shoulders and adjusts his wire-rimmed glasses on the bridge of his nose): Well dadgum Ty, Bobby Cremins…is … is…is the best coach in Georgia Tech history. Now let’s get the three man weave started.
If that doesn’t work think of this: a blue chip recruit wants to play in the ACC. He visits Chapel Hill where he can play in the Dean Smith Center. Named after the legendary coach whose 879 all-time victories is currently being challenged by Robert Montgomery Knight. Smith also won two national titles. This same recruit will travel down the road to Durham where he would have the chance to play on Coach K Court. The Coach K who has won three national titles and whose teams have appeared in ten final fours. Coach K Court, Dean Smith Center, …and…Cremins Court – which of these is not like the others?
Am I finished? Heck no…I’m just gettin’ warmed up! Whaddya think? Let’s hear your disagreements. Let’s hear your agreements.