New Year’s Suggestions Part II

Where there is a part I, there has to be a part II. Right? Figured I’d get this in before the discussion of the conference chan’ships. The response to part I was…tepid at best. Maybe my eliminating the dunk suggestion was too off the wall. Guess I will need to explain that idea in its own column.

We’ve been missing some folks lately. JNukes – hope you weren’t one and done. Mike you have been quiet lately. How’s student teaching? Suggestion #11 should draw you out of cover. Wuest – we haven’t heard from ya in a coupla days. Let’s see some comments from first timers. Cap-are you ever going to write anything? Salinger – hope you get the PC up and running.

Suggestion # 10 To the front office of the Boston Red Sox: stop with the frivolous spending. Amount of dollars spent does not equate with success.

Suggestion # 11 To all Yankee fans that are enjoying the Sox spending spree (William Shakespeare or Christopher Marlowe, depending on where you fall in that argument, said it best): “Thy protests too much.”

Suggestion # 12 To all major league hitters: Make Derek Jeter your model. When you get hit by a pitch, drop your bat and proceed to first base. Do not stop and taunt. Do not rush the mound. Getting hit by a pitch is part of the game (especially when you lean over the plate). You are getting paid too much to complain.

Suggestion # 13 To the MLB: get rid of in-season trading. The team you break Spring Training with is your team for the year. Injuries? Go to your farm system. Yeah, I know the Sox would not have won without the trades made before the ’04 deadline. Thing is the trade deadline has taken on a life of its own. To the extent that if a GM does NOT make a trade, it is assumed he is not doing his job.

Suggestion # 14 To FIFA: move the offsides line in soccer from midfield to the thirty-five yard line. Instead of one line a field would have two offsides lines. One at each end of the field. This is not an original idea. The NASL tried it back in the day.

Suggestion # 15 To FIFA: allow the head butt. Then any future players who want to flop like Marco Materazzi will be the ones who go on to live in infamy.

Suggestion # 16 (I can’t take credit for this one. A local morning radio talk show host made this suggestion. It is too good to not note in this column) To the producers of the James Bond movies: give Sean Connery a cameo role in all upcoming films. Now that he has been somewhat officially retired from the 007 role, Connery could add some intrigue to the movies. For example, in the recent Casino Royale Connery could have played the role of a bar fly during the scene taken in the Bahamas. When the ornery Dimitrios dismisses his girlfriend, the lovely Caterina Murino, for being late, Connery could have been there for the damsel in distress. As she moved from the card table to the bar, Connery could have appeared and in his Scottish burr said: “Someone is making a mistake by leaving a pretty lass like yourself alone. Maybe I could help keep the womanizers away.”

Suggestion # 17 To the NHL: eliminate fighting! It is unnecessary. It serves as some exertion of manhood or lack thereof. At one time I could see that fighting seemed like a natural extension of the game. Then the Broad Street Bullies brawled their way to consecutive Stanley Cup victories in the 70’s. The running joke became: I went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out. Hockey purists could not have truly found that amusing.

Maybe things have changed. (Not that this is the absolute gauge of success) As of the current year the Buffalo Sabres lead the league in jersey sales. They are popular. Why is this? Well, first they have some sleek new uniforms, and they have brought back the classic Gilbert Perrault retro jerseys. ALSO they lead the league in offense. They skate. They pass. They check…hard. (This might be a better gauge)

The Sabres who just a few short years ago were on the verge of extinction have now sold out every game this season. AND they don’t fight. They play hockey. Too many people think that fighting is part of the game. Fighting is not allowed at the collegiate or international level. It should not happen in the NHL.

Suggestion # 18 To the opponents of the Buffalo Sabres and Ryan Miller in particular: If you get awarded a penalty shot, you might opt for the man advantage situation.

Suggestion # 19 To the NCAA: Create a playoff to decide your football chan’ship. Your post-season tournament should consist of sixteen teams and this is why: You have eleven conferences. Each conference sends their champion and then five at-large bids get into the tourney. Think of what this would do to the NCAA football landscape. Currently about ten to fifteen teams(actually I am being generous in my estimate) have a legitimate chance to win the title at the beginning of each season. That means over 100 teams know they have no chance to win, and potential recruits know these teams do not have a chance to win. If Northern Illinois from the Mid-American conference can be assured a reasonable chance to advance to and in a tournament, they could have a better chance of recruiting athletes. With a playoff system coaches like Joe Novak, from NIU could go into a recruit’s home and actually sell the kid on an opportunity to compete for the national title. It may take a few years, but this would have a profound effect on college football. College football might have a great story like the George Mason run through last year’s NCAA hoops tourney. The argument that the current bowl system gives NCAA football a ‘unique’ appeal is kinda like saying Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have a ‘unique’ relationship. Yeah, the Cruise and Holmes marriage is a little out of the ordinary. I just don’t see too many of us wanting a marriage like theirs.

Suggestion # 20 To Bob Davie: stay in the booth. Now that we all know that you are the last coach to beat Pete Carroll by double digits, you should quit while you are ahead. Besides, you’re pretty good calling the game.

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