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Saturday, February 24, 2024
Problems in sports that need to be addressed
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Problems in sports that need to be addressed

Too many times when I'm watching sports I think of a column idea, then realize there's no way I can stretch those concepts into a full column. So instead I thought it would be appropriate to throw all of them into one.

Game switches

During sports, mostly basketball games in the NCAA Tournament, as soon as a game goes over its designated two-hour time slot, there are constant look-ins to the next game. During an overtime thriller, no one cares if Tennessee's beating Utah State 4-2 after 90 seconds. But for some reason the networks think people care.

NFL draft

Everyone wants to be the first to break a story, and unfortunately it's killing the NFL draft. With both ESPN and NFL Network broadcasting the draft, the compeitition is intense. Instead of the commissioner revealing the picks on the podium, the picks are now revealed to the audience with camera shots of the prospect on the phone in the green room or at his home. Sure, the public is aware of of the news a little sooner, but this makes the draft anticlimactic. It's far more exciting to wait for the commissioner to approach the podium and say, ""With the fourth pick in the NFL draft, the Washington Redskins select..."" as the audience waits with bated breath. But that dramatic moment is now a thing of the past.

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Hockey helmets

It's easy to spot an NHL player on the street—just look at his teeth, or lack thereof. Nearly every player in the league is missing some. This epidemic can easily be solved by the implementation of a facemask, like those seen on the Wisconsin hockey team. The NHL does not mandate full facemasks, but why players choose not to protect their faces with a mark is mindboggling.

NFL coaches

No one looked better roaming the sidelines than coaches like Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry with their suits years ago in the NFL. But looking classy isn't allowed anymore. The league does not let head coaches wear suits anymore, at least not for the entire season. The last two to do it were Jack Del Rio of the Jaguars and Mike Nolan of the 49ers, but they had to submit a special request and could only wear them for two games. Coaches look cool when they're dressed formally; what's wrong with allowing it?

High security

Why do two police sheriffs surround college football coaches whenever they run around the field? NFL coaches and players are not guarded, but for some reason there is a belief that someone in the stadium is after Bret Bielema's head.

Stop the clock

College football games last way too long, at least a half hour longer than NFL games, and it's because the NCAA still feels the need to stop the clock after first downs to move the chains. The NFL never has problems moving the chains, so why would college? It's the one reason why NCAA games last upwards of three and a half hours on a regular basis.

Shot clock

The 35-second shot clock in the NCAA kills the excitement of games. Teams can pass the ball around for way too long before even thinking about taking a shot. Perhaps moving it down to 24 seconds like the NBA would not be fair, but it should at least be lowered to 30.

Timeout

Both the NBA and NCAA basketball allow too many timeouts. The NBA allows six, and the NCAA accords five. But each league already allocates five TV timeouts per half, meaning coaches don't have to use any of those timeouts, so they save them until the end. This means the final minutes of games are stretched into an excruciating amount of time. At both levels teams should have three timeouts and only be allowed to use two in the second half.

Low definition

Perhaps it's only in Wisconsin, but for whatever reason the Brewers and Bucks have sporadic high-definition coverage. Too many games are broadcast in standard definition, which, in this age, makes watching sports painful. ESPN also does this with lower-level NCAA basketball games. How much extra can it cost to use HD?

Honorable mention: pathetic NBA crowds, women's basketball scores on BottomLine, lack of a cold-weather Super Bowl and Lisa Stone making more than Mike Eaves.

Have any other half-baked sports thoughts? E-mail Scott at kellogg2@wisc.edu.

 

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