Things that drive me crazy in sports

October 30, 2008

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8. Not enough luge on TV. I absolutely love the sport – it is second only to baseball. Yet, I get to see it only once every four years.

7. Prices. Seriously, toss me some sort of a bone. The ticket prices are absurd, I pay to park, and concessions and gift shops are overpriced. Some stadiums have all-you-cam-eat-without-puking sections, which is nice. Some places have family deals (4 tickets, 4 dogs, 4 sodas), but usually only for less popular games. Really, do a bit more. If I’m paying $75 a ticket for my family of 4, let me park for free. Don’t make me buy overprice preseason tickets as part of a season ticket package.

6. College athletes who want to get paid. First of all, you are getting paid. Full tuition, room and board, books. I would have loved to have gotten these benefits from my college job. Second, the vast majority of athletic departments do NOT make a profit. The majority of schools are not getting rich on athletics; they are breaking even or losing money. Sure, some sports might make a profit, but do you really want to pay a bad QB and not pay an All-American volleyball player, simply because football makes money and volleyball doesn’t?

5. Efforts to shorten games. MLB has done this. NCAA football has done this. I like sports. Why would I want to shorten the games? The NCAA’s tactics resulted in fewer plays per game, which is a loss for the fans. If I am a roller coaster fan, do I want to see the amusement parks shorten the ride time? No, of course not.

4. Lack of NCAA football playoff. Some of the NCAA’s arguments might make more sense if there wasn’t a playoff in every other division. It’s OK for 1-AA (FCS) players to play all the extra games, miss class time, etc, but it’s not OK for 1-A (FBS) players?

3. Baseball teams are not allowed to trade their draft picks. The results in players often being chosen based on signability rather than talent. In other words, I use the #1 pick to draft the 4th best player, because he will sign for a reasonable amount. Why not allow me to trade my pick the the team with the #4 pick. This allows them to grab a guy they wouldn’t have been able to get at #4. At #4, I get the same guy I would have taken at #1 – plus I get some additional value from the other team.

Alternately, perhaps I trade a 2nd round pick for an aging veteran for a playoff push.

Draft picks could become currency, and allow a lot more trades to occur. Some opponents say that this would not be a panacea. OK, sure. But I haven’t heard anyone making a solid argument that it would hurt any teams. If there is a good chance of it helping some teams, and a very small chance of it hurting anyone, do it! This is a great cost/benefit scenario.

2. The “down without contact” rule in NCAA football. A player can trip over his own feet, 20 yards from the nearest defender, and he is immediately down. Come on, people, this makes no sense. I can understand this in cases where the player is at the risk of injuries, but there are many cases where a player could easily jump up and continue running.

1. The designated hitter. Don’t get me started on this one …

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