I get emails all the time that tell me how I have a very innovative and revolutionary view on sports. The word genius has been thrown around a few times. Let me give you one such email:
BTI, I normally don’t comment on KSR, but today I just couldn’t help myself. You’re argument that soccer would be better if youth girls were playing and fighting one another was both innovative and revolutionary, dare I say genius. I would love to know what other changes you would make to the sports world.”
Sincerely, Thomas B.
I get at least one of these types of email every 4 or 5 months and I am only here to please the masses. So, hopefully on a weekly basis, I will give some changes that need to be made in sports. Today’s are some that are on the top of my mind:
1. COLLEGE ATHLETES NEED TO BE PAID
As much as I would love to buy into the whole amateur thing, and think that college sports is the last purely clean athletic arena, we all know that we have passed that threshold a loooooong time ago. And so I see no reason that college athletes should not be profiting on the profit that they bring into the school. Every single one of these athletes are legal adults and the amount of hard work they put into their sport makes it just like a full-time job with the university. Several additions to this argument:
a. Athletes should not be paid the same amounts. Frankly, basketball and football players bring in millions upon millions to a university and softball and track do not. This plan is based solely on how much teams bring into the school. For instance, how many of you bought tickets for the sheer fact of wanting to see Wall and Cousins. Those guys “earned” that money, and deserve to profit off it. Goal Profits may be a Betfair football trading system that claims to show serial losers into serial winners. If you’ve struggled within the past to form a profit trading football on the exchanges, then this probably seems like just what you’ve been trying to find. The goal profits is a great system for players.
b. Don’t give me the whole “their scholarship is the way they are paid” argument. Those guys pay back the school ten foldover what their scholarship is worth.
c. In a perfect world, a school like Kentucky would not have to even come close to cheating during recruiting because they could simply say “look how much you will be paid when you play for us”. That would be the new recruiting pitch. And I readily admit that I may just be wishfully thinking there.
d. The NCAA would have to set a percentage of the profit that a sport brings into the school to dish out to the athletes. The number I had in mind was 10%. So, if a sport like baseball brought in 1-million-dollars in a season, the players would equally divide up $100,000. The only sport where the percentage might be higher is football due to the sheer number of players on each team. Maybe make it 15% for football.
2. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL NEEDS TO SHORTEN ITS REGULAR SEASON
We just had a MLB Playoff game postponed because of snow. SNOW! Last year, we had the World Series basically ruined because of terrible weather in Philadelphia. And even when there is not precipitation, the weather in the majority of MLB cities is frigid this time of year. And that’s not even the real reason I think the season needs to be shortened. The real reason is because the only part of the season anybody cares about is played right in the middle of this country’s favorite sport, football. How many of us are choosing playoff baseball on a Sunday over an NFL game. Very few. But, if the season was shortened by 30-40 games, the playoffs could be played in late August/early September, and catch it right at the beginning of football season. As it is now, nearly everybody has moved themselves into football season. Maybe next week, we will discuss the start times of games.
3. IT’S TIME FOR HOCKEY TO GET BACK ON ESPN
I think there are too many people that actually love sports who don’t realize how the game has changed since the strike and ESPN dropping the sport. Now, we only get an occasional NBC Sunday game, and maybe 2 or 3 Stanley Cup Finals games. But, in reality, the sport has really become more exciting. Scoring has been waaaaayy up since the players came back, the sport is much more wide-open, and there are some real stars in the sports. This is in no way suggesting the sport will ever become higher than 4th on the totem pole, BUT it is much better than any 4th sport that is currently on TV, i.e. poker or soccer or WNBA. One of the best endings I have ever seen to a sporting event was last years Game 7 of the Finals between the Penguins and Red Wings. A diving save at the buzzer gave the Penguins the upset. It was the equivalent of a Game 7 walk-off or World Cup Golden Goal. And yet, nearly all of last years playoffs were not broadcast or broadcast on Versus. As a bonus, hockey looks really good on HD TV, and you can actually see the puck.
4. THE WORLD CUP NEEDS TO BE EVERY 2 YEARS AND HELD ON YEARS WHERE THERE ARE NO OLYMPICS.
This is 100% coming from an American’s perspective, but this is the only event that I always mark down to watch when it comes to soccer. And despite what some may think, I have a feeling that most people feel the same way. Something is really cool about watching the Congo try and take down France. And this sport, unlike any others in the world, is fairly evenly played on all continents. Meaning Nigeria is just as good as Mexico who can compete with Germany who is challenged by South Korea who can play with Argentina. But, why only hold it every 4 years? What is the reasoning? Do you honestly think it would become watered down if held every 2 years? They held the Winter Olympics in 1992 and 1994, and I don’t remember the ’94 Olympics being any less watched or anticipated than the ones in ’92. So my proposal is this: Hold the World Cup in odd years (2009, 2011, 2013, etc.) and hold the qualifying for the World Cup in even years.