Pet Peeves

Yesterday, I mentioned that a pet peeve of mine involved NFL WRs and DBs throwing imaginary flags on half the pass plays as they were begging for a pass interference call.  As I was in the process of posting that rant, it set in motion some thinking about my pet peeves in sports in general.  So, today I want to list the ones that came to mind.

  • [If people can abide the concept of “Christmas in July”, then simply consider this as “Festivus in April”.]

I am tired of turning on an NBA game and watching it turn into a three-point shooting contest.  Just last night, the box score for the Nets/Raptors game showed a total of 88 three-point shot attempts.  For those of  you who are keeping score at home, that is a three-point shot every 32.7 seconds for 48 minutes.  I do not find that entertaining enough to hold my interest for a full regular season NBA game which is only marginally important to begin with because there are too many of them.  The only logical cure I can see for this – ignoring the option of getting rid of the three-point shot all together – is to cap the number of three-point shots for each team in each game.  Once the quota is met, any other shots made from “downtown” would be worth only 2 points.  Don’t hold your breath for that…

Sticking with basketball – at all levels – for a moment, intentional fouling at the end of just about every game is annoying on several levels.  Very obviously, it contributes in a major way to the fact that the final two minutes of a basketball game might take 20 minutes of real time to unfold.  However, there is another problem here.

  • A foul in basketball is a violation of the rules.
  • The team that is trailing in the game is intentionally violating the rules of the game to gain an advantage.
  • Somehow, that behavior has become acceptable…

I am tired of tuning in to ESPN and/or FS-1 only to find faux-debate programming.  At least 90% of the “disagreements” vocalized on screen are trivial at best because the “issues” at hand are insignificant.  And to make things worse, when there is not some current “issue” worthy of time on the air – – but that time on the air has to be filled with theatrical acrimony – – the shows turn to hackneyed topics that have been “debated to death” such as:

  • Michael Jordan or LeBron James as the GOAT?
  • Belichick or Brady as “the reason” for the Pats’ dominance?  [No consideration given to “both” as an answer.]
  • Greatest baseball player NOT in the Hall of Fame.

You get the idea here…

How many of the faux-debate shows do you think “argued” about whether Madison Bumgarner’s 7-inning no-hit game should count – – since the game was only scheduled for 7 innings and he allowed no hits?  Well, every one of the ones that I tuned in to the next day covered that critical issue.

Speaking of annoying TV programming, can someone explain to me why all the TV programs that are lead-ins to NFL games consist of a bunch of people sitting around a table yukking it up and generating phony laughter on the set?  Wow!  Someone just made a cute remark about Jimmy Johnson’s hair; no one ever did that before; let’s all guffaw for 10 seconds…

I am tired of seeing football coaches – NFL or collegiate –  racing down the sidelines to call for a timeout often leaving the player/coaching area on the sidelines to accomplish that without any consequence for leaving said area.  Here is my solution:

  • A timeout can only be called by a player on the field.
  • If a coach or player leaves the designated team area on the sidelines, it is an automatic illegal procedure penalty.

Speaking of timeouts, there are clearly too many timeouts per team in basketball games given that there are automatic “TV-timeouts” built into the event.  In addition to reducing the number of team timeouts, I would like to revert to the rule that timeout can only be called by the player in control of the basketball.  There is only one person who can possibly be in control of the basketball at any instant without the call on the floor being a “jump ball”.

While I am at it, bring back the jump ball.  The possession arrow was a nice experiment but there is no reason to posit from the outset that each team deserves 50% of the possessions there.  If that were the case, the visiting team would start every game with possession of the basketball and the game would unfold from there.

I did not like the designated hitter rule when it was adopted by the AL back in the 1970s; I still do not like the designated hitter rule; after more than 40 years of living with the designated hitter rule, I think I can safely say I am never going to like the designated hitter rule.

I am also on record as having had enough of “instant replay” and its expansion into areas of the game that make it more intrusive to the flow of the game while not fulfilling the “promise of instant replay” that lured everyone into the goat rodeo that it has become:

  • Instant replay will “get it right”.
  • Well, evidence is that it does NOT always “get it right” and anyone who calls what replay is now anything related to “instant” needs to consult a dictionary.

Finally, I mentioned Madison Bumgarner’s 7-inning no-hitter above.  For the record, MLB will not recognize it as a no-hit game which is OK with me.  The existence of MLB 7-inning games however gave rise to this comment from Bob Molinaro in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:

Everybody up: Now that MLB seven-inning doubleheader games are here to stay, it’s time to get accustomed to the fifth-inning stretch.

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



8 thoughts on “Pet Peeves”

  1. I would like to see fouls in the final two minutes give the offended team an option of possession without FTs. That would solve one of my pet peeves.

  2. A grand slam of solutions! I duly nominate The Sports Curmudgeon Commissioner for Life of all major sports. Then please abolish the new OT rule in CFB where in the 3rd OT, 2-point conversion attempts will be alternated like penalty shots to determine a winner. And create an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for demonstrative celebrations in football that don’t involve scoring plays or turnovers. And while I’m at it, being a mid-60s, White, longtime sports fan, get off my damn lawn too! Great column!

    1. Wayne:

      You know me far too well to put me in charge of such a portfolio of events. But rest assured that in such a position, the new college football overtime scoring rule would be out the window in the first 3 minutes of my reign. 👍

  3. I think an easy solution to a lot of the baseball time problems (which they have attempted to solve with 7 inning DH’s and the ‘ghost runner’ on second in extra innings) can be better sorted by allowing for draws. Tables then become 2pt for win 1 pt for draw 0 pts for loss.

    Americans hate anything where there is not a vanquished foe and a clear WINNER!, so I will jot hold my breath.

    1. John:

      You are correct; American sports need a winner and a loser in every contest. Gene Mauch – former manager of the Phillies – once said that splitting a double-header (both nine inning games at the time) was like kissing your sister through a screen door.

      I would not be offended by altering the standings to a win/lose/draw status – – but I know that is never going to happen.

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