BY MICHAEL GOODPASTER|
Sports are not what they used to be. The rules have changed. The players have changed. The fans have changed.
To quote a great manimation "It's a whole new world." Sadly the changes have been more for the worse and it's not looking good for the future. The fans are either entitled or bandwagon fans. The players are prima-donnas and only care about themselves. The owners are corrupt, the media is tabloid junk and it's a big distractive money grab at a culture that should focus more on bettering themselves and the world than what local colored jersey is winning a game.
Nevertheless sports are great. It's a unifying culture and at its purest is a thing of both beauty and art. It's passion, dedication, ritual and an honor. It is blood, sweat and tears all due to the endless desire to achieve glory both competitively and personally. It's that extra mile one goes while on pursuit to redefine the limits
It's just not the same anymore. We might be too far past the greatness of yesteryear, but one should never lose hope. The following list is merely a few of the ways that sports can be fixed.
* Losing sport teams should have to legitimately fight whatever their team mascot is. It’d at least give everyone else a reason to care. “Did you watch the game last night?”, “No I missed it, but I saw the highlights of that shooting guard getting gored by the Chicago Bull!”
* Make the "Ninja" a mascot already! How cool would it be to cheer on the "Nashville Ninjas" or the "Nebraska Ninjas"? I don't care what sport, city, or team call themselves that. If a ninja ever gives you thumbs up, it’s pretty much always safe to enter.
* Update the MLB all-star stuff. It's boring as underwater bowling. The actual game is as boring as any other boring baseball game. The idea of the Home Run Derby sounds good and fun but it's not. It gets a bit monotonous after a while. In a game a homer is special because it's a spontaneous eruption of excitement. Why not an obstacle course contest? Why not a creative catch contest? Why not a throwing accuracy contest? A mascot paint ball match? Why not SOMETHING?
* Sports vs. Sports. That’s the real Olympics. There is “Mixed Martial Arts” already. Why not “Mixed Athletic Arts” or something cooler sounding? Soccer and Hockey have preeeetty much the same rules. Hockey is “Ice Soccer” and Soccer is “Dirt Hockey”. Who wouldn’t want to see a team of soccer stars taking on a team of hockey stars? NASCAR drivers vs. pizza delivery guys? Yeah! Football and Rugby? Sorta. I guess like Volleyball and Basketball? Definitely figure skating and skate boarding.
* Make the Olympics part of the seasons. Hear me out. What if come every four years or even every two years the NBA team that wins the finals must then go on to defend the country in the Olympics or world cup type of games. Like this year it would the Spurs going on to the World Games. The NBA championship celebration goes all summer with them parading around with the trophy wrapped in an American flag. It would just be good press and the attention and glory would be enough for others to aspire for the same thing. It could also encourage teams to want to stay together longer instead of free agency being a crazy trading card swap.
* Face to face pregame interviews. This would be interesting. Imagine select coaches and players sitting face to face or at political debate podiums before the games. With questions about “who will win”, past rivalries, other’s weaknesses, and the general adrenaline and machismo of sports it would get pretty interesting. There are plenty of personalities in sports. There is the hyped up guy, the smart guy, the funny guy, the quiet guy, the religious guy, the activist, the superstar, the angry guy, etc. etc. etc. These traits would come out and there would be some crazy moments from this. It would be a marketing dream, give the games even that much more importance and be great television. I’m not saying people have to be pro wrestlers, but boxing and MMA find a way to do this with weigh-ins and press conferences and sometimes it brings out some crazy stories or nothing at all. It’s just part of the process. It would bring trash talking to a whole new level.
What are some other ways we can fix sports?