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(Sports) change we can believe in…

January 21, 2009

In yesterday’s Orlando Sentinel, columnist David Whitley made a plea to President Barack Obama, asking the 44th POTUS to enact a number of changes, in light of Obama’s vocal disdain for the BCS system in college football. The column is more or less written in jest, and almost certainly implies that Obama has better things to do (which he does.)

The column is broken down by sports and while most of them are pretty ridiculous (see Whitley’s insistence that deer on hunting shows be armed in the same way the hunters are), a few of his football suggestions are things that I’ve proposed myself in conversations with friends and co-workers.

For example:

•No more commercial breaks between a kickoff and the start of the possession.

This was a phenomenon that began some years ago in certain Fox games, a strategy I presumed was meant to allow the network to get the most bang for its buck during its marquee games. Now it happens on every network, every week, in every game, regardless of how little actually rides on said game. The fact that the league allows the networks to go into a TV timeout right after going into a TV timeout following a scoring play and subsequent PAT if applicable is ridiculous and flies in the face of their, “We can’t change our overtime system because the games become too long.” The game’s are already nearly 4 hours long and have far too many TV-imposed stoppages as is. Do away with this silly money grab.

•Pacman Jones Rule: Every time a player with more than two arrests is signed, the team forfeits a draft pick.

This is something I proposed a long time ago when I saw Floyd Reese appear on ESPN as one of their talking heads. This was the man responsible for drafting the aforementioned Pacman in spite of numerous red flags. This is the only way the league has any hope of phasing out dunderheads that are appear in police blotter as many times as they appear on highlight reels. You need to give franchises a reason not to take a flyer on a talented but troubled player. I guarantee you that if a guy is arrested three times and the team loses a 2nd round draft pick for the following year, they’ll think twice about signing Tank Johnson or Chris Henry.

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