BYU Wins Holy War

BYU Wins Holy War
George, like Collie and Harline before him, is now still open!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mark's Thoughts: Five Unheralded Things That Need to Change About Sports

The start of a list of many things about sports that need to be changed, but items that aren't being talked about...

There are some major things that need to change about the world of sports.  The BCS, the Designated Hitter, NFL overtime rules, voters in the college football polls being uninformed, star treatment for NBA players, and so on.  These are major problems that do need to be addressed; however, they have all been discussed by many writers.  I would like to start to compile a list of things that need changing in sports that have yet to be addressed at any great length.  

1) There needs to be an increase of quality nicknames in the world of sports.  There is just a huge lack of good nicknames in sports.  There are a few, but the problem is the majority of them belong to Shaq.  The other nicknames are just shortening names, or using initials. For example, LeBron, CP3, Manny, A-Rod, etc. The excessive marketing that has encompassed sports might be one of the reasons that nicknames have gone away. Poor nicknames are forced down the throats of fans by announcers, ESPN, and marketing executives. No longer are nicknames able to come about naturally. It would be nice for nicknames to come about, and then for the nickname to be used by commentators and commercials.

2) Arenas need to stop selling beer at halftime. Too often people come to the game after drinking up a storm at a restaurant or bar and sit down with a beer in each hand. Then at the end of the third quarter comes the run to get another two beers for the last quarter. I don't know if the limiting of the beer sales at halftime would cut down on alcoholic incidents.

3) Leagues and conferences need to stop creating networks and placing quality games on those networks without first having a way to have those networks seen by a wide audience. The problem is not just the Mtn. or the NFL network, but every network that has been created by a league or conference to date. It seems that these networks never learned the lessons of the Internet or mortgage collapse. You can't just want something to be profitable and magically it becomes profitable. Let the people see the network, and have it be a good product.

4) The NBA is just too nice. What happened to the intensity that used to be on the court, and the anger that can be seen from players after they lose games? It just seems that too many players are just playing to collect a paycheck. The problem isn't that the players are making too much money, this same problem of people not caring about what they are doing exist at all workplaces. It is frustrating to see people mail in performances regardless of what profession that they do, but it is very frustrating when it comes from performers who are paid to come and give it their all for the entertainment of others.

5) Innovations in broadcast and improvements in sports shouldn't be stopped due to a blanket argument of "purity of the game." Hockey is a really good example of this fact. In the 1990's hockey had an argument that it was one of the top sports in America along with the NBA, MLB, and NFL. Yet, hockey really made a lot of mistakes. One of the major mistakes they did make was trying to cater their sport to fanatical base. In the nineties the NHL was trying to make changes to make hockey more watchable; however, the "hockey purists" didn't like the changes and constantly complained about it until the league altered the changes they made that improved the watch-ability. The league didn't try to attract new fans to the sports, and hockey has suffered ever since. There are things about sports that shouldn't change. There just needs to be a better reason for keeping them than because of the "purity of the game."

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