First and foremost, I’m feeling good right about now — presidential almost. It didn’t really set in until I talked to my mother Tuesday night. I haven’t heard my mother that joyous in a while, if ever. Even if Barack Obama doesn’t work out how everybody hopes and assumes he will, his election means so much in terms of how far we have come as African Americans and as America as a whole.
And for that alone, Tuesday was a great day in America.
But seeing as this is on the other side of the newspaper — which is the better side — I have to keep this column sports-related.
Staying in the Election Day topic, if any of you saw the Redskins take a loss this Monday against the Steelers, I’m assuming that you didn’t switch channels during halftime and actually watched Obama and John McCain do interviews with Chris Berman.
In the interview, Berman asked each candidate if there were one thing in sports they could change, what would it be. McCain said he would try and correct the steroids problem.
Obama said he would try and fix the BCS — college football’s sad attempt at ranking teams to avoid having playoffs. For one, I think it’s terrible. What sport do you know of at such a high level that doesn’t have playoffs? The other three major sports in America have them, it doesn’t make sense.
The refusal to have playoffs eliminates the fact that teams actually get better over the year. What if you have your star player miss two games to mourn a family death?
You know — as I shake my head at the computer in frustration — as teams play more, they become better. What if Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor vastly improves his passing ability by the end of the year? You mean to tell me that the Buckeyes wouldn’t be able to beat anybody in a BCS Championship?
It’s crazy. The system basically exists because it makes so much money for each school. By having every team play in its own Super Bowl, it maximizes attendance and all that. I can see why it’s still around, despite players and coaches alike opposing it. But yesterday, a lot of coaches put out statements about how they would like to change it.
So seeing as Obama is starting to make changes and since I got a little more swagger to my step, I’m going to go ahead and name some things that I want change around here. I’m Sports President right now. It’s for me to get some things straightened up around here. Time to clean house. That’s how I’m feeling.
GET RID OF THE NFL NETWORK
It makes no sense to me, or anybody for that matter, for a sport with such a small amount of games to have some of its games only exclusive for DirecTV viewers. It is already bad enough that we can’t catch every game on a Sunday. I feel for all those Redskins, Cowboys and Steelers fans who can only count on watching their team play if it is on national television Monday or Sunday Night. I remember there was a time last year when the Patriots-Giants game was only going to be aired Saturday Night on DirecTV exclusively. If I missed that game, somebody was going to hear from me. Point, blank, period. I understand that it’s a financially lucrative move for the NFL, but it’s a recession out here. We don’t have that bread right now, get it outta here.
FIRE CRAIG SAGER
If you have ever watched a sporting event on TNT, you know who I’m talking about. This guy has the worst wardrobe in the history of broadcasting. Everything from plaid, to uncoordinated colors, just straight up terrible suits that are not only unbearable to look at but are a disrespectful disgrace to me. I would be a happy man if I were him, covering some of the most popular sporting events for a living. And trust me, once my professional career gets going, my wardrobe will be smooth. But until that day, I’m not trying to see Craig Sager hold down my spot. Give him his papers, send him home. Good-bye.
AND WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, SEND WALT FRAZIER PACKING
Not only are the Knicks bad enough already, but I have to hear some of the worst color commentary in the history of sports when I decide to torture myself and watch them play. When a player is lighting up the scoreboard, I’m not trying to hear about how much he is “percolating.” And how many times do I have to hear about “matador” defense? I’m sorry. He was a great Knick player, a bad Knick commentator. Peace.
ALLOW COLLEGE HOCKEY FIGHTING
Fighting is one of the NHL’s mainstays. Around the country, players scrap every night. But for some reason, the NCAA tells all these college hockey players — who are looking to get into the league — that they can’t play the game the same way the pros do. They just tell them to go out there and figure skate. Alright, that’s overdoing it, but you know what I mean. If somebody is pushing me around on the ice, at some point, tempers are going to reach a climax and things are going to happen. Let ’em take out that anger. That’s easy.
ELIMINATE FLAG FOOTBALL AS A SPORT
I’ve lost too many flag football games for the simple fact that I can’t lay anybody out. Going out there and trying to grab flags is not cool, not cool at all. You don’t impress the ladies when you come home all sore from a flag football game. Just doesn’t happen, that’s not good for your swagger. All those defensive interference calls because I am trying to get to the quarterback, you kidding me? Take all that money that is spent on flag football leagues and put it into our economy. Flag football should not be played anywhere in this country. Football is a physical sport, keep it that way.
CUT DOWN BASEBALL SEASON
There is no reason, no reason why there should be 162 games in any season. The season is so long, you can literally take months off and come back to it like nothing happened. There will always be surprise teams, but come on. Who cares about the Kansas City Royals after the first 40 games of the season? I understand having so many games is financially profitable. I mean, I wouldn’t care how many games my team plays if I can sell ONE beer for ten dollars every time they go on the field. That’s cash in my pocket, regardless of the fact that my team has no playoff chance. But since I’m making changes round here, I am cutting out a month of baseball. Pitchers and catchers can’t report until the end of the NBA Finals in June. I’m putting a freeze on your money. Send that over to me, I’ll find somewhere good to put it. Buy my girl a couple dresses or something.
ALLOW TOUCHDOWN CELEBRATIONS
I don’t care what anybody says, when Chad Johnson gets in the end zone, I want to see a show. It’s ridiculous to tell a player that he can’t celebrate scoring a touchdown. With all these 6-3, 250 pound defenders out here, running at you like Usain Bolt all game long, I can understand the joy of getting in the zone. You know how hard it is to get a touchdown with these athletes running around the field trying to put you in the hospital. Let that man get loose when he scores. Plus, the NFL is fining people for doing it?! If that’s going to continue, give me that money. I’ll take that, invest it in some oil drilling or something. Come on.
ELIMINATE NBA SALARY CAP
Because David Stern is trying to make sure that small market teams are capable of being as good as larger market teams, he decided to tax each team, on the dollar, for going over the salary cap. I am not mad at the idea, but now, with money being tight, teams are cutting costs all across the board. At the same time, European teams are getting NBA players because the euro is more powerful than the dollar nowadays. So there is a realistic threat that Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and company will turn down the maximum $20 million a year contract in the NBA and go overseas for $50 million a year. If I have to start watching Kobe’s games on some illegal Internet site as opposed to my television, I am not going to be a happy man. Times are down, spirits need to be picked up. Those players serve as entertainment, keeping our thoughts away from the harsh realities of this recession for the couple of hours that they amaze us per game. Kill the cap. Don’t tell these owners, man, how much money they can put into their businesses.
I could go on and on, but we can’t tackle all the issues at once. Let me handle these things first, and then we’ll continue to make changes as time goes on. Thanks for choosing me, your Sports President.