By Adam Conn, Founder
New Year's Resolutions
Okay, every year we need to make a list of things we say we'll change, but probably won't happen. My personal one for this year was to lose 12 lbs., which I had accomplished by the beginning of this month... but I think I've backslid a couple. I got close.
So here is what I resolve for sport for 2003.
So with New Year's here in Minnesota, "I give you Mr. Chauncy St. John of New Delhi". Happy New Year every one!
- Reduce the number of college bowl games from 28 to 16. Some of these bowls are losing propositions for the teams involved Minnesota got $750,000, but half of that was in ticket value (which they had to resell). Tennessee in December isn't quite warm enough for the snowbirds here. With the number of bowls, the top 56 teams should be playing. Only 43 teams received any votes in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25 poll and two of those teams didn't get bids. Really, just add four more bowls and you have the NCAA basketball tournament. Or eliminate 12 and still get an excessive amount of college football.
- Realize that studying game film, staying in school, and focusing on playing smart will serve players better than relying solely on talent, leaving after one or two years, and yelling at the coaches. Payton Manning is in the playoffs. Ryan Leaf is unemployed. Chris Simms, Byron Leftwich, and Eli Manning will be great pro quarterbacks, EJ Henderson will be an all-pro linebacker. Chad Hutchinson, Scott Covington, Billy Joe Holbert should never be starters again.
- Drafting high school players and freshmen/sophomores in college has destroyed both college basketball and pro basketball. Gonzaga has made the tourney and been successful because its players commit to staying through senior year. They develop together as a team, and play together as a team. College basketball has turned from intense rivalries between colleges to intense jockeying for draft position. Pro basketball has turned into a weird pickup game between the Europeans and high school ballers. I care less and less about basketball by the day.
- Stop signing .250 hitters who can't field to contracts that pay above the league average. Robin Ventura committed 23 errors and hit .247. While he took a pay cut for 2003, he still gets $5 million. While he's won six Gold Gloves, only '96 and '99 were deserved. Aaron Boone put up similar, but slightly better numbers and earns $2.1 million the league average.
- Collusion is collusion. Major League Baseball should not be involved in the running of the Montreal Expos franchise. The moment that the collective bargaining agreement was signed, Bud Selig should have stepped up and asked for bids. This team should be sold by now and out of Canada.
- Fans should be respectful. It's not just the glory seekers attacking coaches, fans throwing rats from the rafters, or ripping down goalposts. It's people attending sports and being unintelligent through their actions. It's fans bringing artificial means of showing their support. Be a fan of the sport first, team second. Class wins every time.
- Respect the officials. While I agree officiating in the NFL has been less than expected, leaking a confidential memo stating that the officials blew nine calls in the Minnesota/Green Bay game does nothing but undermine the authority of the officials on the field. Being the only major sport that does not have full-time officials is ludicrous. Want better officiating? Make it their only job. Have the officals work spring and summer reviewing tape, working with the Competition Committee to change the rules. Players need to show respect to the officals too. Randy Moss should have been suspended for squirting an official with water, not just fined. Grant the officials control over the conduct of the game, not the players.
- As college athletes are not professionals, neither should Olympiads be professionals. Sure, the USA wouldn't dominate in basketball. I know that would suck for all you jingoists who love to see the big US medal count, but let's face it Olympic coverage is solely slanted towards USA domination. While I do like that the NHL shuts down during the Winter Olympics so that all the foriegn-born players of merit (ah yes, 99% of the league) can play in the games, it loses its charm when you have 10 year pros duking it out on wide rinks. Let's get the Junior League players back into hockey, and if you have to use professional athletes in baseball and basketball, let's use noone above AAA in baseball and no later than second year NBA players (since they are all entering the pros at 19 anyway).
- Race discrimination in sports is still there. I hate to say it, but gender equity in professional and college sports will probably always take a back seat. Title IX has been a great success, but it's still hard to get coverage of women's sports to merit more than a note. I know we don't do a good job of it here at ContractBud.com, but we don't have that much access to women's sports. I'd love to have a female sports writer on this site. I'd love to have someone cover women's sports on this site. And I'd love for those positions to be filled by two people, not just one. But there's a deep ominous streak of racism that still haunts professional sports. How many minority owners do we have in baseball? Zero. Football? Zero. While we are seeing some strides in coaching and management positions (for which I do applaud Bud Selig's appointments in Montreal), there were three black college football coaches in Division I. And one of them was fired.
- No sports fan or fan of quality television should go without owning the complete Sports Night DVD collection. Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing, The American President, A Few Good Men, and Malice, had only a two year run with this show. It is the best writing I've seen in a comedy he employs so many great and subtle dramatic techniques, spinning a single line into an entire episode's web. The show is wonderfully acted, filmed, and produced.
File last modified May 15, 2011