As per usual in the sports world, there is upheaval, drama, shenanigans, tom-foolery and other assorted scandals that plague the games we watch. Yet we still love sports. That will never change. But some of the rules of sports can and should be changed. So once again, with props to Bill Maher, it is the return of NEW RULES!
I’ve mentioned this one before but it bears repeating. Stop with the halftime shows at football games. On Thanksgiving, (US Thanksgiving. I’m Canadian for all you foreign readers.) Big Sean performed at halftime of the Eagles/Lions game. (Give Big Sean credit. At least he showed up, unlike the Eagles.)
Later in Dallas, (excuse me Arlington) Blake Shelton did some twangy “music” numbers during halftime of the Panthers/Cowboys tilt.
At the Grey Cup on Sunday, organizers decided to bring out Fall Out Boy to perform before a shivering throng in Winnipeg, as they hoped to revitalize their “careers.”
The question is why? Why do we need musical numbers at sporting events? Does a football game breakout at the Grammys? (I’d actually watch the Grammys if that happened. Especially if Dr Dre delivered a head shot to Justin Bieber.) Just stop the madness and play the game.
Either the NFL needs to make their rulebook easier to understand or admit their games are fixed. Does anyone know what constitutes as a catch anymore? Does anyone know what pass interference is? Or when a player is out-of-bounds? NFL officials don’t know most of the time and it isn’t their fault.
The NFL in its infinite wisdom has decided to make their rulebook more difficult to understand than Nietzsche’s theories on metaphysics. Remember, no sport sees more action on the betting line in Las Vegas than football. Plus the NFL is run by Roger Goodell and he’s shadier than Tony Soprano. You just got to wonder sometimes.
The CFL has its own problems with officiating. Either they fix it or admit they’re minor league football. Have you tried watching a CFL game lately? It’s been excruciating. (The Eastern Final between Hamilton and Ottawa was an exception.)
Games have been filled with poor execution from the players and most glaringly, the officials. Whether it is calling penalties on almost every play to not knowing what can or cannot be challenged, the officials have made a major impact on the results of the game far too often.
Unlike the NFL, I don’t think CFL games are fixed largely due to the fact that Las Vegas doesn’t care about CFL games. This is a case of incompetence from the league office and the on-field officials. If the officiating doesn’t change, the league is putting its reputation at risk. That’s not a good thing.
Can so-called hockey “traditionalists” please shut up? Why is it every time an idea to change the game for the better is met with derision and scorn from people who insist the old way is the better way?
This time, it is bigger nets in order to increase scoring. While there are legitimate arguments to be made against bigger nets, their needs to be discussions on how the NHL can increase goal-scoring, which means all arguments need to be heard. No idea should be dismissed.
Remember, these are the same stodgy fuddy-duddies that were against getting rid of the red line and probably want to bring back bench clearing brawls. (We’re looking at you, Ed Snider.) Get over yourselves. This isn’t 1945 anymore. Heck it is isn’t 1975 anymore. It even isn’t 1995 anymore. Get your bloated head out of the past and into the 21st century.
Rogers Sportsnet desperately needs new hockey announcers. If you employ PJ Stock and Glen Healy as talking heads on your network, you don’t have hockey experts. You have clowns that are in need to get run over by a steamroller. The amount of tripe that is spewed by these two “rocket scientists” actually causes brain damage to intelligent viewers. Make them go away. For the sake of humanity.
Can we please stop calling the English Premier League the best soccer league on the planet? Because it isn’t. Not that there isn’t quality in the EPL. Leicester City are an absolute joy to watch and Liverpool do have the hippest, coolest manager in the world. (Serious man crush on Jurgen Klopp here.)
But the Bundesliga and La Liga have moved ahead of the EPL in terms of overall quality. No English team is winning the Champions League this year. (Barcelona or Bayern Munich will.) In fact, the EPL may lose an automatic spot in next year’s Group Stage to Serie A. Heck, Newcastle United and Aston Villa are so bad, they couldn’t beat an MLS team at this rate. Yeesh!
The Golden State Warriors need to stay unbeaten for a long time. They are the most exciting team in sports right now and they play the game the right way. You don’t hear controversy or bad behaviour coming from this group. They’re a refreshing reminder of what sports should be about. There’s a lot of negativity in the sports world. The Warriors are a bright light. Let them shine for a long time.
John Oliver for president of FIFA. The rant explains why.
You can follow me on Twitter @jstar1973