New Rules Part 8

New Rules Photo

February is usually a down time in sports. Football has ended. Pitchers and catchers are reporting for spring training. Basketball has its All-Star Weekend which is followed by mid-season blahs. Hockey goes through the same thing in most years.

But this February has been different. The Olympics are ongoing. The NHL has sent their best halfway around the world to compete for gold. An NFL draft prospect came out of the closet to announce his homosexuality. The NBA has a new commissioner. And a raccoon appeared in spring training. EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING!

New York Yankees Spring Training

With that in mind, I think it is time for some changes in the sports world. So once again, with a tip of the hat to Bill Maher, it is time for NEW RULES!

New Rule:

Virtue and Moir

Figure skating is more rigged than WWE. I know I wrote about this before but with the Olympics going on, figure skating returns to the spotlight and once again there is more judging controversy. To be brutally honest, if the Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won gold, it would have been a questionable decision. I mean, how the hell do you judge ice dancing? I keep hearing the answer is subjective. You know what else is subjective? Your choice of beer. Your favourite ice cream flavour. Your favourite Pink Floyd album. Your favourite Stanley Kubrick film. What do they have in common with figure skating? They’re not sports. Move on people.

New Rule:

Canada vs Latvia

Canada needs to realize that other countries are good at hockey. Every time there is a best-on-best tournament, the country I call home goes through this period of angst that would make a teenager in the 1990s blush. In 2002, Canada lost its first game 5-2 to Sweden and the land of beavers and maple syrup went into a panic like we were being under attack by Imperial Storm Troopers. Canada did go on to win gold. In 2010, Canada lost 5-3 to a strong USA team in Vancouver. They recovered and beat the Americans in overtime in the gold medal game. In 1998 and 2006, Canada didn’t medal at all. What does it say? The competition is fierce in hockey. Can my home and native land win gold? Sure. But so could the USA, Sweden, Russia and even Finland could take top prize in Sochi. Don’t forget Switzerland either. A team on the rise that upset Canada 2-0 in 2006. Yes, I will be disappointed if Canada doesn’t win gold. But I also realize that other countries have caught up to us in the sport. And that’s good for the sport in the long-term. More countries playing means more talented players get noticed which means the level of play rises which equals great hockey. And that’s what matters.

New Rule:

Olympic Rings

The Olympics need to have permanent host sites for the games. Both the summer and winter games should decide their host cities by rotation instead of bidding for them. If a previous host city has the capital and facilities to host the games again, go back to that city. Of course every city that has ever hosted the games had flaws. No city is perfect. But some stood out more than others. I’ll write about this in the future. While we’re at it..

New Rule:

qatar-2022-worldcup-logo

The World Cup of Soccer needs to do the same thing. Around 450 migrant workers have been killed in Qatar while trying to get the Middle East nation ready for the 2022 World Cup. Meanwhile, 15,000 protesters jammed the streets of Brasilia to protest the government’s handling of the upcoming 2014 World Cup. While Brazil is soccer crazy, they don’t have the infrastructure or security to properly host the biggest sporting event on the planet. Russia is hosting the World Cup in 2018 and the same questions that are being asked in Sochi for the Olympics, will arise again four years later. FIFA really needs to clean itself up in a hurry. This will be another future post.

New Rule:

Dejected Russians

Russian hockey is overrated. For all the hype and hoopla surrounding the Russians, they don’t win best-on-best competitions. The last and only time the Russians won a best-on-best tournament was the 1981 Canada Cup. And the main reason they won was that Vladislav Tretiak was brilliant between the pipes for the old Soviet Union, while Mike Liut was a complete sieve inside the Canadian net. You want to know how all those old Soviet teams dominated ice hockey at the Olympics, they sent their best while claiming them to be amateurs. And they still lost to a bunch of college kids in 1980. Until the Russians can actually win a competition where the best in the world are competing, they’re an overhyped enigma who have been outed as a fraud.

New Rule:

Bigger Nets

Hockey needs to make the nets bigger. For a long time, I was against this idea but after goal scoring decrease year after year, this is the only solution to an age-old problem. Hockey is beginning to look like soccer on ice. (Bayern Munich have a better chance in scoring in their matches than the Buffalo Sabres.) A Star Trek nerd has a better chance at scoring at the Playboy Mansion than some of the teams competing at the Olympics. They’ve tried shrinking the goalie equipment. They took away the red line. They’ve tried to cut down the clutch and grab tactics that lesser talented teams employ. You want proof? In the 1991-92 season, the NHL averaged 7.25 goals per game. When the trap reached its zenith in 2003-04, the league saw the goals per game dip to 5.1 goals per game. The lockout saw the rule changes and the goals came back as in 2005-06, the NHL saw more goals as 6.05 goals per game were compiled right after the lockout. However, in 2012-13 season, only 5.3 goals per game were scored. The NHL has tried everything except making the nets bigger. It is radical but it is necessary.

New Rule:

John Wall dunk

Time for the NBA to get rid of the slam dunk contest. Back in the day, when I was young and actually had some vitality, the slam dunk contest provided some of the best television going. Who can ever forget Spud Webb’s incredible performance in 1986. Or Michael Jordan’s take off from the foul line in 1988. Or Dee Brown covering his eyes in 1991. Or Vince Carter wowing the crowd in 2000. Now it’s a team contest and the dunks all seem kind of drab. Unless they raise the rims to 13 feet, or perhaps someone takes off from midcourt to dunk the ball, (both will never happen) nothing else can be done to make the dunk contest exciting anymore. The best dunks during all-star weekend happened during the game itself, thanks to the likes of Blake Griffin and LeBron James. Keep the slams in the game but get rid of the contest.

New Rule:

NFL Scouting Combine

If you watch the NFL combines, you need a life. Don’t get me wrong, I love the NFL. I mean, I REALLY LOVE THE NFL! But the only ones that should be watching the combines are the scouts and general managers preparing for the upcoming draft. Better yet, they should be watching game film as that is the best way to see how a player does on the field. I do think the combines can provide diamonds in the rough, but it is more boring than a three-hour lecture on the wonders of cardboard delivered by Al Gore. Seriously, get out of the house. Do something. Change the channel even. Only the ones that need serious help watch the combine.

You can follow me on Twitter @jstar1973

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About Jsportsfan

Covers the Winnipeg Jets for jetsnation.ca. Likes many but not all sports. I'm loveably annoying. You can also follow me on Twitter @jstar1973
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