January 01, 2011

Fan Fantasies: NBA - instead of players fouling out, adopt the NHL power play - four-on-five basketball, two minute penalties. NFL - four-point field goals from 57 yards and out. MLB - Let batters decide if they want to run to first or third base.

posted by geekyguy to general at 01:54 PM - 14 comments

I've never really thought that more points for longer FGs (football, not basketball) made sense, because it reduces the amount of work the offense has to do to get into position. On top of that, if a team was 4 points down, they'd have to decide whether to go for a TD drive or stop at the 40-yard line for the FG. (Imagine a team hiking the ball from the 5-yard line back to the 47 for a four-point FG.) If anything, more points for a shorter FG would make more sense (offense has to drive farther to get more points), but I believe that three points for all FGs is right.

I don't agree with four-point FGs in basketball from behind half-court, either, because those shots are generally just luck. You couldn't run half-court plays for them (backcourt violation), and you shouldn't be rewarding shooting from there.

The MLB suggestion about choosing which base to run to makes no sense, either. But I'm all for replay and laser strike zones.

posted by TheQatarian at 02:57 PM on January 01, 2011

Making changes is one thing. Making changes that actually make the game better as opposed to just different is a totally other thing. Most of the proposed changes do not make anything better.

posted by graymatters at 09:13 PM on January 01, 2011

If a player can go to 1st or 3rd... I would greatly look forward to what happened when two arrived at the same time at 2nd...

And what gray said: Change for the better YES. Change for the sake of it NO.

Baseball is fine as it is. If I could change baseball, I'd remove the bloody commercials and fuckwit commentators.

posted by Drood at 09:22 PM on January 01, 2011

My own wish list:

MLB -- More replay and technology-based strike zones. Also, dig the bases in to ground level to prevent injuries from jammed ankles and fingers.

NFL / College Football -- Get rid of the ridiculous celebration penalties, only flag if taunting is involved. False starts only when an offensive player lifts his hand or moves his feet; "flinch and point" penalties are gone. Get rid of the annoying formation rules and let the eligible receivers line up wherever they want.

NBA -- Do something to make the first three quarters of the game relevant.

NHL -- Three points for a regulation or overtime win, two points for a shootout win. Give more points to teams that win a game actually playing hockey, but leave the shootout because the fans like it. The sooner you win the game, the more points you gain on the team you beat.

posted by TheQatarian at 09:34 PM on January 01, 2011

I cna think of one change I would like to see, stolen from the Arena Football League-nets around the field goal posts so that misses bounce back and are still in play. Just add a Devin Hester-type plaer back ther for return purposes, and instant fun added!

(I'll concede it wouldn't do much of anything to change the game itself, though).

posted by Bonkers at 09:36 PM on January 01, 2011

NFL / College Football -- Get rid of the ridiculous celebration penalties

How about getting rid of the ridiculous celebrations?

College Football -- Get rid of the BCS, define a system to determine which the best teams are and let them truly battle for a championship. Getting tired of watching the BCS pumped teams get pummeled by lower ranked but much better competition (prime example - BigTen).

posted by cixelsyd at 01:31 AM on January 02, 2011

How about getting rid of the ridiculous celebrations?

They got rid of them. And now any minor gesture on a touchdown is just as likely to be ignored as called, and the arbitrary application of the rules sometimes decides games. How is that better?

posted by rcade at 11:03 AM on January 02, 2011

Proposed NFL change: on kickoffs and punts, no touchbacks unless ball goes out of bounds through end zone. And no fair catches.

posted by graymatters at 01:08 PM on January 02, 2011

The XFL already tried that no-fair-catch thing. I do not recall it working out that well.

posted by TheQatarian at 07:37 PM on January 02, 2011

I agree with no penalties after celebrations from TDs However, After watching some of the Seahawks-Rams game, can we place have penalties for celebrating every first down or a db celebrating every time it's an incomplete pass?

posted by jmd82 at 10:36 PM on January 02, 2011


Runners use the bags as stops to help stand up to determine what to do next after a slide. If sunk in may well slide right by the bag... I'm not sure I like that idea.

posted by bobfoot at 11:34 PM on January 02, 2011

The XFL already tried that no-fair-catch thing.

I thought it was a Canadian football thing.

Second NFL change: get rid of the receiver must maintain possession after hitting the ground rule. If the ground cannot cause a fumble, how can it cause an incompletion?

posted by graymatters at 01:07 AM on January 03, 2011

I've already opined on the NFL. Less is more.
MLB - how about taking the baskets that the outfielders use as gloves away allowing gloves that are more like batters/golfers gloves. The ball, by the time it gets to the outfield, is no longer traveling as fast as it would to an infielder. This would emphasize precision. Golden Glove indeed.
The suggested MLB change, could really make the game exciting. If the lead-off batter, who successfully base-hits, went left rather than right how it might change the game? If the lead-off guy could set the direction on an inning basis it could really become strategic. Also, it would really confuse girlfriends everywhere.
The suggested NBA foul change is intriguing. NBDL?

posted by geekyguy at 11:10 AM on January 03, 2011

dig the bases in to ground level to prevent injuries from jammed ankles and fingers

Two comments here:

1. If a runner employs proper sliding technique, the probability of injury is greatly reduced.

2. Safety bases that break away on hard lateral contact already exist and are in use in amateur baseball/softball leagues. A hard plastic bottom is sunk into the ground so that its top is even with the ground. It has a knobby surface, and the breakaway bag has a matching set of concave bumps on its bottom. The problem with these is that when they release, the game is delayed for a bit, and there is a question of whether a runner has to chase the base (he doesn't). It is also a bit tricky to replace the bag. You have to brush the loose dirt away, otherwise the two pieces will not stay together.

One proposed rule change for all sports: Constant evaluations for all officials. Look at their calls vs what their peers are doing. That is, are they calling too many cheap fouls or missing too many obvious ones? Do they get themselves into proper position for calls, or are they lazy? Do they really understand the game, or are they just winging it? Do they understand that fans come to watch a game well played and evenly officiated, or do they think that the officials should take center stage? Make sure the bad ones are eliminated, the so-so ones are helped to improve, and the good ones are rewarded.

posted by Howard_T at 04:11 PM on January 03, 2011

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