Sports

Sports Commentary Jan 22, 2014 – A-Rod and Goal Posts..Really !

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(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images Sport)

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images Sport)

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MAY I SUGGEST

Alex Rodriguez has become his own worst enemy.  If he’d only taken his medicine and gone home, then showed everyone that, at age 40, he still had something left, he might have kept his fans and even made a few more.  A-Rod was ill advised when he filed suit against the players union over their lack of support, though the union did give him precious little.

A large number of players, irked by the action against their union, took part in a January 13th conference call and, with no one coming to his defense, requested A-Rod be ejected from their ranks.  The union informed them such action would be illegal, but the message was clear, no one wants him back.  May I suggest it’s time for Alex Rodriquez to cut his losses while he’s still multi millionaire enough to lead the good life and insure the same for his heirs, negotiate a buy out with the Yankees and go home, for good.

May I further suggest that Bud Selig similarly ride into the sunset, in similarly quiet fashion, without trying to falsify his legacy by claiming that by “getting” A-Rod he cleaned up baseball.  He leaves baseball as the “Steroid Commissioner”, the man most responsible.  Sadly, in about three years baseball will arrange Hall of Fame status for the former commissioner.  May I suggest that at that point they officially recognize baseball’s “Steroid Era”, open a separate wing with Selig as the charter inductee, then put Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and the whole gang right in there with him.

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to make a change to the scoring process that has served his league well enough long enough to make it the most successful and most profitable sports league in the world.  Feeling the point after kick has become too automatic, which it has, to the point many casual observers believe a touchdown is worth seven points, Goodell wants to do away with it.

In the old days of the NFL, when the goal posts were at the goal line, the point after was actually more difficult, because it required a kicker to get the loft on the ball much sooner.  I don’t suggest moving the goalposts back to the goal line.  With the distances today’s kickers reach, teams could advance the ball to their own 45 and attempt, and make, field goals in game-on-the-line situations.  That would radically change the game, not for the better.

Goodell wants to count touchdowns as seven points and give teams an option of running a play for the extra point.  If they fail they’d lose a point.  My primary objection may be because I’m a purist, opposed to change.  I was opposed to moving the goal posts and I was opposed to the two point conversion.  In retrospect I feel I was wrong on both counts.

I’m still not sure about making Goodell’s change, but, may I suggest, it might be a good idea to test it in the pre season next summer.  That would allow for a 60 game test run with the potential for adding to the excitement of the game, not to mention putting a new wrinkle on the betting lines, which, let’s face it, are what make the NFL as popular as it is.  The experiment would also make pre season games, currently the biggest yawn in sports, with most star players seeing little or no action, much more interesting, at least for one pre season.  If it has the desired effect, experimentation with such rules adjustments can become a staple of every pre season, so season ticket holders don’t feel like they’re flushing the cost of two games down the toilet.  Instead they’d get a chance to adjust to the new rules along with the coaches and players.

With a few suggestions from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.

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