Things in sports that would not be missed

Tampa Bay Times - - Front Page - TOM JONES tjones@tam­pabay.com

If you could get rid of any­thing from the world of sports, what would it be? We have some sug­ges­tions.

The Washington foot­ball team comes to town this week­end to play the Bucs.

No­tice we didn’t use the nick­name. We refuse. It’s of­fen­sive. And don’t even try to ar­gue it. It’s wrong and it needs to go.

It’s not the only thing in sports that’s gotta go.

So I polled the staff of the Tampa Bay Times sports depart­ment and we came up with our list of things that GOTTA GO in sports.

• Ur­ban Meyer.

• Col­lege bas­ket­ball coaches. All of them.

• Side­line in­ter­views sec­onds be­fore kick­offs. When was the last time we learned any­thing from those?

• The fourth NFL pre­sea­son game. (You can kill one more af­ter that for all we care.)

• The term “ver­bal com­mit­ment.”

• These phrases: score the ball, trick­er­a­tion (is that even a real word?!), punch their ticket, if the playoffs started to­day. • Base­ball’s in­ter­league play. Too much Rays-Mar­lins and not enough Yan­kees-Dodgers. Let’s go back to the way it was when base­ball was great. The only time the AL plays the NL is in the All-Star Game and the World Se­ries.

• Then again, can’t we kill All-Star Games? Es­pe­cially the Pro Bowl.

• Treat­ing high school sign­ing days like the NFL draft. For all the crit­i­cisms of high school ath­letes do­ing sign­ing videos and hold­ing news con­fer­ences to an­nounce their choices, and of how this process has be­come a mon­ster, that beast gets fed by all the pub­lic­ity it gets. Yes, these are great things for these kids, but each one isn’t ma­jor news.

• Fight­ing in hockey.

• Fight­ing in base­ball.

• Fight­ing in fight­ing.

• Com­plain­ing about Trop­i­cana Field. It is where it is, and it is was it is. Stop belly­ach­ing long enough to re­al­ize it’s a nice place (read: cool and com­fort­able and dry) to watch a base­ball game.

• Out­door hockey games. There should be one a year. On New Year’s Day. That’s it.

• The Booger­mo­bile. If you want Booger McFar­land on Mon­day Night Foot­ball, put him in the booth. The only thing more an­noy­ing than hav­ing him on that thing is ESPN show­ing it 400 times a game.

• In foot­ball, the de­fense re­warded with pos­ses­sion if the ball rolls out of their end zone. Why does the de­fense get the ball when it did noth­ing to de­serve get­ting it? If the of­fen­sive team fum­bles the ball out of the end zone, it should re­tain pos­ses­sion. Move it back to the 10 or 20, but don’t take the ball from it. • Fans boo­ing pitch­ers’ throws to first. Hey, bozo, it’s not a balk, and all you’re do­ing is show­ing your ig­no­rance of the game.

• Kiss cams. When you think about it, it’s kind of creepy and as­sumes all male-fe­male pairs are a cou­ple (as if the woman wouldn’t come to a game if her part­ner didn’t drag her). Let’s leave the kiss re­quests for wed­dings and em­brace the Simba cam.

• Rick Neuheisel “singing” and strum­ming a gui­tar be­fore CBS’s col­lege foot­ball game of the week. Noth­ing takes you right out of the mood to watch a great SEC matchup like Neuheisel’s war­bling and corny lyrics.

• The fol­low­ing types of fans: those who wear a jersey of a team not in­volved in the game they are at­tend­ing; those who get up just as a base­ball in­ning is about to start; those over the age of 14 who bring a glove to a game; those who yell “get in the hole!’’ at a golf tour­na­ment; those who com­plain that an­nounc­ers hate their team (they don’t); and, of course, any Philadel­phia fan. Bos­ton, too. • Re­play. All re­play. In ev­ery sport.

• Tommy John surgery. I mean, it’s nec­es­sary. But it stinks.

• The ESPYs. Do we even have to ex­plain this? • Thurs­day Night Foot­ball. Even the play­ers hate it.

• Floyd May­weather and Conor McGre­gor.

• Any Lit­tle League par­ent who is think­ing “col­lege schol­ar­ship” or “ma­jor-lea­guer” while watch­ing his or her kid play. He is 12. Calm down.

• About 12 col­lege bowl games.

• Net­works that show Jerry Jones 78 times dur­ing a Cow­boys game. He’s a crummy owner of an over­rated team that has won two play­off games in the past 20 years. Why are they Amer­ica’s Team?

• Any sports de­bate show not called Par­don the In­ter­rup­tion.

• Any­one who tries to make a ca­reer out of pok­ing holes in LeBron James. Yes, you, Skip.

• Mas­cot races, find the ball un­der the hel­met, throw­ing foot­balls through holes. Can’t we come up with bet­ter in-game en­ter­tain­ment? If not, how about some nice or­gan mu­sic and we can en­ter­tain our­selves by, I don’t know, talk­ing to each other. • Base­ball shifts. • Bas­ket­ball 3-point­ers. It’s too easy. At least we can move the line back a few feet.

• Um­pires Joe West and An­gel Her­nan­dez. • Yelling dur­ing the na­tional an­them just be­cause your team’s name or color is in the song. That’s 10 times more dis­re­spect­ful than kneel­ing dur­ing the an­them.

• Foot­ball re­ceivers who throw imag­i­nary penalty flags in the air when they think they’ve been in­ter­fered with.

• The fol­low­ing songs at any sport­ing event: Start Me Up, Bl­itzkrieg Bop, Get Ready for This and the mu­sic from Jeop­ardy dur­ing the re­play re­view. Then again, if we can get rid of re­play, we won’t have to worry about that.

It’s gotta go!

As­so­ci­ated Press (2014)

The name of the NFL team in Washington has drawn crit­i­cism for years, but owner Daniel Snyder says it will never change.

As­so­ci­ated Press (2017)

Af­ter their bout last year, Floyd May­weather, left, and Conor McGre­gor needed to just go away.

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