If I didn’t have sports in my life, I don’t know what would become of me. I’d pay more attention to my son, I wouldn’t find myself constantly stressed out over events I can’t control, and I would have far more money in my account due to not spending on tickets, memorabilia, and gambling. Sounds like a fucking nightmare.
Despite the aforementioned greatness, each league could use a little facelift heading into 2016, and I’ve got some suggestions.
MLB: Embrace the Steroid Era.
Am I endorsing cheating? No. Don’t get me wrong, MLB should continue to bring down the hammer with PED suspensions and make it as fair a playing field as possible.
But, it’s time to stop ignoring the greats of the era. It’s like trying to pretend like Bieber’s new stuff is his only stuff. You have to acknowledge that the past (no matter how ugly it may have been) was massively successful in its own special way.
PEDs saved baseball after the ’94 strike, and despite being immoral, it doesn’t do any good to awkwardly shun many of the greats that played in the era.
MLB needs to look no further than the immensely successful NFL for advice on how to handle its tainted stars. I’d be surprised if Antonio Gates is kept out of the HOF for his 4-game pop for PEDs this year, and the league has long rallied around formerly disgraced players. Ray Lewis is beloved and he allegedly fucking killed a guy.
The five best hitters of my lifetime are Griffey Jr., Bonds, A-Rod, Pujols, and Miguel Cabrera. Two of those guys likely won’t be in the Hall of Fame, and I think MLB needs to flip the script and change that, even if it requires some blunt honesty. They were the greatest cheaters in an era rife with cheaters.
Bonds’ HOF plaque should read like this:
Known cheater. Notorious asshole. Greatest hitter of all time.
Then have this playing on a loop next to the plaque:
NFL: Fire Roger Goodell.
Not a hot take by any means, but this shit is long overdue. Among players and fans the guy’s respect level falls in-between Lance Armstrong and Jared Fogle. You can’t run the NFL like bumbling-ass Michael Scott when you’re bringing in more than any other player per year.
You can’t blame the guy for the majority of the problems that have been thrown his way, but you sure as hell can give him the thumbs down for the way he’s handled them. Hey Rog, it’s not your fault Greg Hardy went full-on Ike Turner on his girlfriend and is headed towards being the next OJ, but the way you handled that and the Ray Rice incident put a black eye on the league (pun semi-intended).
After starting his tenure with an iron fist (ask Pacman Jones or Tank “I had a fucking arsenal at my residence” Johnson), when faced with the domestic abuse incidents he first went embarrassingly soft, only to then backtrack and make himself look indecisive. And now even after the Hardy Deadspin piece, he still looks too soft. He was the face of the league when it went through the replacement refs, although at least nothing bad happened with that. It’s time to move on.
NHL: Embrace Vulgar Canadian Announcers.
I’m not much of a hockey guy. The games are fun to attend in-person, but I hardly watch on television. That would change for me and many other casual fans if they brought the heat with an aggressive Canadian team in the booth for every game.
Hockey just sounds better to me if it’s being called by one of our friends up north, and for some reason, they just find a way to swear and paint a ridiculous sounding picture of what’s going on. If you had the announcer from the movie Goon and the guys from Trailer Park Boys calling the next Sabres-Blackhawks game, you bet your ass I’m tuning in.
What would you rather hear — “The puck gets cleared and Jagr heads up the ice,” or, “He just got his head smashed into the fuckin boards, eh.”? Exactly.
MLS: Be Better.
I want to like the MLS, I do. But until I’m told they’re putting out an elite product by one of those friends whose favorite team is overseas and wakes up early to post on Facebook about the match, I’m still going to relegate the time I spend on soccer to the occasional Premier League game and the World Cup.
NBA: Get Back To Vicious Defense.
When I think of an awesome NBA play, I don’t think of a Steph Curry step-back three, or a CP3 to Blake/DeAndre alley-oop. No, I think of some poor soul driving down the lane, going up for the bucket, and Dennis Rodman or Bill Laimbeer flying out of nowhere to murder them.
It’s time to getting back to letting the men play. I understand why things are the way they are; chicks dig the high score. But, at this rate in 10 years regular season games are going to mirror what the All-Star game is now; a no-defense scrimmage. Chicks also dig scars. And I know James Harden would shudder reading this, but I wanna see guys play defense (and play it tough).
Stop the touch fouls, stop the soft as Charmin defending. If you don’t want to hear it from me, hear it from The Glove.
I want an NBA where a guy will play his hardest on both ends despite painful stitches in his shoulder. I want an NBA where technique and toughness is valued on both ends of the floor. I want an NBA where a coach gets tossed to give an alcoholic assistant a chance. Yes, I want everything to be like a pro version of Hoosiers.
And if they want to go the complete opposite direction, they could just go ahead and make an alley-oop three points.
WNBA: All This Shit.
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