Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Qualms with the World Series

As I sit and watch a dramatic game 4 of the 2010 World Series, I can't help but be frustrated with Major League Baseball. As you can probably imagine, the umpires have been a major disappointment to me, as it has been for countless others, as I watch bad calls go both ways. But that's another discussion for another time!

What really irks me is the corporate imposition on the game. To wit, here are some nuisances that I've encountered:

-REALLY, REALLY, REALLY long commercial breaks. These commercials slow down the game way too much, ruining the flow of the game and taking too long to complete each game. The game started shortly after 8pm, and it's now almost 11:30, with still the full 9th inning to go. And it's only a 4-4 game with few pitching changes to slow things down. These commercial breaks need to be shortened in order to appeal to younger fans, since most of them can't stay up too late.

-Speaking of 8:00 games, why does MLB insist of showing the games so late? At least on a Sunday night, we could get a 7:00 game, no? It's likely due to some kind of prime time formula that skews (and screws!) the timing, but something that is not fan-friendly.

-Repeated commercials ad nauseum. How many times do we need to be tortured with Subway's $5 foot long commercials and the obnoxious Mac commercials before we get spasms and automatically decide to NOT buy from these advertisers?

That's my rant for the night as I sweat out this 9th inning. It's a shame that an otherwise excellent World Series would have to be marred by such frustrating intrusions. But if the Phils win it all, it will all be worth it. I suppose. Go Phils!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Comment about Points after Touchdowns

I've been watching a lot of college football today (go Penn State!), and I've been watching football in general all my life. I just have to lay out a comment about PATs-- points after touchdowns. Is there any good reason for having them?

Let's face facts here... at least 95 out of 100 extra points will be made in the college and pro level. It's basically a slam dunk, other than the rare blocked or flubbed kick. So, what's the point of having extra point kicks at all if they're basically guaranteed points? Shouldn't you have to earn your points in a game where, for the rest of the game, every yard is a battle? Extra points are a boring way to score, and arguably the easiest way to get a point in any kind of game anywhere, other than a breakway slam dunk in basketball.

Now as you well know, in both the college and pro level, a team can opt to go for the two point conversion, which is a pass or run from the 2 yard line, but it's rarely ever attempted unless a specific situation calls for it. I personally like the two-point play because the whole offense and whole defense are involved in the play and you really have to strategize and fight your way to score.

My opinion would be to go with one of the following two options in order to boost the game of football:

1. Eliminate extra point attempts altogether in favor of a mandatory two-point play after a touchdown,


2. Instead of the 2-point play, make it worth 3 points per score, as a greater incentive to scrap the kick and go for the bonus points after a touchdown.

That's my 2 points, err, cents, on how to make the great game of football even more intriguing.