It is natural to be opposed to change when it’s first presented. Perhaps the best way to adapt to change is not by flooding, but by slowly getting accustomed. Flooding is just exposing one to the new change, whatever it be, and have them just adapt. People often though will just feel an even stronger opposition to the change when they are exposed to it fully at first. Trying a little bit here and a little bit there, or just implementing one piece at a time would be more successful.
The same logic can be applied to sports. Change has been talked about for years in a variety of sports, but those who do not want it usually stop it from happening. Robotic umpires in baseball will more than likely be in the pros one day, but it will start in a league much lower than the bigs. College sports too may be a place to test some new ideas that may be commonplace in the highest level of one day. There would be resistance obviously, but on a much smaller scale, and different levels of whatever the change may be could be tested. Here are how five of the most popular sports could improve, with the change starting in college.
Baseball: Ball Boy/Girl in play
Disclaimer: I may be the only one that has thought of this, but it would be awesome.
We have seen ball boys and girls make some insane plays before.
We have heard rumblings of people thinking too many runs are being scored, and too many balls are being hit out of the ballpark. A small tweak that could help that is the ball boy/girl being in play. They could catch foul outs and rather than jumping out of the way of doubles down the line, they could grab them and flip them back in to a middle infielder. And no, teams would not be allowed to put studs out there. Thirty actual ball boys/girls would be randomly assigned to each team.
Basketball: Make-it-Take-it fourth quarter
We all know the pick-up style game of make-it take-it. And most of us know that pick-up can be some of the most exciting basketball. This be incredibly fun to watch if the best players in the world played make-it take-it, and could add a baseball-like element to the hardwood.
Fans of ‘America’s pastime’ argue that their sport is the best in large part because their team is never out of it. There is no time limit on a baseball game, and while the fourth quarter would still be timed, it could make for some huge runs. If someone gets hot, they can stay in the zone even longer without having to go back on defense and getting the ball right after a make.
Football: No punting
We all do it in Madden. If you punt on anything less than fourth-and-99, you deserve what is coming to you. And while video games and real life are not the same thing, another popular league is beginning to think they are. The NBA is quickly turning into 2K, with teams just completely revamping their rosters each season. The NFL could also adopt a video-game like approach that could similarly help ratings. A lot of fans tune out for punts, and some will lose some interest afterwards. Admit it, it would be very fun to watch Bill Belichick try and devise an awesome play for a fourth-and-25.
HOWEVA (Stephen A. Smith voice), we do not think the Colts should be allowed to try anything like this ever again.
Soccer: Punishment for flopping
Flopping in soccer is cringeworthy, as I detailed in What the Sports is wrong with soccer. There should be a penalty for it, even more severe than the NBA. I suggest a major flop gets a yellow card which would clearly discourage it. I’m kind of getting sick of seeing this every other five minutes.
Lacrosse: Wild Card
As every lacrosse fan explains, it is the fastest growing sport in the world. But, it can’t seem to compete with the big boys if the sports world (basketball, football, baseball) as far as ratings. Lacrosse needs a little something to give it that extra boost. A ‘Wild Card’ player would be perfect for the game that has been around for hundreds of years. This wild card player could do whatever he wants for thirty seconds. He really does not like the goalie and wants to run him over? Why not? The wild card player would not have a stick, which leaves endless possibilities to what he might do when he gets on the field. The excitement this would produce would be just what lacrosse needs.