Tuesday afternoon Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker pitched a wild idea about making kickoffs that go through the uprights worth one point. Which is actually a great idea, because kickoffs are boring and all teams do is take a knee.
But why stop there? Sports are more fun when they add crazy or fun rules that add a wrinkle or increase scoring or ends up with somebody on fire. NOTE: That last one doesn’t happen very often.
So with that being said, let’s add some crazy rules for each of the major sports.
Tucker has the right idea with making kickoffs that split the uprights worth a point, but lets not stop there.
No fair catches or taking a knee on any sort of kick. People like action, and kickoffs don’t provide that because teams just take a knee or wave for a fair catch on a punt. If you can catch the kickoff in the field of play, you have to run it out. Or if you take a knee the kicking team gets a point.
The no fair catch rule would work like the CFL’s, you get a five-yard halo to catch or play the ball, but you can’t fair catch it. While we’re at it, let’s add onside punts, check this out from the CFL and tell me that would’t be amazing to watch happen in the NFL:
We need that.
The NHL complains that scoring is down and fans complain that they don’t fight anymore. Well we’re only going to fix the scoring, because letting people punch each other in the head is dangerous.
And we will do that with two things: Make the nets bigger and play two periods with the long change.
I’m going to tell you a story. My girlfriend is from Alabama. Until about a year ago she had never been to a hockey game of any sort, so I took her to a game just to show her what it was like in person. As soon as we got into our seats, just inside the blueline and about three rows up, she asked, “How does anyone score, the goalies take up the whole net?”
And she wasn’t wrong, just take a look at a modern goalie in net compared to one years ago. The only constant is that the net is the same size, while the players and equipment clearly are not.
I’m not saying you have to make a bubble net like the NHL talked about after one of its many lockouts, but expand the net some, after all, these are world-class forwards shooting. My solution: make the new net wrap around the current size. As in, take a piece of pipe, and put it against the outside frame of the current goal mouth and just wrap it around that. You’ve instantly created a larger net without making it appear super obvious or making it look like something from Vince McMahon’s version of hockey.
This is (very roughly) what it would look like:
That’s not too outrageous, right?
And the second part of that, playing two periods with the long change, is just based on stats. According to this story from Deadspin:
In the 4,758 games with usable data, there were 7,762 goals scored in the first period and 9,087 goals scored in the second period. This translates into an average rate of 1.633 goals per first period (plus/minus 0.036 goals) and 1.910 goals per second period (plus/minus 0.038 goals).
So there you go. Problem solved, scoring up, and neither is really that crazy a rule change.
All anyone does is shoot 3’s in the modern NBA. And the crowd goes wild when Steph Curry drops one of his 30-footers that he seems to shoot so easily. So we’re going to up the ante and add a 4-point line and 5-point line.
The 4-point line would be five or six feet behind the current line, so they would only be able to be shot from the top of the key, while the 5-point line would be anything behind half court.
Think of the drama late in games, down eight, now you’re just a couple 4-pointers away from a tie game, or a 5-pointer at the buzzer could win it with a miracle. It’s really hard to make shots from that far away and teams should be rewarded for it, plus they should have a reason to try more circus shots.
Another sport where scoring is down, so we’ll fix that by adding the DH to the National League and limiting pitching changes.
Pitchers can’t hit, I don’t care if you’re a “purist” or “that’s the way the game was meant to be played”, they can’t hit. Get rid of them. Get someone up there who does more than stands there for three strikes or fails to put down a sacrifice bunt with one out in the third inning.
There’s just as much, if not more, strategy in trying to decide when to pinch-hit, who to pinch-hit for and if you want to waste a bench player.
And pitching changes, there are too damn many. After the fifth inning the manager trots out to the mound twice an inning and goes to his seemingly never ending supply of arms in the bullpen. No more. You get one pitching change per inning. Meaning, if you start an inning with a new pitcher and they send up a pinch-hitter, you can change your pitcher once that inning, no more righty-lefty-righty-lefty garbage that makes innings last 45 minutes.
So there they are, some crazy (and in some cases, much-needed) rule changes that each sport should adopt and would be better off doing. Any changes you would like to see?