With World Cup Fever infecting the planet faster than you can say “not again with this vuvuzela crap”, it is my duty to remind you all: Soccer is a boring-ass game.
Before you start calling me an uncouth American pig-dog who can’t see the glorious perfection of an epic battle of shorts-wearing warriors, a sport that God Himself has lovingly revealed unto us mere mortals (because He apparently has some kind of foot fetish), I will concede this: It’s not soccer’s fault. Most sports are boring.
Never fear, my kick-loving friends. Soccer, as well as other boring sports, can be fixed. I am here like a handsome, chivalrous champion on a brilliant, majestic steed to save the world from mind-numbing dullness by imparting upon humanity a few simple rule changes that can turn today’s tedious sports into tomorrow’s ADHD-culture’s obsessions.
Soccer: The primary thing that makes soccer suck so much is the scarcity of scoring. Investing three hours of my life in a competitive event to have it end in a score of 1-0 is an unforgivable waste of time. Those precious hours could’ve been spent with family, improving my neighborhood or, more likely, playing Candy Crush while on the toilet. Damn you, level 163!
Why is there so little scoring? Simply: the players do a really shitty job at getting a little pleather ball into a huge-ass rectangular goal.
Goalies are expertly trained to focus on that ball like a pit bull on a delicious toddler. Plus: he’s the only one who can use his hands. His HANDS! Like a sneaky, no-good cheater!
Therefore, the only way to increase scoring is to distract the goalie. My solution: have three balls in play at the same time:
Yeah, I stole that idea from pinball machines, but it works. It will ramp up the scoring because the goalie won’t know which ball to worry about at any given moment.
As an added bonus: more balls means more fighting over the ball, which means more chances for riot-inspiring penalties, which means more chances for massive casualties in the stands. Always great for ratings.
Hockey: While Hockey suffers from the same low-score problem as Soccer, they have the redeeming factor of widespread physical violence. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t dream of removing the only exciting part of the sport, so no changes there.
However, they do waste a lot of time with the “preschool time-out” bullshit known as the penalty box. Caught high sticking? You just sit over there and think about what you’ve done, mister. No arts and crafts today for you!
I say replace the penalty box with a “Strip Poker” rule: every game play infraction leads to the loss of an article of clothing.
You wanna play dirty? Enjoy sliding up and down the ice wearing nothing but a pair of skates and a smile. Actually, I’ve seen more than enough hockey players’ teeth to know a smile is probably not a good idea. Never mind, don’t smile.
Due to frostbite-induced numbness caused by prolonged exposure to the cold, players won’t be able to feel pain, so the fights will last longer. It also means new fighting techniques, like taking down a member of the opposite team with an atomic purple-nurple.
Basketball: Basketball has the opposite problem of soccer: Too much scoring. Let’s slow it down a bit by making those hoops about 6 feet higher than they are now.
But what about dunking? Crap, dunking is pretty cool. We don’t want to lose that. We can keep both the higher hoops and dunking by allowing one designated member of each team to ride on any other player’s shoulders in order to reach the basket.
While we’re at it: just make the games ten minutes long. The scores are always so close throughout the game, the last ten minutes are all that really matters, anyway.
Golf: Golf takes forever because the focus is on nuance rather than speed. That shit may have worked on generations that weren’t raised by TV and iPads, but if you want to get new blood into the sport without having to resort to Adam Sandler-type personalities, the game has got to change.
The answer: Score based on time, not based on the number of strokes. No more leisurely walks down the fairway, you grab a club, smack the ball and then start running.
Who wouldn’t watch 250-pound Kevin Stadler jogging his chubby, plaid-covered ass after a hastily-hit Titleist as he tries to make it to the 18th hole without having a coronary?
Instead of taking turns like gentlemen (if you want that, go play Canasta or something), both golfers start each hole swinging from the tee box at the exact same time. In fact, let’s have each hole start with the firing of a starter pistol. Keep some of the senior players from dozing off.
Whoever sinks their ball in first is the winner of that hole. Also, to keep things interesting, after each hole, the winner has to chug a cheap beer.
That’ll even things up as the game goes on. Sure, Tiger Woods can hit the ball well, but lets see how he does with a 12-pack of Schlitz in him.
And, if we’re lucky, we’ll have more spectator injuries as these drunken “athletes” get progressively sloppier with their accuracy in later rounds.
Football (The REAL football, not that pansy-ass soccer): One of the good things about football is that they have a play clock that forces the action to move along. The problem is: it’s 45 seconds long. That’s long enough for me to eat a mini pizza and still have time to daintily wipe the corners of my mouth with a frilly French doily. Trust me, I’ve timed it.
I say reduce the play clock to fifteen seconds, get those tubby linesmen off the bench and ready for the snap right away. They say football is like chess, well let’s make it more like speed chess the way those homeless guys in the park will play you for a dollar. Enough of these three hour games, let’s get this shit done in an hour and a half so we can all take another Sunday afternoon nap.
Another good thing about football is that there are different ways to score: touchdown, safety, field goal. Let’s add one more: suspend a hula-hoop sized ring between the goalposts. While we’re at it, let’s set that ring on fire:
A ring of fire will give the obese drunkards in the stands an extra thrill before the slurry of PBR and sauerkraut they call “blood” stops churning through their cheese-stained arteries.
If the kicker manages to get the pigskin into the ring, it triples the point value of the kick (3 for a PAT, 9 for a field goal). But if it bounces off the ring and doesn’t go through the uprights, zero points!
And, um… shit… now the football is on fire and headed towards the crowd after surely burning through that flimsy net they use to catch the field goals. Eh, whatever, the NFL can figure out those pesky details later. I can’t think of everything.
Baseball: The sport that’s about as old as the dirt the pitcher stands on needs a bigtime upgrade.
First of all, it’s too slloooooowwww. The batter saunters up to the plate and spends five minutes adjusting his gloves like a proctologist with OCD. The pitcher stands on the mound, glaring at the catcher with a look on his face like he’s trying to remember where he parked his car, while the catcher is offering more hand signals than a Shakespearean sonnet being delivered by Marlee Matlin.
For every minute of actual action, there’s 20 minutes of spitting and crotch grabbing. And not the good kind that you find on only a few dirty websites.
Let’s steal the shot clock from Basketball and apply it to the pitchers. You’ve got 10 seconds between pitches. If the pitcher is late, automatic “ball”. If the batter isn’t ready, automatic “strike”. After each out, the next batter has 30 seconds to get his ass up there and be ready for the first pitch. We can get through this game in about an hour, even if we do leave a trail of pitchers with destroyed shoulders and elbows in our wake.
Second problem: Like soccer, there’s just not enough scoring in baseball. Why? Most batters suck. The median batting average for Major League Baseball batters was about .251 in 2013. I’d love a job where they paid me millions of dollars to do one thing, and I screw it up 75% of the time.
Part of the problem will be solved with the pitch clock, since pitchers will get worse faster as the game goes on, leading to more hits. But let’s speed up the process by allowing the pitching rotation to be determined by the opposing team.
No more starting with your best pitcher like a guy who spends his first date talking about all of his good qualities and waits until date number nine to mention his chronic bedwetting. Get those crappy pitchers up the mound first where they can do the most damage. Make that scorekeeper earn his paycheck.
And while we’re at it: People love home runs. They’re as close as a stadium crowd can get to a mass public orgasm within the confines of the law. They need to be rewarded more. So double the points for home runs, including any runners on base. That’s right, a grand slam homer is now worth 8 points. Try to come back from that!
There you have it. I have fixed six sports in desperate need of salvation, and the world is a better place for it. Thanks for listening to this unathletic, chubby guy tell the rest of the world how they should do things. It’s the American way!