Rambling Thoughts from an Idle Mind

Posted: June 29, 2011 in sports
Tags: ,

In the dog days of summer I find myself thinking about many things such as . . .

• Why do baseball managers wear uniforms? Don’t most of them realize how silly they look?

• Speaking of what managers/coaches wear, who first decided it made sense for basketball coaches to wear $1,000, three-piece suits for games? You’re in a gym. It’s hot. You’re jumping up and down and hugging sweaty players. This is one area where sweater-wearing Bobby Knight made more sense than his colleagues. As an aside, did anything look more disgusting than recently retired Maryland coach Gary Williams having already sweated through his suit jacket before halftime?

• Why is it basketball players at the free throw line and baseball players at the plate have to concentrate while fans scream their heads off, but in golf and tennis if one fan clears his throat at the wrong time the athletes are outraged and the fan is likely escorted from the event?

• Why do baseball pitches curve, slide and sink from a distance of 60 feet 6 inches, the distance between the rubber on the pitching mound and home plate? Why don’t most pitches break at 58 feet; others at 62 . . . you get the point? How smart (lucky?) was the guy who decided the distance should be 60 feet, 6 inches?

• Is any sport more over coached than football? Ever see an NFL playbook? They’re huge. Athletes who have difficulty with basic skills of reading and writing are asked to know thousands of plays and variation of plays and execute them in the heat of competition?

• When talking about the greatest golfers of all time Billy Casper should get more credit.

• When talking about the greatest baseball players of all time Frank Robinson and Stan Musial should get more credit.

• Is any NFL quarterback less appreciated than former Steeler Terry Bradshaw? Okay, the man was a goof ball and once accused of not being able to spell cat if you spotted him the “c” and the “a”, but the guy led his team to four Super Bowl championships in a six-year period.

• Is any word more misused than “great” by sportscasters, coaches and players?

• Why doesn’t baseball simply use the rule book “strike zone” and not let every umpire determine his own?

• Why shouldn’t the ground be a factor in fumbles?

• Wouldn’t more people understand tennis better if the scoring system was simply 1-2-3 game instead of love-15-30 game? Did I get that right?

• I find it disgusting free throw shooting is so poor at every level of basketball.

• I think one of the worse things to ever happen to spectator sports was the building of the Astrodome, which had the first luxury boxes. The creation of the luxury box was the start of truly dividing fans by class, the so-called rich fans from the average Joes. I understand the economic impact of luxury boxes, but I still don’t like it.

• If white Europeans can excel in basketball, why can’t white Americans?

• I don’t trust the radar guns in baseball?

• I miss the days when basketball players weren’t allowed to “travel” and palm the ball.

• I don’t understand why the quarterback position is considered so much more difficult to play now than if used to be. Today’s quarterbacks are only asked to execute. There was a time when quarterbacks actually called the plays AND had to execute.

• I honestly think pro sports would be better if there were no player drafts. College sports have prospered by having to recruit its players. And, no, I don’t think every athlete wants to play in the so-called big markets such as New York, Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles.

• I don’t care what anyone says, if you eliminated crashes in auto racing the grandstands would be empty and nobody’d watch races on TV.

• I’m glad more girls and women are involved in athletics and I think they deserve the same opportunities, facilities and equipment as boys and men, but don’t try to make me feel obligated to buy tickets or watch them perform on TV. Not interested.

• I’m amazed at how we label football coaches as innovative – sometimes call them geniuses – when they come up with offensive schemes like the “wildcat” which is now gaining popularity in the NFL. The “wildcat” isn’t new. It used to be called the “single wing” offense.

• I’m thrilled that athletes can make tons of money, but I’m puzzled why owners pay many of them so much. There’s no doubt in my mind that there are thousands of men capable of playing in the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NBA who aren’t professional athletes. Certainly each sport has a group of truly special players, but the bottom half of most rosters could be changed and few fans would even notice. I don’t expect many people to agree with me.

• With few exceptions, today’s athletes are better than those from previous generations.

• Why are there so many bigger people now than there used to be? When I played high school football in the early 1960s, anyone who weighed more than 200 pounds was a giant. The average size of offensive linemen has increased by 50 pounds a man since the 1970s.

• Why can’t NFL owners and players figure out this lockout?


  1. Clip Hopkins says:

    Great thoughts! Keep up the good reports.

    • Chris says:

      With regard to question 1 – managers wearing uniforms – Connie Mack did not wear a uniform but the rules state that the manager is not allowed on the field out of uniform. The manager would have to stay in the dugout and relay instructions, pitching changes, etc. through the other coaches.

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