It’s New Year’s time.
The usual approach is to write about the wonderful things in sports the past year, or to predict what we might see in the upcoming year.
Instead, what is forthcoming is a sort of wish-list, not only in the sports world, but also some from everyday life. These are items that have crossed my mind. Some are outrageous and will never happen. But it’s okay to wish.
I wish they would ban replay from football.
It’s not only getting out of hand, it’s gotten out of hand. The new rules on replay and challenges have not helped.
So, I say let’s have the officials be free to make their calls without knowing there’s a judge and jury ready to overrule.
Players and coaches make mistakes all the time. But I don’t think the officials would make as many. I know the game is faster. So what.
Just rule on a play and move on.
I wish they would ban the 3-point shot from basketball.
Then we might see the beautiful game where teams pass and run plays and employ the big man close to the basket.
Now, it’s a circus show. Bring the ball up, spread people out and fire way.
That’s not how the game was meant to be played. The 3-point shot was a gimmick played out the day before the NBA All-Star game.
So is the home run derby, held the day before the major league All-Star Game.
It’s become more popular than the game itself.
Now the game of baseball is all about the home run. So it’s usually, either home run, or strikeout.
Wishing for the elimination of the home run is not practical or a good thing.
So I’ll leave that alone..
What I do wish for is to develop pitchers who can go 9 innings, work more frequently, and hurl more innings in a season.
Arm and elbow problems, you say?
There was a time pitchers were able to work more and never had those problems. Really!
I have a hunch, no proof mind you, that the increase of lifting weights has done more harm than good.
I have a wish for two people in the sports of tennis and golf.
For the great Roger Federer, to keep on going for as long as he can.
He is a consummate professional on and off the court. A brilliant performer who seems just as heroic as a person as he is an athlete.
Tiger Woods. He’s enjoying his twilight years as a player and, as we’ve seen, as a coach.
He’s warmer and more accommodating than he was, and it’s great to see.
He won the Masters last year.
I wish he would win at least another major, perhaps even another Masters in 2020.
I wish people would stop using the term “tanking” in referring to teams in any sport who are out of the playoffs and have “nothing to play for”.
Actually, no team ever “tanks”.
No players do.
They are built to win from early age.
They may get beaten.
But they could care less about losing to get a higher draft pick.
They all know what they do on the field will be on tape for the rest of their careers for all to see.
And they do have something to play for even if they’re not going to the playoffs.
They’re playing to win.
Just see the joy in every player’s face when they win, regardless of their record. This is about reality.
In big-time college sports, let’s use the term, “athlete-students”, instead of, “student-athletes”. Because that’s what they are.
When there is constant failure by teams in pro sports, I wish people would realize the real culprits are the owners.
It’s the decisions they make. It all starts there.
Now about other things.
I wish drivers would actually come to a stop at STOP signs, not merely roll through, as other cars pass or turn. It’s the rule.
I wish people who see a shopper with far less in their basket always let them go ahead at the checkout counter if you have a multitude of items in your basket.
How about not blocking cars behind you when you’re waiting forever for a parking spot close to the entrance of the grocery? Park further away, the longer walk may do you good.
Since I travel by air so much, some wishes for those fellow travelers.
Sit down till your group is called to board. Let’s eliminate the bottleneck at the entrance to the lines to board by those who should simply be patient.
When you arise from your seat, please don’t pull on the seatback in front of you. It could put your neck out of whack.
I wish people would try to come up with something better than a curse word when talking to someone.
Wouldn’t it be great if passers by would smile, nod or maybe even say hi, even though they don’t know you.
And finally, a specific wish aimed at one particular locale in our great country.
That the water levels are down affecting the communities in upstate New York, along, the St. Lawrence River, so that the residents can freely and comfortably enjoy their boating lifestyle. And that the merchants can flourish as best they can during the summer months.
Thank you for reading, and a happy and safe New Year to all.