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OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 17: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders fumbles the ball into the end zone for a Dallas Cowboys touchback in the fourth quarter of their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 17, 2017 in Oakland, California.

The NFL is at it again. Doing dumb things that hurt everyone else, because they want to make more money. Thursday Night Football sucked last year. There were very few actually entertaining games. So instead of looking within themselves and wondering if making players play on 3-days of rest is the reason it is so bad, they are trying something to just force better teams to have to play in it. The NFL has approved the ability to Flex Thursday Night Games in weeks 14-17. They did say they have to give 28 days notice though.

The NFL will always do what makes it money. Play safety or fan experience be damned. And the idea of flexing Thursday Night Football games is bad for everyone by the people at the top. Going to an NFL game is not some casual thing like going to a baseball game. Especially if you are traveling. In week 15 for instance, the Eagles play in Seattle. Say an Eagles fan wanted to go to that game. They need to book a flight, a hotel, and perhaps a rental car, and may be planning a ton of other stuff in Seattle that weekend. Now you can’t do any of that, because it might switch to a Thursday game a month before the game takes place.

Switching that game to Thursday Night Football won’t just ruin travel arrangements, it may rob someone of a chance to go to that game, to begin with. Teams that have planned their rest schedule all season intending on playing on a Sunday, will suddenly be blindsided with another Thursday game.

But it is not the only dumb rule in sports. The sports world is full of dumb rules. So in honor of the NFL’s latest stupid idea, let’s look at some of the dumbest rules in sports.

  • MLB- Umps Being Allowed top Eject Players for Any Reason

    No person has ever said they wanted to watch a game because of the Ump or a Ref. They are an essential part of the game, but they do not need to be a noticeable part of it. Which is why it is absurd we continue to allow Umpires to have so much power. 

    Ejections are barely part of every other sport. In the NBA there are rules about needing a certain number of Flagrant or Technical Fouls to be ejected. Only on especially egregious fouls are players ejected on one play. We rarely ever see players tossed in Football. But in baseball, you don’t even need to do anything wrong. The Ump can just not like your response to their bad call.  

    Do players sometimes cross the line arguing? Sure. But we have gotten to the point that umps will just toss players for nothing. We saw it in the preseason where an Ump tossed JT for literally nothing. Great players should not be removed from a game just because an Umpire got his feelings hurt.  I don’t know how to address it. But there needs to be some kind of change that prevents umpires doing this.

  • College Basketball- Possession Arrow

    When there is a jump ball in the NBA, they have a very simple way of deciding it. They do an actual jump ball. Wow, what a wild and innovative way to do a jump ball. College Basketball wants to make that more complicated though. They have something called the possession arrow. Where instead of doing a jump ball, the winner of it is predetermined by whatever way that possession arrow is facing.

    Why? There is no need to complicate things. Jump balls don’t take up much time. And it gives both teams a chance to get possession. Instead in College, we punish teams for making great defensive plays. They can force a “jump ball” but then the ball just goes back to the other team because the arrow happened to be in their favor. 

  • MLB- Over Enforcing Pitch Clock Rules

    I love the pitch clock. Having less of players/pitchers wasting time between pitches makes the game better. But there is one side effect that they need to address. There are genuine reasons to take time between at-bats. Take Andrew McCutchen for instance. When he took his first at-bat back at PNC Park, there was understandably an ovation.  

    The problem was he was going to get a pitch clock violation, so he needed to burn his timeout. There is also the case of Bryce Harper not getting time to put on his brace when he runs the bases. I like making the game faster, but Umpires need to use their brains and be human beings and realize sometimes they need to make exceptions. Giving a moment for fans to give an ovation for a player won’t make the game drag on. Nor will giving a player a chance to put on the medically necessary equipment.  

  • NFL- Taunting 

    In that same vein, the Taunting call in the NFL has been way too over-litigated. To the point little things get players penalized. Again, there is a limit. And if a player pushes that, a taunting call may be fair. But just basic trash talk should not be taken out of the game. Getting up after a big catch and then pointing at the Corner you beat should not be a penalty. Nor should have this play. But it’s a point of emphasis for the stuffed suits in the NFL front office. Forget all the concussion and CTE issues. Players taunting is the biggest problem facing the league. 

  • NHL- Drawing Blood Means a 4-Minute Penalty

    I don’t think how extreme a penalty is should be determined by whether or not it makes a player bleed. So what is otherwise a 2-minute penalty, becomes a 4-minute one just because the other guy happened to get a small scratch? A high stick is a high stick. Whether or not it draws blood feels arbitrary. You could fracture someone’s orbital bone with a high stick, yet draw no blood. But slightly graze someone and give them a cut, that is 4 minutes. It makes no sense. 

  • Multiple Sports- Draft Lotteries

    Draft Lotteries are supposed to discourage tanking. So why is it that the sports that have Lotteries also have the most tanking? The NFL is the lone holdout, and they are the sport with the least tanking problem. The league with the most famous lottery, the NBA, arguably has the worst tanking problem. It overcomplicates things and opens the door for accusations of the league being rigged. Just give the worst team the first pick, and be done with it.  

  • NFL- Fumble Out of the End Zone is a Turnover

    Tell me how this makes sense. A player fumbles the ball, and it goes out at the one-yard line, they get the ball at the one-yard line. A ball goes out 1 yard further and out the endzone, it’s a turnover? The justification is that a player should not be rewarded for fumbling. But why are we rewarding the defense for not recovering it? Why is a fumble out of the end zone treated differently than a fumble anywhere else on the field? 

    If you wanted to say a fumble out of bounds anywhere is a turnover, I would not like that rule, but at least it would make sense. But treating a fumble in one part of the field differently than a fumble anywhere else is just dumb. Just put the ball back at the one. If you want, you can put it back where the play started. But it should not be a turnover.  

  • All Sports- Punishing Celebrations 

    Sports are supposed to be fun. So why do we sometimes punish people for having too much about it. Can celebrations go too far? Sure. They should not delay the game too much. But too often we saw leagues curtailing celebrations. Let the players have fun. You don’t need to give someone a yellow card because they celebrated a goal.  

  • College Football- Down Without Contact 

    A player slips and falls in Football, but is never touched, are they down? In College Football they are. Just make it like the NFL. Make the defense touch them for them to actually be considered down. If a player goes down but is never touched, they should be able to get up and keep running they would be in the NFL.  And it would avoid stupid calls like this, that should clearly be a TD. 

  • MLB- Runners Start on 2nd Base in Extra Innings 

    Man, I hate this rule. I kind of understood it during the covid year, though still not really. But there is no reason for it to stick around. Yes, it avoids marathon extra-inning games. But now that games are much shorter anyway, do we even need that? The odd game that goes 15+ innings is actually enjoyable. If there was an epidemic of games going on forever, I could maybe understand it. And if you wanted to say after 15 or so innings you put this rule in place, fine. But the way it is now sucks.  

  • Soccer- Penalty Shootout To Decide Game 

    Maybe this one is unavoidable. Scoring is not as common in Soccer as it is in other sports. And players can’t just play on forever, people will get hurt. But man it sucks to watch an important game end in penalty kicks. The same goes for Hockey, but at least in important games, they do away with it. That is different because Hockey has shifts, whereas Soccer has the same players on the field the whole game with limited substitutions.  

  • Soccer- No Golden Goal 

    The one suggestion I have to avoid penalties deciding a game in soccer is using Golden Goal in Overtime. The First goal wins, as opposed to giving teams a chance to respond, it would at least avoid some penalty shootouts. And it would make overtime in soccer far more tense. Knowing that at any moment the game can end.  

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