The Rules Committee Reports

The Rules Committee Report by Corrado Rosca 

In yet another a stunning development I have been appointed Sports Commissar by President Donald J. Trump. He has charged me and my rubber stamp committee with the task of reforming and rationalizing the absurd and ridiculous rules of sports and games played and discussed within these United States. I herewith submit our report for Presidential ratification. My authority is wide ranging and complete. I will start with the easy targets before I gore our national sacred cows. Here we go:

Soccer
Rule S-1. Goalies uniforms shall be the same color, cut and design as the informs worn by the rest of the lads on the pitch. This is a no brainer. Teams dress alike. How many times have you attempted to watch a soccer game only to be alarmed when it suddenly looks like a spectator or a guy from some other team has charged on the filed of play and grabbed the ball that was heading for the gggggooooooaaalll. It looked that way to you because he was not wearing the same color shirt as the rest of the team and he is not even wearing a similar style uniform. He has long sleeves they have short sleeves. Ridiculous.
Rule S-2. No more advertising on the jerseys. This isn't little league. Can't we please have the team name or the City they represent displayed on the jersey. What is with the tacky commercial plugs. Don't they make enough money to pay their own way. Its so stupid. Red Bull. Emirates. God knows what else. Chico's Bail Bonds is waiting in the wings.
Rule S-3. The clock shall run down to -0-. It shall not run up from -0- to 90. This is just British backwards thinking. Everything American involves a countdown, not a count-up. Isn't the point of the clock to tell the players and the fans how much time the team has left to secure the victory. Who cares how much time is "gone."
Rule S-4. When a guy gets injured, for gosh sake, stop the clock! This was a rule change on which the the the committee received millions of like mind emails and tweets. It is dishonest to run the clock while a player gives his Oscar worthy death scene writing in pain on the grass then to compensate for the wasted time by tacking on unspecified "injury time" after the game. This scheme is so bogus that it borders on criminal. Nobody knows when the damn game is actually going to end. It is a freaking secret. Many Americans have vowed to never watch another soccer game until that gambit is eliminated. Mr. President, for the sake of the game, lets get it done on the first day of your third term in office.

Hockey
Rule H-1. The players are required to wear cages over their face at all times they are on the ice. Not "visors," cages. Anyone who has ever been near a hockey game can attest to the terrifying speed that the puck attains when given a cannonading blast by one of these Canadian farm boys. It is just pure idiocy to be skating around out there with your face and teeth exposed to these hard rubber lasers. The players are defenseless against disfigurement but they will not wear the simplest protective gear unless they are forced to by the rules. Cage required or jaw rewired. No more toothless 22 year olds please Messers President Trump and Prime Minister whatever your name is.. This rule will rectify a North American shame and further cement Canadian American Friendship.
Rule H-2. The goalie is not allowed to strap a Sealy mattress to each leg in an effort to block anything that comes his way whether he sees it or not. The committee realizes that it is miracle that any player ever volunteers to be a hockey goalie but nevertheless less comes down on the die of fair play. Pads should be for protection not for performance.
Rule H-3. All coaches must be natural born Canadians. No more American rollerblade phonies please.
Rule H-4. One and only one national anthem shall be played before the game. Wherever the game is being played that is whose anthem shall air.

Basketball
Rule BB-1. No NBA players shall be allowed in the Olympics. It's just an overplayed marketing initiative anyway. The pros are paid big money to participate in the Olympics (as long as they represent the correct gear supplier). They won't wear their team uniform if it shows the wrong trademark. They can't even always beat the true amateurs from Argentina who care more than they do and who play a better fundamental game then our dream team plays. Its an embarrassment. End it.
Rule BB-2. To be eligible for the NBA draft a player must have played some combination of four years of college basketball, including community college basketball or four years of non-NBA professional basketball somewhere in the world. There Mr. President we just saved college ball and pro-ball with one simple rule.
Rule BB-3. No professional player shall be permitted to wear uniform number 13. Wilt Chamberlain is not a well liked personalty but his dominance of the game was so complete that it is absurd to allow another player to use his number. Just like Jackie Robinson's "42" Wilt's number needs to be universally retired.

Football. (So much work to be done here).
Rule F-1. Reinstate the old AFL overtime rules. It was so simple and so perfect. There will be no overtime but there is always a choice to attempt a one point or a two point conversion. Under the present rules the weaselly coaches always play for a tie score in order to get the game into overtime where anything might happen. Including a tie! The old AFL coaches had no such easy way out. They had to play for the win in regulation time by risking a loss if their two pointer failed. It was an excruciating decision. Normally it was the underdog team with nothing to lose who boldly grabbed for brass ring by throwing caution to the wind by attempting a two point conversion in the last minute in order to chalk up a one point win. Could any locker room ever be more jubilant than the one hosting the coach and the team who executed this audacious tactic and thereby stole a game from a superior team. Today's gutless coaches don't like being pinned down on the matter of courage. They will always play not to lose. Then its not their fault when they do lose. Time to stop coddling these milquetoasts and make them compete again.
Rule F-2. A Touchdown has to involve something touching the ground. Either the football or a part of the players body must touch the sacred turf of the goal in order to register a touchdown. No more crossing the plane or waving the ball in the theoretical air space above the pylon. We don't need Pythagoras to officiate the stupid game. Either score or line up again. If a runner seems to be over the line but instead he gets stood up and pushed back well that's too bad. Guess what. He didn't make it that time.
Rule F-3. Save the extra point. The dullest play in football is suddenly the most exciting play in football when the weather turns ugly. When Philadelphia played Detroit in a white-out snowstorm in the 2014 season neither coach would allow his kicker on the field to attempt an extra point being sure that he would fail in the howling snowstorm. Finally when the Lions were pushed back 15 penalty yards David Akers was sent out to do his best. The blowing snow did beat him and the kick fluttered. An Eagles player caught the kick and started to return it for a touchdown! Outside of the rules but exciting as hell. We hereby slap down the progressives who would take it out of the game.
Rule F-4. Kick off from the 30 yard line and deal with the run back play. Novelty wedge blocking is completely allowed. It seems like a dangerous stunt but there have been a million kickoffs in a million games and the death toll is reportedly holding steady at -0-. Music City miracle, Stanford Band play, these plays are the stuff legends are made of. Kickoff plays are the most dramatic moments in what can be a fairly tedious game.
Rule F-5. No more video replay appeals. Let's just call the game on the field and keep it moving. Fox Network has enough money. They don't need to sell us yet more Budweiser while an appeals Court reviews and mulls over referee's on field rulings. They do the best they can with superior training and keen motivation. Let's support their authority and judgment.
Rule F-6. The kickers and punters have to kick and punt the same ball that is already in the game. These guys have been getting away with murder. They are presently allowed to keep special "K" footballs that they super-inflate with helium and hydrogen. They heat up their K balls and pound the skin until it is thin and bouncy as that of a beach ball. They run into the game carrying their baby in a white towel until they can throw out the real football and insert their flubber ball into the game. Flubber ball miraculously sails 70 yards through the uprights while a team flunky recovers it and delivers the precious bundle back to the proud papa who pampered it so well.
Rule F-7. Every offensive play shall start with the formation of four linemen, a center, two ends, two halfbacks, one fullback and one quarterback. OK one halfback can line up as a "flanker" and function as a pass receiver but he shall nevertheless be introduced as a halfback. We shall call this rule the anti-Stram rule.
Rule F-8. A fumble is a fumble. The player possessing the ball shall be required to retain possession of before, during and after the event of his being tackled. When the whistle blows he can release it and surrender it to the referee. Up to the moment the play is over he has to protect the ball. They play is not over until he is down and retained possession an\d control of the ball on the ground.

Baseball
Rule B-1. Abolish the Designated Hitter.
Rule B-2. Abolish all instant replay. The Umpires shall be restored to their formerly exalted status of absolute authority. If the Ump says you're out then you are out. Get off the field. There is no more Board of Review.
Rule B-3. The Play Ball Rule. There shall be no more than 2 minutes between innings. There shall be no mound conferences and no warm up pitches on the field of play during the game while everybody stands around waits for the relief pitcher to get the feel of the mound. When he comes in he has to start pitching to the next batter right now. No sausage races, no military honors, no nothing except the game which shall routinely be played in 2 hours and 15 minutes. The Cubs fans can sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in two minutes if they get it started right away.
Rule B-4. Retire Selig's rabbit ball. I don't know what amount of money Bud Selig saved the owners by switching baseballs from the old ball made in Haiti to the new Dominican ball in 1990 but he basically ruined the game forever. Barry Bonds hit like 75 home runs in one single season with the new ball. The whole entire rabbit ball era is a black mark on the game that can never be erased. Find the old factory and start buying real baseballs again. Terminate the Rabbit ball era.
Rule B-5. All World Series games shall start no later than 3:00 PM. Whereas Mr. Selig sold the premier baseball event to Fox in order to hype products and programs during the November sweeps period, it is time to buy it back and give it the fans before they don't want it at all anymore. The key fans are those from 11 to 16 years old. Put the damn games on after school but before dinner and homework. This is a lesson that we forgot from Baseball's golden era of the 50s but one which we we re-learned recently by witnessing the astounding appeal of the Soccer World Cup tournament which featured all games played in the daylight and some even starting before noon. People gathered in public places to watch and cheered the action together. Suddenly it was 1958 again but the game was different. Its time to stop being blind to the obvious. Nobody cares a damn about baseball at 1:30 AM on a Thursday morning in November. Its an hour best suited for vampires and drug addicts. Working people and wide eyed boys are long retired for the evening while the games drone on toward some kind of 4 hour predawn conclusion. Fox doesn't care as long as they capture the critical 9-10 PM ratings hour. They don't care if anybody gets to see the actual end of the game. Its time to take it back from Fox give the game back to the loyal and long suffering baseball fans.
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