johnnysama

Worst ideas in sports history

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Here's one that no one's mentioned yet: Allowing professionals to compete in the Olympics.

Granted, the worst part of that was just the timing of it. Ending the amateurs-only rule was intended to get rid of the advantage held by the Soviet Union and its client nations who had skirted the rule with impunity for years. The rule was repealed in 1986 but the repeal wouldn't take effect until the 1992 Games - by which time the Soviet Union had already collapsed anyway.

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Here's one that no one's mentioned yet: Allowing professionals to compete in the Olympics.

Granted, the worst part of that was just the timing of it. Ending the amateurs-only rule was intended to get rid of the advantage held by the Soviet Union and its client nations who had skirted the rule with impunity for years. The rule was repealed in 1986 but the repeal wouldn't take effect until the 1992 Games - by which time the Soviet Union had already collapsed anyway.

I don't think allowing pros to compete has been all that damaging to the Olympics. The biggest downside I see is increasing the commercialization of the sport, but that's always existed. Its just now that the athletes are getting a piece of the pie.

The worst idea with the Olympics for me was in addition to letting the 1972 games go on, having the '36 games in Berlin, and allowing the AAU to regulate amateur athletics in this country for as long as they did. People talk about the NCAA being corrupt. The AAU was an entirely self-serving organization that did nothing for athletes outside of preventing them from making money, and pick out the events they could participate in, with a bitter racist old man running the show.

As for the salary cap. If the big market teams want to get rid of it I would have no issue with it. Only under one condition though and that is they give up their territory rights. If they're not willing to do that, then they need to shut the hell up about how unfair it is for them. You can't have a league with a free market system that also allows for territory rights. The two contradict each other.

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I think the new 4 conference alignment in the NHL could go in this thread.

I actually think this could turn into a genius move. It will build up local rivalries, and create a more exciting playoff. I'd like to see baseball develop a system that's roughly similar.

The DH is high on my list. And interleague play.

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The XFL. Nothing else comes close. Not the countdown clock, not FoxTraxx (the glow puck), not the designated hitter...none of that.

The XFL was a first-class operation compared to the World Football League.

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Couldn't pick just one for any sport, so here's a list...

For Baseball:

- Signing a long-term lease for what's now known as Tropicana Field.

- Retiring Jackie Robinson's #42 without doing the same for #3, Babe Ruth. Robinson was a beacon for race relations to be sure, but Ruth almost single-handedly saved baseball in the 1920's.

- Cookie-cutter, multi-purpose stadia in St. Louis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Oakland, etc.

- Allowing the A's to move from Kansas City to Oakland.

- The wild card. It would've been better to give the team with the league's best record a bye directly into the LCS IMHO.

- The ASG deciding World Series home-field advantage.

- Firing Fay Vincent in 1992.

(I exclude the DH in that it's not necessarily a bad rule, but its implementation in one league but not the other is horrible)

For Football:

- The World Football League. It made the XFL look world class by comparison.

- NFL Divisional alignments since 1970. Imagine the fun fans would have with two Jets/Giants, 49ers/Raiders, Texans/Cowboys, Chiefs/Rams, and Redskins/Ravens games each season, each with an impact on the standings; and a division comprised of the Jags, Dolphins, Bucs and Falcons.

- The original incarnation of instant replay in the NFL. Today's system is good (ripped from the USFL, actually) but the methods they used before that were bad.

For Basketball:

- Adjusting rules to bring down scoring. I remember watching a game when I was a kid where the final score was, I kid you not, 186-184. Teams putting up 120 was commonplace. Nowadays 120 is abnormally high, and anything above 150 would be the lead on SportsCenter for two days.

- Ever-extending seasons and relatively meaningless regular seasons. When you play an 80-plus game regular season and you can finish under .500 yet make it to the NBA Finals (look it up, it's happened), you have too many teams in your playoff structure.

- Insufficient expansion. Yes, I actually believe there should be more NBA teams. There's sufficient player talent in basketball, unlike other sports, to support twice as many top-level teams as there actually are. There are markets which could and would support an NBA club (Seattle, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Louisville, St. Louis) if it weren't for factors (stringent arena guidelines, a desire to keep their ranks small) which preclude them.

For Hockey:

- Over-expansion, not due to a lack of player talent, but due to finance. Nashville and Phoenix readily come to mind, but there are a number of markets for which hockey isn't a perfect fit.

- Owners hiring two idiots (John Ziegler, and then Gary Bettman) to lead them. Hockey has prospered in spite of its leadership, not because of it.

- Revision of their standings system to eliminate ties and give points for overtime losses and shootout losses. I'm for elimination of ties, but awarding a team for not winning in regulation, win or lose in overtime, gets to me.

For Soccer:

- The NASL's final decade. Over-expansion, over-hype, and not building the sport set American soccer back a quarter century.

- MLS not embracing international standards with regard to promotion/relegation.

- MLS entering the Miami and Tampa markets before they were really ready.

- MLS not having a shootout to break ties. PK's are the most structured, and often most exciting, part of the game.

For Boxing:

- Don King. Very little of what he's done in the sport has been good for it long-term.

- TV-sponsored "tournaments" to decide division supremacy. Boxing isn't conducive to those formats, and very few of the efforts undertaken to unify a division's championship have proven effective.

- Weight division explosion. The 'original eight' weight divisions have bloated to nearly twenty, a case where a Happy Meal's consumption can make the difference in weight classification. So you're the World Super Paperweight Champion? Which means you weigh what... 100 pounds?

- Sanctioning body explosion. These bodies used to be regulatory. Now they're little more than promotional baubles. Having some contacts in boxing, I've seen some oddity in the sport, but these guys take the cake. I once saw a sanctioning body's head make a deal to sanction his organization's "title" over a cup of coffee with a fighter's promoter, simply because he was looking to add some luster to his card. Overheard by me in the next booth: "He can have the title provided he gives it up afterward, as (other promoter's name redacted) wants to have (fighter's name redacted) fight for our belt sometime in June of next year."

For Auto Racing:

- The NASCAR "Chase for the Cup" system. Rather than have this, take the top ten, twelve, or even fifteen drivers in points and stage one final, season-ending race: 500 miles, winner takes home the seasonal title.

- The Indy Car split of the 1990's. While open-wheel auto racing wasn't a sport with a giant buzz to begin with, the IRL/CART feud may have set it back indefinitely.

For Golf:

- Discriminatory policies at clubs. It's a senseless abomination, pure and simple.

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- Sanctioning body explosion. These bodies used to be regulatory. Now they're little more than promotional baubles. Having some contacts in boxing, I've seen some oddity in the sport, but these guys take the cake. I once saw a sanctioning body's head make a deal to sanction his organization's "title" over a cup of coffee with a fighter's promoter, simply because he was looking to add some luster to his card. Overheard by me in the next booth: "He can have the title provided he gives it up afterward, as (other promoter's name redacted) wants to have (fighter's name redacted) fight for our belt sometime in June of next year."

And that's why boxing has sadly become a joke.

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My view on why the DH is bad is that it takes a level of strategy and thought out of the game, do I need this pitcher to pitch another inning or should I pitch hit for him? It puts less weight on the bullpen, and pitching as a team in general. I just think the DH leads to a poorer quality of baseball. I can understand it's value below the pros, but at the higher levels of the game I'd prefer to see pitchers hit.

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- Sanctioning body explosion. These bodies used to be regulatory. Now they're little more than promotional baubles. Having some contacts in boxing, I've seen some oddity in the sport, but these guys take the cake. I once saw a sanctioning body's head make a deal to sanction his organization's "title" over a cup of coffee with a fighter's promoter, simply because he was looking to add some luster to his card. Overheard by me in the next booth: "He can have the title provided he gives it up afterward, as (other promoter's name redacted) wants to have (fighter's name redacted) fight for our belt sometime in June of next year."

And that's why boxing has sadly become a joke.

You just don't see the REALLY big fights anymore, because it's easier for a champ to avoid the really tough opponent. They can demand a good pay day from challengers and risk very little (see the Klitschkos and many others.) Even a world title fight means little now. When I was young being a British champion at almost any weight meant something. Now their are British world champions who could walk down the street without turning any heads.

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Mayweather vs Pacquiao not happening yet.

The trapezoid.

All these uniforms that are 12% lighter or whatever.

The NHL not adopting the 200x100 ice surface just to save a few rows of seating. It's like a massive logjam out there.

The NHL lockout of 2004-2005.

All-Star game determining homefield in the World Series.

November World Series.

Conference tie-in's for bowl games.

Superconferences (SEC expansion, ACC trying to expand, Pac-12 trying to expand).

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The new Miami Marlins uniforms.

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Salary Cap

No way, this is one of the best.

I'd agree that a salary cap is not a bad idea, but it isn't the miracle worker that some make it out to be. Baseball has no salary cap and this millenium 3 teams have one multiple world series,football has a salary cap and 2 teams (Patriots nad Steelers) account for 5 Superbowl wins. Pretty much a wash. In the NBA the Lakers have won 5 since 2000.

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Something that occurs to me every year at this time. It's idiotic that the 3rd place team in a Champions League group goes into the Europa League. It diminishes both competitions.

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A couple years ago FOX had this lame camera embedded in the dirt during the MLB postseason. It was a terrible angle and showed nothing interesting. Also, the infared heat camera they had this year was silly.

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A couple years ago FOX had this lame camera embedded in the dirt during the MLB postseason. It was a terrible angle and showed nothing interesting. Also, the infared heat camera they had this year was silly.

They had it in 2004, it's on my Red Sox 2004 ALCS and World Series DVDs. Don't know if they started it in '04 or if it was in the middle of its tenure.

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edit: also the Megatron end-zone catch rule where you have to clutch the ball for 15 minutes after scoring to ensure you had possession.

I hate that rule with every fiber of my being as a sports fan.

Unless you're a Packer, in which case you don't have to even catch the ball, nevermind maintain control, to get a touchdown...

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Wearing protective gear in hockey is a bad idea?

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