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Sports are not perfect so it’s time we change them

 This week marks five years since I was hired to cover sports for the Clay County Progress. Over that period of time I have attended hundreds of sporting events. When you attend that many games/competitions you are bound to see a few duds. Whether covering a sport I love or one I barely understand, I’ve been given ample opportunity to think during dull games and in those endless moments, I dwell on how we can make the game better.

Let’s start with wrestling. Perhaps the purest sport of them all. Two opponents going one-on-one to see who is better. I can appreciate that along with the technical knowledge needed to pin your opponent. However, let’s jazz it up a bit. I’m not saying we go full blown WWE with high schoolers slinging metal chairs at each other. Maybe just adopt the entrance styles from pro wrestling. Each wrestler has his/her own theme music that plays as lights flash and smoke fills the room. Of course, that might just be pouring gas on an ego-driven society. Okay, so wrestling is fine.

How about baseball? Although I love the sport I admit there is a lot of downtime between pitches. So to fill the gap, let’s borrow a move from volleyball and rotate players after every pitch. Wait, how long will it take players to swap the catching equipment? Maybe baseball is fine too.

Soccer is the sport I struggle with the most simply because it wasn’t prominent in our area when I was young. Now just when I think I’ve figured it out, some obscure rule pops up and grounds me again. I do think we can add more excitement in the closing minutes. With two minutes to go, let’s shorten the field to 50 yards, cut the number of players on the field down to five and set the ball on fire. On second thought, the cost of liability insurance alone would cripple the school. Better leave soccer the way it is.

Well one sure fire fix is a shot clock in high school basketball. I mean forget the fact most shots are taken before a 30 second clock would expire anyway. It would stop teams from holding the ball at the end of games to secure the win. Now that I think about it, wouldn’t that punish a team for working hard enough to earn a lead in the final moments? That’s another idea we should trash. Basketball will be fine without the shot clock.

Like baseball, football has a lot of dead time in between plays. We watch 22 players line up for roughly three seconds of action and then endure 25 seconds of substitutions and coaches yelling plays. What if we bring the play clock down to 10 seconds? It would result in one play after another and constant action. Oh, I forgot the human body needs recovery time after slamming into something and lungs need time to refill. So I guess football will be okay if we leave it alone. 

My point in these suggestion is the sports we have are just fine. 

No, there’s no perfect sport and we have to stop trying to create one. The good news is if you don’t like any of the sports I mentioned, there are tons more. 

It’s important that we remember sports are games. Games are intended to be enjoyed. Let’s just enjoy things instead of changing them.

E-mail Travis at: sports@claycountyprogress.com

By Sports Guy Trav

Clay County Progress

Mailing Address: PO Box 483, Hayesville, NC 28904
Physical Address: 43 Main Street, Hayesville, NC 28904
Phone: 828-389-8431
Fax: 828-389-9997