CHANGING PACE

Raheel Ramzanali: Some off the wall rule changes for all the major sports

New rule: James Harden has to bet his beard. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With rule changes being all the rage in sports these days, here are some other rules I would like to see implemented across all sports:

  • MLB - The Dock Ellis Card: Did you know LSD is still banned in baseball? As my co-host Del explained to me, “hey dumbass, LSD is still illegal so yes it is banned,” so yes it is. I think LSD being banned is dumb. If anybody still wants to take a tab of LSD and be a professional baseball player they should be able to do it. I want to take it a step further and implement a new rule where each manager is given a Dock Ellis Card every game and they can use it at anytime to make any player on their or opposing team take a tab of LSD. Could you imagine the fun we would have watching a pitcher try to get his bearings in a 2-1 game?! Facing Aaron Judge? Use the Dock Ellis Card on him and he’ll strike out even more due to the hallucinations. This adds another layer of managing and now AL managers can actually manage games in the regular season!

  • NFL - Headset Espionage: The NFL goes to great lengths to prevent teams from picking up each other’s headset frequencies. For those of you that don’t know, the NFL (and pretty much all of football) depends heavily on headsets to communicate with the QB, coaches in the coaches box, and each other on the sidelines. Wouldn’t the NFL be way more fun if each team had 30 seconds worth of espionage use? Meaning, they could listen in to their opponents audio feed and gather all the info they wanted to, but for only a total of 30 seconds. The game within the game would become even better with teams throwing out fake calls during times they feel like the other team is using their espionage time.

  • NBA - Gimmick Bet: The NBA is wildly popular because of their superstars. Unfortunately, most of their superstars are gimmick based and that bothers me. The Beard, The King, The Unibrow, etc. will now have to make a bet before each playoff series where they put their gimmicks on the line. Could you imagine how hard James Harden would play if his Beard gimmick was on the line?! Just thinking about the potential bets is making me even more interested in the playoffs. Celtics vs Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals we get to see LeBron put The King on the line against Kyrie’s Uncle Drew. Loser has to end the gimmick and think of something new for 2019.

  • NBA - Houston Rule: A team can delay the start of seven total games by 30 minutes every year (including playoffs) so the crowd can filter in. I get it, life comes up and traffic is the worst so I’m not here to bash Rockets fans for not being in their seats when games tip, but I am going to help the teams out. I think they should be able to delay the start by 30 mins if they feel like the crowd is too thin for a real home court advantage. Now teams won’t be stuck with the predicament of a less than stellar crowd during a playoff game. This gives the crowd time to fight traffic, park, and get in their seats.

 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Bringing NIL deals to high schools will have some challenges. Photo via: Wiki Commons.

Name, image, and likeness, or NIL as it has been known, has been a hotly debated topic. When some states allowed college athletes to start getting paid through NIL deals, others had to follow suit. NIL deals basically allow athletes to get paid from endorsements and the like. They can make appearances, sign autographs, and get endorsements. No longer can schools make a king's ransom off the backs of these athletes without the athletes themselves benefitting from their popularity.

Sponsorships are also allowed, which started some of this years ago when Jeremy Bloom was a pro skier who also played college football at Colorado. Bloom wasn't allowed to have sponsorships, which was a HUGE part of his skiing career, if he wanted to continue to play college football. After fighting a losing battle when the NCAA declared him permanently ineligible, Bloom went on to compete in the 2006 Winter Olympics. He went on to have a couple short stints in the NFL, but his football career never materialized.

When a few states took the NIL law and opened it to high school student athletes, they REALLY opened a can of worms! Other states are now in full scramble mode trying to figure out how can they make this work, do they want to make this work, and wondering if this will open Pandora's Box. Newsflash: Pandora's Box has been open longer than your local grocery store chain. Schools have been paying for play ever since time began. SMU got the dreaded "Death Penalty" in the 80s behind it. Teams have seemingly had wink-wink agreements not to out one another. But high schools? This is a bit much.

AAU, club, and travel sports have had a shady undertone that's been more intense over the last 20 years or so. This is especially true in AAU basketball, where shoe companies and the like have long been "sponsors" of teams. Follow your favorite NBA player's career from high school to the league, then see what shoe company he signs with. I guarantee there's a pipeline in most cases straight from the sponsors of his AAU/high school team to his shoe deal.

Bringing NIL deals to high schools will have some challenges. For example: I heard this past weekend that a prominent high school player has an NIL deal in place with Bentley. What if said school sees a kid at another school, possibly in another state that may not have NIL deals for high schoolers. What's stopping said school from relocating this kid and family by offering them new jobs as well as an NIL deal? Private schools and charter schools aren't regulated like public schools. What's going to stop them from using funds to create a factory of college athletes by offering what other schools can't as far as NIL is concerned?

Here in Texas, football is king. Specifically, high school football. You can go to any town on a Friday night, and the local high school stadium is packed to the brim. If any of you think those towns won't band together to offer kids the best NIL deals they can in order to gain any advantage, you're crazy. States will need to hurry and approve this to stay competitive, but they'll also need to regulate it as best and as fast as they can to prevent a wild west scenario. I can see this getting out of hand quickly, but then some will step in to regulate it as soon as the scales no longer tilt in favor of the rich and powerful.

Texas is an oil rich state. New tech companies are moving here in droves because of the state tax laws. That's why the housing market is looking the way it is now. With the way high school football is like a religion here, imagine if NIL deals are allowed? What's stopping a powerhouse program from becoming invincible and cranking out 10-20 or more top tier D1 athletes from a single graduating class on a single team? We already see it with these human athlete factories masquerading as high schools.

I'm all for student athletes taking advantage of NIL. However, it has to be regulated. Why not have agents get trained and certified like pros do. Then also have them register in each state and pass a state certification, similar to the way lawyers or real estate agents have to. Now everyone is state and/or federally certified to help kids get what they can above board in NIL deals. This could've helped prevent Nick Saban's ignorant comments from last week by bringing much needed law and order to the wild west of NIL deals. Until it happens, we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, I'll sit and watch the utter CHAOS (in my Khal voice)!

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome