The late comedian George Carlin wanted to make football more realistic as a war metaphor by leaving the injured on the field until the game is over, the way armies leave the wounded on the field until the battle is over.
Carlin’s gag emboldened my wife to suggest fixes for the flaws in other popular games. For instance, why can’t basketball become as welcoming to short players as to tall ones?
I played basketball in seventh-grade P.E. class. We were runts so far below the basket that we were all physically equal in that game. Sharon wants to raise the basket six feet. A giant couldn’t slam dunk if his college scholarship depended on it. The current version of basketball for giants leads to a boring overdose of scoring.
Then there is soccer’s glaring weakness, which is how hard it is to score. Granted, any game you play with your head and feet, rather than with your brilliantly designed hands, is going to make scoring almost non-existent. Who’s the pinhead who made soccer a no-hands game anyway?
Maybe soccer rules should outlaw contacting the ball with anything but you’re your left knee or your nose? You wouldn’t be able to score more often than every six years, which would probably please the strange fans who enjoy watching an hour and a half of failed scoring attempts.
Sharon would fix soccer by widening the scoring cage. The goalkeepers have too much of an advantage, especially if they’re overweight. (Why don’t soccer teams take advantage of that by hiring goal keepers wider than the goal?)
Baseball also needs a few changes. One estimate is that a baseball game that lasts two or three hours has no more than 15 minutes of action. The rest of the game involves pitchers taking two minutes to throw each pitch, batters with the nervous ticks of constantly adjusting their batting gloves between pitches and managers replacing pitchers six times in a game, bringing everything to a screeching halt while each new pitcher takes his warm-up throws.
New rules should decree that any batter who adjusts his batting gloves more than once per at-bat must be thrown out of baseball to go seek psychiatric counseling.
The game of politics also needs some changes. For instance, vice presidents of the United States are used primarily to make ceremonial appearances like the queen of England. Vice presidents should be replaced by an American queen. She would have no more power than a vice president but would look better in a tiara.
I would also end all recall elections in America. When the voters recall an officeholder, they are admitting that they made a mistake in electing the twit in the first place. The voters would become better at their jobs if they were compelled to live with their mistakes for the duration of the twit’s term of office.
Then we should correct the imbalance in our presidential elections that gives the people of Iowa and New Hampshire the ability to unilaterally decide for the rest of us which presidential candidates should be removed from contention.
In fact, to redress the injustice and the cheekiness of giving those two states so much clout all these years, we should suspend their citizens from voting for president at all for about 50 years – until everybody else in the country has finally had a chance to vote without prior interference by the spoiled residents of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Or at the very least, apply soccer rules to presidential voting by residents of Iowa and New Hampshire. Don’t let them vote at all unless they can learn to mark their ballots with their feet.Bill Hall can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1012 Prospect Ave., Lewiston, ID 83501