Hornswaggler | The culture, the humor, a bit of the sports, not so much the politics, and the workplace distraction

Hornswaggle is an alternate spelling of hornswoggle, an archaic word that means to bamboozle or hoodwink. I take my pronunciation from the late Harvey Korman in "Blazing Saddles" --

"I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, conmen, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass kickers, shit kickers and Methodists!"

Culture, Humor, Sports
Workplace Distraction

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Skeds and other sports thoughts

There are four days between games two and three of the Nuggets-Mavericks series. That is retarded. There should be one day off between games. That's all that's needed.

The NBA playoffs, which last two months, are symptomatic of scheduling problems throughout U.S. professional sports, as the leagues try to squeeze as much money out of their products. At least, that's the only rationale I can figure for the bizarre way the major sports are scheduled.

The NHL playoffs move more briskly than the NBA playoffs, even though hockey is far more physical and taxing than basketball.

Still, the NHL regular season is way too long, especially when you factor in the length of the playoffs. Hockey is nearly as physical as football, and yet hockey players play five times as many regular season games as NFL players.

The hockey season should be shortened from 82 games to between 50 and 60. The season is so long now that I can't be bothered to watch until the playoffs, at which point I tune in to see the Flyers get knocked out in the first round. It's pretty exciting.

Of course, NHL owners would never agree to shorten the schedule, because it would mean a loss of revenue. You could make the argument that, by shortening the season and making each game more important -- and interesting -- the NHL could increase the audience demand for each regular season game among casual fans, leading to bumps in TV viewership and ad revenue. But the owners would never go for that.

Same goes for the NBA. I went to three Golden State Warriors home games this season, and yes, the Warriors suck, a lot, a heck of a lot, but it just confirmed for me how lame the NBA regular season is. The players don't care, the fans don't care. It's embarrassing to watch. The NBA should shorten its regular season by about 25 percent, but the owners would never sign off on that.

Meanwhile, the NFL is proposing extending the regular season from 16 to 18 games, which is absolutely crazy. Pro football is by far my favorite sport, but even I don't want to see the season extended. There's only one drawback for me of being a hard-core Philadelphia Eagles fans (not counting how much time I waste thinking about football), but it's a big one -- my queasiness about how the game affects the players.

Far too many NFL players already are not adequately compensated for injuries that drastically decrease their quality of life. That will only get worse with an 18 game schedule. There's already reason to question whether the NFL has grown so violent that its negative consequences for hundreds of players outweigh the game's benefits. That'll only get worse with a longer schedule, unless the league decides it is willing to vastly improve its pension and health care policies for retired and injured players.

As for baseball, meh. The long season is part of the ritual. It is a little crazy that the players get just one day off a week for six months. That's needless wear and tear that could be lessened by chopping off 10 to 15 games a year. But again, not gonna happen.

.: posted by hornswaggler 8:41 PM

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