Occasionally I will do a stream of consciousness piece because I’m too lazy to come up with a well-thought narrative.
Today is one such day.
I’ve done these before—ruminating on things in sports that I miss, things in sports that I love, etc.
My favorite—because I get to use my own words against me—is my annual proof or disproof of my bleatings for the year, which runs every December 31.
But it occurred to me that there is also an awful lot of things in sports that are simply mind-boggling.
Of course, my mind isn’t that hard to boggle, but be that as it may.
So, without further ado…
I’ll never understand…
Why a baseball manager refuses to let his starter try to get some outs in the ninth inning before bringing in the closer to, you know, close. Especially when the pitch count is friendly.
Why a football coach will call timeout to “ice” a field goal kicker, when many kickers have gone on record saying that they actually appreciate that time on the field to gather their thoughts, talk to the holder and snapper, etc—rather than possibly hurry the very important kick.
Why some video replays take forever to decide, when I can pretty much determine the proper call after just one look. Am I in the wrong profession? Or are the officials?
Why baseball players put their gloves over their mouths when they talk to teammates. Their lips don’t work that good that they can be read anyway. Especially when the player has a huge chaw of gum or tobacco in his mouth to begin with.
Why hockey doesn’t simply make the nets larger if everyone is complaining (and they are) about the huge goalie equipment and the lack of offense in today’s game.
Why a 20-second timeout in basketball takes over a minute.
Why kickers don’t go back to wearing single bar facemasks. I mean, who are they kidding?
Why it took hockey goalies over 40 years for one of them to finally put on a damn mask in 1959.
Why some hockey goalies were still going bare-faced some 15 years later.
Why some baseball stadiums—even the ones not in Canada—include meters of distance on their walls. Is it to show off?
Why some fans will complain about a $5 hot dog, a $12 beer, a $4 pretzel, $30 for parking and a $15 program, yet declare that games are “better in person.”
Why we need mascots and the scoreboard to tell us when and how to cheer. We’re not attending a rugby match for the first time.
Why tennis scoring is the way it is. I mean, at least go 15-30-45 for crying out loud.
Where the aluminum trees are that provide all the bats in high school and college baseball.
Why we need a two-minute warning in the first half of pro football games, when college football doesn’t need any at all.
Why baseball teams hold “players only” meetings. They never work and often times the team gets its ass kicked following said meeting anyway.
Why Gaylord Perry wasn’t caught throwing a spitter in every single game he pitched.
What the Arizona Diamondbacks were thinking when they came out with their hideous brown uniforms. They make the San Diego Padres look like sartorial splendor.
Why hockey arenas announce the last minute of play in each period. There are these things called scoreboards…
Why the 3-0 pitch is always a strike and the 3-1 pitch is always fouled off.
Why Fox Sports Detroit doesn’t show us the innings a new pitcher has thrown in their little stat box, upon entering the game. Would sure put everything into perspective.
What constitutes offensive goaltending in basketball.
Or all the ways that a pitcher can commit a balk.
Why it’s called a “technical” foul.
Why managers kick dirt on umpires. The arbiters don’t do their own laundry.
Why we need sideline reporters on television. Other than a drunk Joe Namath slobbering over Suzie Kolber, what value for viewers has ever come from a sideline reporter?
Why football officials stopped firing pistols to signal the end of the quarter. Wait, maybe I do.
Why we don’t have coaches with names like Bear, Punch, Toe, Bo, Mayo, Sparky, Bep, Boom Boom, Whitey and Bud anymore.
Why every pitched baseball that even scrapes the dirt needs to be taken out of play. I never heard of a dirtball—outside the realm of used car sales and lawyers.
Why some Cubs fans still blame Stave Bartman for 2003.
Why no one remembers Bob Stanley for throwing the wild pitch that scored the tying run in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. Why do we have to pin everything on one man all the time?
How a holder for a place kick manages to catch the ball, spin it laces out and place it down in such a short period of time. And get his fingers out of the way of being kicked.
Why a hockey goalie who allows no goals is said to have “pitched a shutout.” They’re firing the pucks at HIM!
How Alexander Cartwright nailed the 90 foot base path on the first try, some 160-plus years ago.
How a punt returner decides whether to call for a fair catch or not, because some punts that are fair caught seem so returnable and others that are returned, never should have been.
Why pitchers—whose job it is to throw the ball—can’t execute an accurate throw to second base after fielding a ground ball.
Why anyone would begrudge a pro football player’s salary, given their career’s brevity and the sheer danger it causes them.
Why basketball doesn’t add a four-point shot—if nothing else, for the sheer intrigue.
Why the 1985 Tigers didn’t come close to contending for the division, just one year removed from their magical season, with mostly the same cast and crew.
How the 1994 Red Wings lost a seven-game series to the (then) three year-old San Jose Sharks.
Why Johnny Wilson was fired as coach of the Red Wings after the 1972-73 season. Johnny didn’t either; I asked him about it 10 years ago and all he said was “Darkness with Harkness.”
Why baseball is the only sport that tolerates players leaving the benches during skirmishes.
Why Jhonny Peralta spells his first name that way.
Why the Lions hired Darryl Rogers as coach in 1985. Or why the Red Wings hired Ned Harkness in 1970.
What separates a pro bowler from a non-pro.
How the camera men follow a golf ball in the air on television with such precision.
Why we can’t have jump balls in high school or college basketball.
Why there’s still so much about sports that I don’t understand.