With the 2015 NFL Draft beginning tonight, it seems only appropriate to break out my draft board. But I'm not talking about the pros and cons about Marcus Mariota versus Jameis Winston. I am talking about a true fantasy draft, where each of our cherished sports leagues are afforded the opportunity to develop and add simple changed that will make their collective products much better.
Check out my mock draft
And with the first pick, the National Hockey League selects....
1. Sensible Overtime Rules
Determining a hockey victory based on a shoot-out is like determining a basketball game with a dunk contest, or a baseball game with a Home Run Derby. Hockey needs a real solution to end tie games that does not involve the point-earning category Shoot-Out Loss.
Best Solution: 4-on-4 for one sudden death 10 minute period, followed by 3-on-3 for one sudden death 10 minute period. If it's still tied... it's a tie!
With the second pick, NASCAR selects...
2. Right Turns
Not much to say about this one. With the exception of two road course events, NASCAR's Sprint Cup only takes left turns, and that needs to stop.
Best Solution: Race in the other direction on occasion.
With the third pick, Major League Soccer selects...
3. A Loyal Fanbase
Popularity of the MLS has grown significantly in recent years, but let's be real -- Americans really only care about soccer for one month every four years. The MLS, if it ever wishes to be considered among one of the elite leagues, needs to reign in some loyal fans. Yes, they do exist, but when was the last time you heard a spirited debate in a bar about the midfielder situation in Columbus?
Best Solution: Sign a better national television contract --even if its for short money -- and adopt an NFL-type schedule where a bulk of the games are played once day per week (Satrurday afternoons) with a Match of the Week at Primetime (Thursdays).
With the fourth pick, the National Basketball Association selects...
4. A True Minor League System
With limited roster sizes, and a draft of only two rounds, the NBA handcuffs itself in terms of player development. Teams will only select players that they feel are immediately -- or very near -- ready to contribute. So, there is no true player development projects. And what about the players that don't want to play for a few season's as unpaid amateurs in the NCAA?
Best solution: Let them play in the minor leagues. The NBA D-League is not a competitive basketball league, nor is it a true minor league system. Lets use the AHL as the model, and give teams some farmhands to groom for the future.
With the fifth pick, the NCAA selects...
5. Common Sense Compensation Rules
This one doesn't require much explaining, and there is no simple solution to the issue of compensating athletes, but one thing is certain, the current system is broken... really broken. The rules -- in spirit -- are well-intentioned, but when you consider how much money the NCAA brings in each year, and how little education the players are actually afforded, it is clear that the "student athletes" are getting a raw deal. Throw in the inherent stupidity of the rules, such as how the late UNC coach, Dean Smith giving his former players $200 from the grave constituted a violation, and it is obvious that the system is broken. The NCAA and its member schools are making BILLIONS off the backs of their student athletes, but they drop the hammer when a player gets a free meal because of their stature in the community.
Best Solution: Whether it is a school-sponsored stipend, or simply the allowance of players to market themselves as a brand, it is time to fix the fix.
With the sixth pick, Major League Baseball selects...
6. A Pitch Clock for Between At Bats
Major League Baseball was right to make modifications to shorten the duration of games, but their approach was juuuust a bit outside. The discretionary fining of players (of a whopping $500) for stepping out of the batter's boxwon't work.
Best solution: Hit 'em where it hurts -- the stat lines that they use to demand higher salaries. After each recorded out, the pitcher has 45 seconds to come to the set position, and the batter must have both feet in the batter's box. If either party delays, the ump can issue a ball, or strike,
With the seventh pick, the National Football League selects...
7. A New Commissioner
This one goes without explanation. Goddell has created far more bad than good in his tenure as chief of America's most popular league. Time to go, Roger.
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