Thank you for joining me once again. I anticipate that my life-long term as All Sports Commissioner of the Known Universe will have many memorable days filled with parades and feasts in my honor. Although my previous press releases have been met with great enthusiasm, I imagine that many of those celebrations will be on the anniversary of the proclamations that I am going to make today regarding the most-watched sport in the United States, American football. Since fans are extremely passionate about both collegiate and professional football, I will be addressing both the NFL and the NCAA today.
These guidelines will be effective immediately in the National Football League:
- A single Point After Touchdown will be awarded to any team choosing to take the point. No more kicked extra point attempts. The 7th point will be credited to the team’s kicker for fantasy football purposes.
- If a team wishes to go for two, they may choose to neglect the free PAT and attempt a two-point conversion according to current NFL rules.
Field of Play
- The digital first down line will be placed on the field and will be considered the official line to gain. I have a few ideas of how this could be accomplished:
- Fiber-optic material should be included in the artificial turf. It could be activated by a linesman holding a stake to the ground on the sideline (much like the chain gang now).
- Laser beam from a pole (similar to the chain poles they have now) on one side of the field to a similar receiving pole on the other. This system has the added benefit of being able to sense when it has been interrupted like the invisible lasers that stop the conveyor belt in the grocery store.
- Disappearing spray paint like they use in the World Cup. An official could very quickly push a sprayer across the field after the ball has been spotted. This is clearly the most low-tech solution and could slow the pace of play, therefore, it should only be used if the first two solutions prove to be scientifically impossible.
- Ball tracking technology (a combination of GPS, stationary cameras, and the computer program used in tennis) should be used to indicate exactly where a ball is in relation to the goal line. An instant replay official should know with certainty if the ball is across the line while viewing every single frame of game footage. I’m envisioning an exact distance from the goal line displayed in the corner of the screen on every single frame. I would love to hear Ed Hochuli say “The ball carrier’s knee hit the ground when the ball was exactly 12.4 cm from the goal line. 3rd”
These guidelines will be effective for NCAA football beginning with the 2015 season:
- The national championship will be determined in a 16 team tournament as seeded by an independent panel. I would like to see how satisfactory this year’s 4-team selection process is before deciding who will serve on that panel.
- Champions of all ten NCAA conferences will receive an automatic bid. The additional six teams will be selected by the panel.
- Round of 16 and round of 8 games will be played at the home field of the higher seed. The home team must make at least 15% of the total seats available to the visiting university. The final three games will be played at a neutral site with 30% of the total ticket sales being outsourced to each the two universities.
- Seeding of the tournament will be up to the sole discretion of the panel, however, only champions of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC 12, and SEC must be seeded 1-5, guaranteeing them home field advantage.
- If teams are tied at the end of regulation, they will play actual football to determine the winner, not backyard scrimmage from the 25.
- After a coin toss to determine possession and direction of play, a kickoff will start the overtime period. Play will continue for one 15 minute period.
- If the score is still tied at the end of one 15 minute overtime period, play will continue where it left off in sudden death fashion with the next team to score declared the winner.
- All NCAA football uniforms must fit the player properly. Shirts must be long enough to be tucked in and pants must expend below the knee.
- Under Armor will be banned from designing any uniforms after they have repeatedly made Maryland look like a clown at a box of crayons then threw up all over the Terrapins.
The following rules are effective immediately for football games at all levels:
- Television broadcasts may not go to commercial after showing only a kickoff. Touchdown, commercial, kickoff, commercial may be the most annoying part of all sports. Networks may extend post-score commercial breaks by an additional minute to make up for lost revenue.
- Following any touchdown signaled by the referee, the 40 second play clock will start. Excessive celebration will only be called if the celebrating players are not back to their bench area by the expiration of this time.
- Celebratory dances are encouraged for every player scoring a touchdown and required for any player weighing over 250 pounds.
For immediate release
It is with great hesitation and reverence that I accept this position. I understand that all athletes, owners, coaches, and fans of every sport are placing a tremendous amount of trust in my judgment by making me the first All Sports Commissioner of the Known Universe. I will do my best to honor the office and justify the exorbitant compensation package that has already been transferred to numerous Swiss bank accounts in my name.
With this unprecedented unilateral authority over all athletic competition, rules, leagues, and associations on this planet and any others on which humans may eventually settle and compete, I will institute changes to make sports more enjoyable at all levels. However, in order to foster more interest in all athletic endeavors, my first actions will be to make professional sporting events more enjoyable for fans both at the actual event and watching on television. With this primary goal in mind, I have compiled a list of changes for the major professional leagues that will be addressed one at a time.
Unfortunately, “America’s pastime” is a very fitting description of the game of baseball. It is largely in the past and takes a lot of time. Therefore, my first declaration as All Sports Commissioner of the Known Universe is designed to make this once-great game worthy of primetime broadcast again. I will make the following changes for the 2015 Major League Baseball season:
- Behind the plate umpires calling balls and strikes will be replaced by the virtual strike box that is shown on TV (FoxTrax, PitchTrax, K-Zone, etc.).
- Since he does not need to call balls and strikes, the home plate umpire will be repositioned to stand to the side of the catcher, facing the batter so that he may accurately determine if the batter swung at a pitch or successfully checked his swing.
- Umpires will no longer be allowed to scream back at irate managers like a spoiled little girl whose brother crashed Barbie’s tea party. Either walk away or listen politely. If the manager yells, eject him. Upon ejection, managers must pitch a fit worthy of the “Not Top Ten” or face heavy fines and suspensions.
Length of Games
- A 12 second pitch clock will start as soon as “ball” or “strike” is displayed on the scoreboard, or when the ball is returned to the pitcher after a batted ball. A ball will be called if a pitcher has not entered his pitching motion when the clock expires. 5 seconds will be added for a throw to a base with a runner but no more than 10 seconds will be added between each pitch.
- Visits to the mound by managers or catchers will not be permitted. Pitchers, catchers, and, managers will be permitted to wear in-ear radios and microphones to discuss pitch strategy.
- No on-mound warm up time will be permitted for pitching changes after a half-inning has begun.
- Batters may not request time or step out of the box once the pitcher is on the rubber. Any pitch thrown while the batter is out of the box will be recorded as a ball or strike.
Increased Offensive Production (That’s what we’re paying to see)
- All teams in both the National and American Leagues will be permitted to utilize as many designated hitters as they wish in their lineups. No one buys tickets to see pitchers, catchers, and 2nd basemen hit routine grounders to pitchers, catchers, and 2nd basemen.
- I think we can all agree that baseball was much more exciting when Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGuire were hitting baseballs so far that TBS was reporting the distances in Astronomical Units. Random testing will be administered to ensure super-human levels of testosterone in designated hitters—players who have the sole responsibility of crushing the ball like Bruce Banner after someone insulted his momma.
- Opposing teams may not wear the same uniform color. Period.
- Managers with a Body Mass Index greater than 30 will not be permitted to wear the same uniform as players. During games, obese managers should wear officially licensed, business casual, MLB-branded clothing. During batting practice, they may wear officially licensed MLB athletic gear and run laps around the warning track.
Length of Season
- The regular season will be cut from 162 games to 124.
- The MLB playoffs will conclude before Labor Day. Let’s face it—once football starts, no one cares.
I will not be taking any questions at this time, but rest assured that changes will be made in the NFL and NBA soon. When professional leagues are in line I will turn my attention to amateur athletics from the NCAA all the way down to the youngest of youth sports. Spoiler alert: No more trophies for losers.