Back in the day, a show titled Queen for a Day that encouraged down on their luck women to explain what they would do if their fortunes changed. The show has since inspired euphemisms based on this concept using the format ‘x’ for a Day. In that spirit, I wanted to pretend what changes I’d make if I were King of Sports for a Day.
The changes I’d like to propose are not confined to one sport alone and are mostly related to geographically aligning teams and competitive divisions to provide more TV ratings and ticket sales. Remember, these are all hypotheticals and I have no influence but thought they would be good for discussion.
First up, is my favorite sport—Baseball. Before anything else, the home plate Umpire is only located there to call safe/out on plays at the plate, while balls & strikes are decided by a virtual strike zone operated at MLB headquarters in New York. Next, there shall be 5 expansion teams located in Nashville, Charlotte, New Orleans, Indianapolis, and Montreal. The four U.S. market teams provide baseball in national markets to compete with NFL & NBA franchises. The AL gains the New Orleans and Indianapolis franchises, while the NL receives Nashville, Charlotte, and Montreal teams. Also, the Texas Rangers will move to the NL so that there are Texas teams in both leagues. I know originally the Houston Astros were an NL team so moving them back would seemingly make more sense, but I can’t see with their recent success moving them, the Rangers could benefit from a change in League alignment. For those concerned about replay decisions, Crew Chiefs are mic’ed up and must explain the ruling that MLB replay officials decide after review. Finally, the DH is only available for both leagues regardless of the home stadium on regular season Sunday games, while the rest of the time pitchers must hit and the DH is only available during the World Series in Games 3 & 6 regardless of NL or AL team hosting, meaning no DH in the AL or NL playoffs.
Next turning to NCAA sports, conference alignments are first on the block. The Big Ten or B1G is a ridiculous name given there are well over a dozen teams in the conference. I suggest the Heartland Conference as the new name. Also, Penn State, Rutgers & Maryland don’t belong here geographically and will be aligned with the ACC. The new Heartland Conference now has two spots open and are filled by Missouri and Cincinnati. Mizzou already has a rivalry with Illinois, and they’ll get to play each other often enough with Conference implications. There are also geographic rivalries rekindled from the Big 12 with Nebraska, and likely many of the Northwestern and Mizzou fans overlap with the Cubs/Cards rivalry from MLB. Also, Louisville leaves the ACC since it’s neither Atlantic or Coastal and aligns with the SEC, as there are already perfect geographic rivalries for UofL with UK & Vandy. West Virginia also leaves the Big 12 and takes over for Texas A&M who joins the American Athletic Conference. While we’re discussing that conference, Connecticut joins the ACC. Sacramento State and San Diego State University also depart the American Athletic Conference and join the Mountain West Conference.
Now turning to the NFL, pass interference rules follow the NCAA rules which negates the spot foul that gifts the offense 30 yards on passes that were questionable to be caught. Replays are handled by the NFL offices in New York. Next, two new expansion teams and a couple of realignments. An expansion team located in St. Louis and playing in the NFC North, let’s say the Pilots incorporating a Burnt Orange and White color scheme. A second expansion team located in Toronto will play in the AFC North probably the Beavers and incorporate a Purple and Silver color combination. The Arizona Cardinals return to Chicago and keep the same name and borrow the Baby Blue and Cardinal Red colors from the St. Louis Cardinals (MLB) uniforms of the 1980’s. The Jacksonville Jaguars relocate to Arizona and become the Arizona Phoenix replacing the teal with a darker Indian Red and adding White as a secondary color while the black becomes only an accent color.
For what it’s worth, this is not meant to be an exhaustive list. I know there would be more moving parts for much of these changes and not everyone will appreciate them. Obviously, I could suggest changes to other sports and further tinker with even the sports I did mention.
What changes would you make if you were ‘Ruler of Sports’ for a Day?