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Let’s bring excitement back to the NBA!

For starters let’s get radical and turn the 30 team league into three 16 team leagues:

In the top level league you get the best teams playing each other more often.  The NBA on TV suddenly gets a lot better.  

Each league sends 8 teams to the playoffs.  Playoff series are shortened to best of three for all but the championship series which becomes best of 5 games. 

The championship winner of the lowest league gains entry into the mid-level league the following season.

The championship winner of the mid-level league gains entry to the top level league the following season.

Losing should Suck!

Since the championship winner of the mid-level league climbs up, the worse team in the top-level league gets dropped down to the mid-level league for the following season.  And the worse team in the mid-level team gets dropped down to the low-level league.  It’s going to create happy chaos watching the teams with the worse records play their hearts out to keep from being the worse team.

Scheduling:

Top-level league teams play each other two times each, mid-level teams a total of 24 games and low-level teams 8 games for a grand total of 62 games.

Mid-level teams play each other two times, top-level teams a total of 24 games and lower-level teams 8 games for a grand total of 62 games.

Lower-level teams play each other two times, mid-level teams 8 games and top-level teams 8 games for a grand total of 46 games.

With 18 extra markets the NBA gains far more exposure on the “local” level.

With three leagues you could stage the start and stop of each league to allow for more basketball throughout the year.  Why give baseball free reign during the summer? Summer would be the perfect time to start the lower level league.  Then start the mid-level league closer to fall and finally start the top level league in the winter.

Draft:

I’d keep the draft in place but allow it to play out like this:  48 picks

  • A 16 team lottery from the top league determines picks 1-16.  Every team has equal chance for the top pick!
  • A 16 team lottery from the second tier league determines picks 17-32.  Again the odds are spread evenly among the group.
  • And same situation plays out for the sixteen teams of the lower league finishing out picks 33-48.

We don’t need more than 48 picks.  If a draft eligible player is not picked by pick 48 he can either try again next year or sign a free agent contract with any of the teams.

Free Agency, Trades, Salary Cap & Guaranteed Contracts:

When players become free agents they can sign with any team from any league.

Teams can trade players with teams within their league and also in any of the other leagues.

Eliminate the salary cap and allow for big markets like New York City to finally buy their way to wins.  And frankly they need this advantage.  It’s not helping the league at all when small markets like San Antonio dominate the league.  Let the big markets have a financial advantage.  The small market teams will still find a way to compete – maybe not every year but often enough that it keeps it interesting.

Take away guaranteed contracts.  It’s not helping the best players.  They will get paid regardless of whether a contract is guaranteed or not. The reality is the only players who benefit from guaranteed contracts are injured players, underperforming players or players who have off court issues.  If teams could cancel contracts when they want they would pass the money saved onto better players. It’s how economics works.  And for players who are worried about injuries costing them money they already have the ability to buy insurance to protect themselves from losing money in case of injury.

NO MORE TIMEOUTS IN LAST 5 MINUTES!

Watching the end of an NBA game truly sucks.  All of the stop in action is just ridiculous.  I’m sorry but I just don’t have the time or patience for it.  Take away the timeouts and make teams figure out how to win games without a scratchboard.

So there ya go. A lot of different ways the NBA could have a substantially better product.

December 13, 2016 0 comment
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Many owners have wanted to expand the NFL regular season to 18 games as it gives them the chance to make more money but they are going about the expansion the wrong way. They want more games. But players are already banged up from the physicality of crunching 16 games into a 17 week schedule.

If the NFL expanded to 24 weeks but kept the game schedule to just 16 games they could give more players time to recover from injuries.

While people affiliate the NFL with Sundays, the games are currently televised Mondays, Thursdays, Sundays and occasionally Saturdays. That’s four of the seven days.

Currently the Monday and Thursday night games are routinely bad.  With just one game it’s hit or miss on whether good teams are going to be playing on those nights. And lately it’s been a showcase of more bad teams than good.

I’d propose getting rid of Monday night football.

I propose scheduling one game for Saturday primetime.  This game should feature top teams.  It should be considered the top game of the week with only Sunday night primetime being the other slot where top teams should be scheduled.  I’d continue to allow for games to be flexed on Sunday nights.

Now here is the big shakeup:  I’d move half the games to the middle of the week
It means playing games on Wednesday and Thursday nights.  With 8 games expected to be played it will give some great games so we won’t be stuck in the 1 game that sucks hole that Thursday night has become.

Each team would swap schedules between mid-week and weekends.  It effectively gives them an average of 9-10 days rest between games instead of just six as it is now.

Why it makes sense for fans:

The NFL season is too short! Fans are shortchanged with just a 17 week regular season. Stretch it out over 24 weeks and we get almost two more months of football!

Not only do we get more football but we also get more opportunities to watch other teams. Currently with so many teams playing at the same time it gives a very limited opportunity to follow multiple teams. The expanded weekend games as well as the extra weeknight games give fans more chances to support the sport.

How players win: Players get more time to rest their bodies.

How owners win: Financially the sport is giving away the excellent opportunity to make money on Saturdays. I personally don’t enjoy college football nearly as much as the NFL. And if I had the chance to watch on Saturdays including Saturday night I’m sure I would love that opportunity. Why are they just giving that day away to college sports? I don’t get it.

And with concussions needing more time to heal this seems like a no brainer way to help alleviate these issues while making a ton more money to the owners through expanded TV deals.

Also it gives teams who travel to places like London and Mexico more time to recover from those trips.

The only downside is that you could argue Sunday day games take a slight hit.  But with so much upside this seems like a small price to pay.  Anyways if you wanted a way to have two more months of football, less concussion issues, less injury issues in general here ya go!

December 13, 2016 0 comment
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Draft season has finally ended. For some of us it means getting a considerable part of our lives back. Maybe I’m not quite ready. I’m still soaking in the 2016 draft and what it has meant for my favorite team the Dallas Cowboys.

First I want to talk about a perspective on the draft that few consider: every team comes out of the draft with an improved team.

I say this because every team has holes, some or all of those holes “theoretically” get filled in the draft and what happens is you then compare your team as it is now to how your team was at the end of the previous season. Every fan comes out of the draft feeling better about their team and filled with hope. But you tend to forget that 31 other teams also improved by adding players to their team in the draft.

Since every team will come out of the draft with an improved team, the only true measure of draft success is how much a team improves itself comparatively speaking to every other team.

Teams picking ahead in the draft hold a slight edge. But draft success is about making your picks count throughout the rounds.

There’s no such thing as a sure thing and even high first round draft picks regularly bust.

It’s why the Cleveland Browns have been so great at being mediocre – they have absolutely blown their first round draft picks over the last decade.

The high bust rate of NFL draft picks in general means the more picks your team has the better.

As further proof the most widely used NFL draft chart statistically gives the team trading down a far higher hit rate than the team trading up.

And while the numbers are there for any NFL GM to see, they still often ignore them feeling they can beat the odds by trading to get their guy. In the end it’s the team trading down that usually winds up winning the deal.

In this year’s draft we had a trade that never happened that will help illustrate this example perfectly:

Jerry Jones wanted to trade up to get Paxton Lynch. He missed out on the deal and he’s already said he has regretted not giving more value to get the deal done. I’m guessing in a year or two he will be very happy he “missed out” on that trade. He needed to give his 2nd and 3rd round picks to make it happen. Those picks translated to Malik Collins and Jaylon Smith. Malik Collin has a chance to be a special player at the three technique position on the defense line. It’s arguably the most important position in Marinelli’s scheme so if the pick pays off it’s a huge hit. The Jaylon Smith pick is still very much up in the air. He’ll be out this year. If he comes back next year healthy, he’s expected to be an all pro type linebacker. It’s a big risk with chance for high reward. The most interesting part of the trade that never happened is it allowed them to pick Dak Prescott in the tail end of the 4th round. It’s a quarterback they spent more time with than other other during the draft evaluation process. So my look on the trade that never happened is you get those three players instead of getting Paxton Lynch. If two of our three players turn out to be hits this was a great trade for us never to make.

We also have to look at the pick of Ezekiel Elliot and realize we gave up a ton of value to get a running back. He’s going to be great. But he has to be. He’s already getting paid like one of the top running backs in the league and he’ll be running behind what is arguably the best offensive line in the league. The pick will be looked at as if we hit. But we could have arguably gotten a similarly talented running back in free agency and used the 4th pick in the draft to trade down. That would have been the direction I would have gone. Basically we could have gotten Lamar Miller for similar pay as Zeke PLUS we could have gained a ton of draft picks by trading down and who knows what those picks could have become.
I’m also a little confused why we took Jaylen Smith so high in the second round. I think we could have gotten him later in the draft and possibly traded that pick down to acquire more picks later.

The Jackson & Brown picks in the sixth look great. Rico Gathers in the sixth seems a little like picking Jaylon Smith at the top of the second: it’s a reach pick but if it pays off it could be huge

Those are my negative takes on the draft. We got great players but I think we could have maneuvered around a bit and improved more. It doesn’t seem our coach is not a fan of this and he’s been a big part of our draft success over the last 5- 6 years so I’m fine with his conservative stance on trades.

Overall I’m happy with the draft class. It could have in theory been improved with some trade down opportunities but at least we didn’t ruin anything with a dumb trade up. Now I get my life back till the season starts up again.

December 13, 2016 0 comment
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