NEW YORK, NY – With sports being played in the afternoon, people getting shot right and left, and sharks taking the beaches back and biting people in half, my long wait for a return to 1970s normalcy is over. Can the re-pornification of Times Square be far behind? Let’s hope so. And, since we’re rethinking and reinventing sports these days, it wouldn’t hurt to look to the past for a few ideas. Here’s a handful.
More black baseball players. I know it’s virtually impossible to undo years of neglect and damage, but baseball was a whole lot better when there were more African-American players in the game. Guys like Dave Parker, Jim Rice, Reggie Jackson, George “Boomer” Scott, and Willie Stargell, to name a few, were must-see TV every time they came to the plate. Give me players like Bake McBride, Dave Cash, and Ralph Garr over any number of these boring cookie-cutter drones we’ve gotten used to watching these days. Hell, even their names were better! And, speaking of The Roadrunner (Garr), have the White Sox play the rest of the summer in shorts. Hey, here’s big George Scott moving faster than I remember, and Dennis Martinez running for his goddamned life.
Classic football unis, now! It may not be noticeable to younger fans, but each time the NFL let’s someone f*ck with team uniform designs they get a little bit worse. It’s been happening for years. Instead of deep vibrant colors, great logos, and electrically-shiny helmets we now have a bunch of muted and matted crap. There was nothing wrong with the old Patriots helmet, back when no one hated the Patriots. The Rams never had to mess with their colors or design. Chargers, Broncos, hell, even give me the old Tampa Bay threads with the “flamboyant” Buccaneer on the helmet.
Wooden golf clubs and tennis rackets. Why not? Give these new pampered players a taste of the old days. Wood is good! That goes for all baseball bats on every level as well. As Bob Murphy used to say, “From the crack of the bat, you’re in front of the crowd in your stylish Member’s Only jacket.” He didn’t say “the clink of the bat,” because that’s just stupid.
Make the Islanders despicable again. As it looks like the New York Islanders are the lone Metropolitan Area representative left in these NHL playoffs (sorry, Rangers fans), I think we need to get them back to being completely loathsome as fast as humanly possible. It’s all tall order when you don’t have a cupboard full of jerks at the ready like Clark Gillies, Billy Smith, Duane Sutter, and John Tonelli, but something needs to be done. Like the Yankees, the Isles only work when they are good and smug and have many punchable faces.
I’m gonna stop here before I start punching myself in the face. Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, who is well on his way to punching his ticket to immortal Meet The Matts superstardom or, as we call it around here, total obscurity.