… Is it time for all sports to adjust their dimensions to accommodate the new millennium athlete? Baltusrol, the site of this week’s PGA Championship, is the 4th “major” this year to significantly lengthen its playing area to better challenge the “big hitters” of golf. 60’6” … 10’ … 100 yards … whatever the hell a soccer goal is … restrictor plates … etc. Are these sacrosanct “dimensions” outmoded? BobLee looks at some possible modifications who’s time may be right. …. and we go thru our mailbag about Ersky and those poor ridiculed Indians.
The 17th hole at Baltusrol is 650 yards. Not even El Tigre or Daly or Hank Kuehne will be putting for eagles this week. Is that “a good thing”? Golf club and ball technology combined with strength and conditioning emphasis has turned the PGA Tour into a grip it & rip it show.
Hootie’s little club on Washington Road in Augusta keeps moving tees back to “Tiger-proof” their April shendig, and “that darn colored boy” keeps collecting Green Jackets. Maybe they will need to Wie-proof it soon. A 15 year old “girl” can now boom 300 yard drives. A 300 yard drive clears the back fence at most ranges. Kuehne is consistently reaching 350 which is getting close to Alan Shepherd’s moonshot.
An aside … Swaggs visited Baltusrol four years ago. Smack in middle of a rundown Jersey slum … but great view of NYC skyline. Swaggs will be at Winged Foot next week … quite cool place indeed.
Even more important to scoring is being able to hit a “scoring club” like a 9-iron 200 yards. A dozen or so PGA boomers can already do that.
Should “golf” step in and limit the equipment technology? It can be done easily enough in regulated tournament play just as NASCAR does for its races. “Iron Byron” can measure what the latest clubhead and shaft material can do and balls’ spin and compression are all determined by design. The answer is yes.
Existing courses have physical limits for redesigning holes. There is a limit to how much further back they can stretch tees. Yes, they could build monster traps and quicksand bogs in the landing areas and narrow the fairways to where a wide-shouldered fellow like Greg Norman would have to turn sideways to get by, but that turns courses into tricked-up goony golf. Giant windmills and concrete dinosaurs would be next. Trim greens to a 20 on the stimpmeter and even Donald Ross would cry foul. … Reduce the numbers of clubs allowed from 14 to 6. Does away with need for caddies and requires creative shotmaking.
Whatabout other sports?
If no one is really serious about curtailing steroids then 330’ fences with 400’ power alleys are reachable for every Punch and Judy. Does ever increasing wall banging matter to fans? Go to Nerf bats and sponge balls? Existing stadiums have limited “expansion” potential. More importantly the right to life for 3rd & 1st basemen and 3rd and 1st base coaches must be considered. Speaking as an old 1st baseman … when a pull hitting lefthander like Henry Stocks stepped to the plate, I stopped checking out the honeys in the bleachers and paid real close attention to avoid eating a horsehide. How college corner infielders survive metal bats is beyond me.
Raise the pitcher’s mound 12” ??? … have those ballmakers in Haiti put crème centers in the balls??? … Erect 30′ high nets like Arena Football and make the ball clear the net like the Green Monster? Install mini-tramps on the warning tracks for extra lift for outfielders.
All Kickoffs from the 20 and touchbacks not allowed. Narrow the goalposts by 4’. ‘Field Goals from 50+ count 4 points. Field goals from less than 30 only count 1 point. No kicking of extra points … must be a scrimmage play. Jim Knight to referee all UNC vs NCSU games through 2050 or until UNC has its own “parade”, Dickie retires, or Chuck wears Groucho glasses and a bunny suit on the sidelines … whichever comes first.
Easy one here … raise the height of the goal to 12’. Minimal costs for HydraRib or whoever to raise everything up. Sure the super high fliers will still be able to dunk but it will eliminate all the white guys and at least Yao Ming will have to leave the floor to do it. The no-dunk rule from the 70s didn’t work. Most folks call that the Lew Alcindor Rule except in West Raleigh where, of course, it’s always “about them” and it is remembered as the DT Rule.
This one rule change combined with adopting the international “trapezoid lane” would drastically change basketball. BobLee officially supports it.
Soccer & Hockey:
Increase the size of the goal mouth in both cases by at least 15%. More scoring in both sports would increase interest in these sports at least in America. Soccer hooligans in Europe and whatever their South American counterparts are called can still beat each other up and disgrace their countries. The outdoor soccer field is waaay too big. Reduce it by 20’ on both ends.
As noted in the last column, I’m not sure anything saves Hockey, but getting rid of the Michelin Man suits might help. Replace the puck with a “superball”.
No more SuperSpeedways. Nothing longer than one mile … half mile is preferable. Bristol is everybody’s favorite track for a reason. I understand that the reason for the bigger tracks is to accommodate Indy open-wheel racing. All that matters with Indy cars is seeing Danica Patrick. Put Danica in a hot pink Corvette convertible wearing Daisy Dukes, give her a half lap headstart and let the rest of the no-name whozits chase her like greyhounds in heat.
Another easy one … rig all the pools like Bond villains’ pools where you push a button and sharks, anacondas and piranhas are released into the main pool right after the starting gun. And those suits … if the chick volleyballers can wear bikinis, why not the chick swimmers? Any chick swimmer losing her top gets a 10 second reduction in her time.
Raise the net 3″ and reduce size of the racquet to 1960s dimension.
Raise all the equipment another 10’ off the floor … On “floor exercises” hide several “tiger traps” with punji sticks on the mat.
We heard from a bunch of readers on our UNC System column including three trustees at various UNC member institutions, and a number of professors (not the squirrel faction though). Everyone agreed with us that there are deep-seated problems due to rather atrocious leadership from both the crooks in state politics and the BOG flunkies.
No one should be allowed to be on the BOG if anyone in their extended families was ever named “Buffy” or “Chip” or “debuted”.
Our choice of Ersky Bowles must be viewed in a “or who else” context. Paying some headhunter $100,000 to find the Provost at Guam A&M is stupid even for the UNC BOG where the silly bar is set quite low. Readers suggested SAS’ Jim Goodnight and BOA’s Hugh McColl for the post. Neither outstanding business leader would touch that bureaucratic septic field. … If Ersky gets the job, there has to a rule that he and The Meez can never be in the same room. The testosterone overload level would be lethal.
On the Nickname Nuts … you can guess how that went. The NCAA Executrix of Diversity & Other Nonsense was pretty much given the Susie “I play racquetball” Estroff treatment. Just remember BobLee’s admonition … This has nothing to do with insulting Indians. It’s all about Dork Power for the disenfranchised societal misfits that have taken control of our college campuses. Oh, a portion of our column was read aloud to 20,000,000 kindred souls on Wednesday. Woo Hoo!
What were the FOUR names for what came out of the ground when
“Ol’ Jed was shootin at some food”?
Gotta see flick starting this Friday … The Greatest Raid … true story about rescuing GIs in Japanese prison camp in WWII. Movie will show Japs in negative light which will likely incense aforementioned disenfranchised societal misfits … who don’t really care about Japanese any more than they care about Indians.
BLS has been engaged in extended dialogue on subject of “media bias” with Executive Editor of N&O. So far our hero has NOT been called “a jack-booted Nazi” or “mind-numbed right wing talk show junkie” but talks still ongoing.
We are sympathetic to friends and family of the late arrogantly partisan news anchorman Peter Jennings. Lung cancer is a horrible disease. Petah looked good in a trenchcoat … “Miss Ellie” Ewing also died this week. No idea how she looked in a trenchcoat or what her politics were.