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Norman Chad: Making sports better with New Year’s revolutions, not resolutions

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 31, 2018, 5:26 p.m.

A PEEPS-branded Zamboni machine is unveiled at the Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey game in Allentown, Penn. on Sunday, March 22, 2015. (Mark Stehle / Associated Press)
A PEEPS-branded Zamboni machine is unveiled at the Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey game in Allentown, Penn. on Sunday, March 22, 2015. (Mark Stehle / Associated Press)
By Norman Chad Syndicated columnist

I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions; rather, I believe in New Year’s revolutions.

We need change – radical change – and we need it now, so in 2019 please join Couch Slouch as we make Sports Nation a better place:

Hockey: They absolutely, positively have to get rid of two intermissions; that’s one intermission too many. Granted, as a charter member of Enlarged Prostates Anonymous, I understand the benefit of having a second evening break to stand in a long restroom line at a cold arena, but most people would just prefer to get home 20 minutes earlier.

Who wants to sit in Canadian Tire Centre through two intermissions?

You know why no one produces “Hamlet” anymore? It’s five acts! That’s four intermissions. By the time Ophelia has drowned, half of America would be home wandering Netflix for the latest Jim Jefferies stand-up special.

And don’t give me this Zamboni hooey that they need two intermissions to resurface the ice. Balderdash. The Rink at Rockefeller Center in New York is open 15 1/2 hours a day with a gazillion skaters and I never see them resurfacing; there’s been chewing gum stuck to that ice since 1979.

Tennis: Love? Love??? And 15-30-40? No, no, no, no, no. What type of codswallop is this? I might be able to live with 15-30-45, but 15-30-40? You have to be high to come up with that scoring system, and cannabis wasn’t widely available in 19th-century England.

First one to four points, leading by two, wins the game. HOW HARD IS THAT?

On an unrelated note, professional tennis should become the first sport to step back on over-officiating. Get rid of the chair umpire, get rid of line officials, get rid of replay. Let the competitors call everything on their own, like the rest of us do when we play. The honor system will help make America relatively great again.

Gambling: I am tired of this system in which, when you place a wager with a bookie or a sports book, you have to risk $110 to win $100. Really? You win $100 if you are correct and the other guy wins $110 if he is correct? DOESN’T SOUND RIGHT TO ME.

Would you patronize a bank in which, if you deposit $110, when you want to withdraw it they only give you $100?

(Actually, it’s possible that Wells Fargo and Bank of America already do this.)

When boxers box, one fella doesn’t get to use 12-ounce gloves and the other 8-ounce gloves. Let’s make it a fair fight with these sports books – a dollar for a dollar. This 10 percent vigorish is too much; that’s why they drive Cadillacs and we drive Camrys.

Soccer: Injury time, extra time, whatever you call it, why should this be a mystery for the ages? I love the running clock – without even knowing it, I used one during my second marriage – but there’s no reason the referee shouldn’t stop the clock for injuries. That’s the added time anyway, no?

This way – follow me here, soccer purists – at all points of the match, everyone will know exactly how much time remains, like every other sport on the planet Earth.*

* If there is life on Mars, I guarantee you every sport there allows players and Martian spectators to know how much time is left in all games.

Bowling: It’s time to supersize the game – I’m talking 12 frames! More frames, more fun! More frames, more beer frames! Heck, at least two per game – double the Yuengling!!!

As it is now, if you’re trailing by 37 pins in the eighth frame, game over. But if you’re trailing by 37 pins in the eighth frame of a 12-frame match, game on! More frames, more comebacks!

In addition, 12 frames instead of 10 makes the game a better bargain; with bowling prices spiraling, that gives us more bang for our buck. Then again, come to think of it, bowling centers would just increase prices by at least 20 percent.

Oh, never mind.

Coffee: Yeah, I know it’s a sports column, but we all live in the real world, too. So, in 2019, let’s start a java coup d’etat. Barista, shmarista; vendi, shmendi. Just Say No To Starbucks! Bring back real coffee shops with real china cups. I miss the sounds of “Can I top you off?” The revolution is a lot of work; a refill here and there will keep us keepin’ on.

Ask The Slouch

Q. Do you think Rick Pitino’s coaching job with Panathinaikos in Greece will lead him back to America and the NBA? (Kyle Sullivan; Houston)

A. For the record, this marks Pitino’s fifth pro basketball head coaching job, after stints with the New York Knicks (1987-89), Kentucky (1989-97), Boston Celtics (1997-2001) and Louisville (2001-17).

Q. Why do you want sports on TV if it gets you so upset? (Adam Miller Jr.; Tempe, Ariz.)

A. Would you prefer me to watch home-decorating shows on TV and get upset?

Q. With R*dsk*ns owner Daniel Snyder firing his marketing executives on the day after Christmas, does that leave the Federal Reserve as the only Washington group capable of raising interest rates? (Terry Golden; Vienna, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

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