By Drew Markol, TSN Contributor - Archive - Email
Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Why did they have to go and ban the belly putter?

Was it really hurting anybody?

No, I'm not talking about the PGA Tour guys. They could putt with a horseshoe and make more than we do. I'm talking about us regular guys and ladies who play golf for fun.

Folks who never have, and never will, spin the ball on the green; folks who when they hit a draw, it's really a slice in disguise.

Why mess with us? Golf is hard, really hard. If it takes us putting a pole in our stomachs to make a three-foot putt, so be it.

But come Jan. 1, 2016, we won't be allowed to do so. That's just not right, but I guess we'll have to live with it.

However, while we're on the subject, there are a lot of things wrong with sports that haven't been addressed that should be changed. Changes that would help the sports fan, not hurt the sports fan who only wants to break 90 once in awhile.

But we'll get off golf's back for a moment (well, one more thing: why can we use drivers with heads the size of pumpkins and not a belly putter? Odd).

Let's look at some other sports that could use some tinkering to what it does:

The NFL: A good place to start. We won't get into player safety here, that's for another day, just some ideas.

- The goalposts. They're too wide. The kickers rarely miss. Make field goals harder and narrow the posts. It would be simple to do and would make the game more interesting.

- Enough with the three timeouts per half for each team. You can keep the two- minute warning, but slice one time out from each team. Television timeouts only add another crutch. Teams, and coaches, can learn to adapt to one less.

And while we're at it, do the same in the NBA. Is there even a limit on how many timeouts NBA teams get to use? It doesn't seem like there is. You should get two per half, that's it. And the 20-second timeout, bye bye.

- And sticking with the NBA, please start calling the walk. The stars can take as many steps as they like and you never hear a whistle. Please, have the referees have the guts to make the call.

- Finally, and we'll get away from the NBA, raise the rim to 11 feet. Do it gradually, at the lowest levels (junior high to start), and eventually bring it to the NBA. You'll also bring back the jump shot, too, because of it.

In baseball, interleague play needs to go. The novelty wore off long ago. I know you have 15 teams in each league now, and need it so everybody has somebody to play, but I wish there were a better way.

- And kill off the DH while we're making things better.

The NHL? Simple. No more fighting. How stupid that league looks every time there's a fight is astounding. I know, I know, some of the fans love it. What does that say about them?

- Also, kill off half of the regular season. This 48-game deal was great for the fans and the players. Not so great for the owners, surely, but not everybody will be happy with everything.

And, finally, college football. Cut out at least half of the bowl games. We'll still manage to live without them.

- And don't let any team have more than six home games. Go see the world, or at least your neighbors.

- And of those six home games, the big boys can't schedule the little boys (no FBS teams playing FCS teams just so the little guys get a big paycheck). That's just wrong.

But so is banning the belly putter. Weird things, sports.

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