Monday, March 22, 2010

Unsolicited Advice to the NCAA

Nobody asked me, but I have some suggestions to the NCAA about improving their national collegiate basketball tournament. It runs like a well-oiled machine, and the crew at CBS Sports does a great job of bringing us the action, capturing the highlights, and making sure we’re able to see exciting finishes with “live look-ins”. But there are some things which need attention.

First, the NCAA should force teams like the UW to put the players’ names on the back of their uniforms. I know, I know – all that crap about “there are no individual stars, we’re one team united”, but the NCAA should put its very large foot down and insist that the names be on the uniforms. I follow the team, but not closely, and I don’t have their uniform numbers memorized. I suspect I am not alone in this deficiency.

I think the NCAA should encourage players to get as many tattoos as possible, and there should be some sort of award for the player that has the highest percentage of available skin tattooed. Maybe they could make the “team tattoo percentage” part of the arcane RPI, which nobody understands anyway. CBS could do little feature-ettes having players explain what each of their tattoos stands for.

It might be fun to have the NCAA encourage every player to wear one of those long “sleeve” thingys that stretches from the armpit to the wrist. Only one arm would be allowed, though. A player could wear one on both arms, but, if any player on a given team decided to do that, the game could start with a bench technical being assessed, and the opposing team would get a free throw.

Longer and baggier pants could be encouraged, too.

While the games are often very exciting, some of them, particularly in the first round, a blowouts. If such a game happened, rather than doing live look-ins exclusively at other games in progress, CBS could do live look-ins at random house parties happening on the campuses of participating schools.

Also, if any given game started to drag, CBS could have a library of still photos of Bo Ryan available for the announcers to comment on. Bo is one of the most facially expressive coaches in college hoops, and perhaps a contest of sorts could be held between the play-by-play announcer and the color commentator to try and guess where any given shot of Bo’s facial dynamics was taken.

“Oh, that’s Bo reacting when he thought there should have been a foul called on the opposing team – I’m pretty sure it was when the Badgers were playing at Illinois in 2006.” You get the idea.

To prevent runaway games in the first round, the NCAA could commission some hi-tech company to develop a basketball which could be inflated and deflated by the referees. If the refs felt one team was scoring too easily, they could slightly deflate the ball to make it harder to dribble, handle, and shoot; and when the opposing team had the ball, it could be re-inflated. When the score got close again, they’d lay off the device.

Just some ideas…after all, nothing’s so good it can’t be made better.

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