Wednesday, September 5, 2012

No Mercy

You had to see the photo coming after the title. Yes, Sensei?

Alright, I know this is late, but I had to figure out a way to explain my cause and such. This particular kind of topic is something along the lines of taboo or absolutely unnecessary nonsense. Honestly, the beliefs on this vary from sport to sport, but you have to admit--there had to have been at least one time where you had thought about it.

Okay. Look at this score.
I bet you're probably looking at this and saying: "Wow. That's a shame. It must have been painful to watch."

Then, you see this score.
And the first thing that goes through your head is...

Right? In my opinion, that just looks worse than any of the U.S. Men's Olympic Basketball scores from a couple of weeks ago. It also reminds me of a joke my Dad used to say that went along the lines of: "You won the game? What, the other team didn't show up?" The coach from Savannah State was quoted as saying that the game could have been much worse. Sir, I don't think that could have gotten any worse than it did. It was like watching the [insert legendary NFL team here] decimate the neighborhood peewee football team.

In particular levels of the sport, they have what is known to be the "Mercy Rule" in order to prevent absolute blowouts and embarrassment of the losing team. If you had watched the Little League World Series between Japan and Tennessee, you saw it go into effect after ten runs against Tennessee. I remember playing softball and being on either end of the Mercy Rule at times, and I think it enforced sportsmanship among the players and coaches. In retrospect, I wish they did that for my basketball team from ten years ago; a girl on the other team who was the best player heckled me and she deserved a roundhouse kick to her snaggle-tooth. See? It's not fun getting your brains bashed in by another team, especially when there's an obvious mismatch.

I know the NCAA has enough on their hands, especially when it comes to requests for college agency, scholarships, boosters, and Penn State, but I would think that this is something to look into. A lot of coaches may make something like a blowout an acceptable learning experience for the team, but there are just some times where you just want the bleeding to stop and prevent any further frustration and possible injury from trying too hard. In a sport like football, it can be incredibly detrimental for athletes to overexert themselves especially when the future efforts are futile to the overall momentum and score of the game. Of course, people are going to disagree with me strictly on the fact that it's just football and they signed up to keep pushing on and the mercy rule is for babies. Um, think of the babies. If your friend or child or sibling were out there getting pummeled and is not doing any positive push against it, then you'd kind of grow some pity for them.

From the college football games I have watched in the past, I've noticed that it is not uncommon to see a team beat their opponent by at least 30-40 points. In all seriousness, if it's a team I'm not really invested in, I just turn it off after a while because it's just not exciting to me anymore. When the lead is over a certain amount, I honestly think the game should stop or that the opposing team getting beaten badly is able to start at a certain yard line as a perk or an added bonus to keep the game closer.

Let's try straightening this out. Let's suggest this for NCAA Football and make a sort of "Mercy Rule:"

The NCAAF Mercy Rule goes into effect if:
1. If, at any point, a team is facing a deficit of 30 points or more, a touchback places them at the 40-yard line.
2. If a team is facing a deficit of over 56 points by halftime or over 40 points by the end of the third quarter, the game ends. This is assuming that the losing team has scored under 20 points in their offensive drives.

I think it would add a bit more of fluidity to the aspect of college football, and it would prevent these massive blowouts from occurring way too frequently through the years.

In conclusion, the whole idea of "no mercy" makes sense when you're playing a strong rival; however, it isn't fair to some unranked teams that just want to make a good showing and are prevented from doing so. Enforcing some sort of rule to stop merciless beating in sports may be a good idea. When it comes to something such as baseball or hockey, it's difficult to do that because of their easier shifts in momentum. While baseball isn't timed in a sense, hockey is much more fast-paced and can definitely change on a dime within seconds. There is much more time to regain strength in sports such as those. Since there is designated possession periods in football, sometimes it can be too much and the other team may never seem to have a chance.

I'm a peace-loving fellow that happens to love sports. Let's make peace among teams that can easily be brutalized. Does that sound good to you?


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