Miscellaneous Rumbles

Should All Pro Sports Be One & Done?

1

My son and I were talking about the NHL & NBA Finals, both of which started this week. We both decided that at every other level of those sports, tournaments are one & done. Only some pro sports drag things out to 7 games.

Of course the usual answer is money - TV & the owners and the players have a vested interest in more games. But that's not true always. The Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event in the US and the World Cup worldwide. Both are one game for the championship, with massive TV audiences. March Madness is a pretty big money maker too, and it's win or go home.

If you're a basketball fan wouldn't you love a one game Final, LeBron vs. Steph, bring your best game? No tomorrow. I assume many players would prefer that, easier on the body, extreme competition. (Others of course would cringe, seeking safety in numbers, avoiding ignominy like Scott Norwood. But that's why they make the big bucks.) TV could charge massive advertising fees like the Super Bowl, and owners could jack up prices on tickets and all the other stuff.

What do you think?

2

It's all about the money. More butts in seats is more revenue. Simple.

Biggest one day event in sports is the Indy 500.

3

Wow, was having the exact same conversation two days ago.

The answer isn't really just money. Take baseball for instance. We accept that baseball has a World Series because throughout the season the teams do play series against each other. Plus the idea of a pitching staff makes a seven game series a necessity. One team with a great ace would most likely always win the championship if it were a one game winner take all scenario.

We all love the idea of hockey and basketball playing series. In hockey the physical nature of the game creates a rising intensity with each game. A cheap shot from game one is still in play in game six. Hockey is the ultimate sport for an argument against a one and done championship.

Basketball....I don't agree with you about the NCAA tournament being better than the pros playing series. Ever watch one of those smaller conference tournaments? Some of them have a best of three for the finals. One and done throughout the tournament but the finals is a series. Can you imagine how great it would be if March Madness were run that way? Saturday would be game one: Duke v Kansas, Sunday would be game two...we see the rivalry, we note the players playing well, we still curse the bad calls and stupid shots as we get into the final game played on a Tuesday night. Far better than a one and done in which a lesser team can squeak out a win.

A series is like a good book...the previous chapters lead us to that great final chapter. One and done is just a lame short story.

4

I enjoy the multi-game format rather than a one game knockout because a minimum of best 2 out of 3 takes the aspect of players or teams having a 'bad day' out of the series outcome. Making the winning of at least 2 games to either move on or play for the championship ensures the best team won. I'd like to see this as the minimum for the 4 pro sports....the only 4 that count.

As applied to hockey, the playoff format also allows the endurance of the athletes to play a large role in the outcome of the series. We hear how the collisions endured in the NFL are akin to being in a traffic accident as far as shock to the body is concerned and it's a valid comparison, but in hockey, the champions have to win 16 more games than the regular season which is almost an entire NFL regular season!....and they both play pre-season games as well. And no Stanley Cup winners have ever only played 16 playoff games; there's the possibility of having to play 28 games to win 16!! Hockey needs a multi-game format. Personally I'd like to see best 3 out of 5, but the money is too good to see a reduction in games.

Baseball absolutely requires a best of 7 format given the fact the game of baseball changes pitchers every game so the only way to determine a champion is to test the depth of each team's pitching staff over multiple games while simultaneously determining which team's batters are the best at adjusting to different starting pitchers. And then there's the middle relievers - which team is stronger here and finally the closer. All this needs a multi-game format to see who truly prevails.

I don't enjoy the NBA but it also needs at least a best 3 out of 5 to overcome that 'had a bad day' effect I described earlier.

5

Back in the day MLB had 2 Leagues, and a 7 game World Series. Now, we have potentially 30 more games to watch. Best 3 out of 5 works well the 1st 2 rounds...reduces 12 games...(they used to do that).

Hockey and NBA should do the same...reduces 24 games.

Double-Elimination, in a Round Robin, gets the whole field sorted out quickly. All 3 Leagues should try that some year...every Round the Field shrinks.

NCAA BBall is great in that it just doesn't matter what the seeding, you have to win 6, more if a Play-In.

6

Teams that win a conference in the NFL should have to play the same number of games as the other teams to win the Super Bowl. Having an extra week off from "full contact football" is too great of an advantage.

The term "anybody can win '1' game applies," and besides "$$$," playing a series in the other big sports truly does crown a champ, simply because "anyone can win '1' game."

I'd say the Stanley Cup is by far the hardest to win, and I do love the playoffs. It's so great to watch for 2 months of the season.

The Super Bowl is great to watch if it's a good game. If it's not, then we're all out of luck because you only live once!

I say "NO" to the "one and done" idea. Too bad one full football game is so hard on the bodies of the players. I'd like to see a "best of 3" in the NFL playoffs, but that would never happen.

...------

7

I saw a report last night that the NHL finals brought 10 million in commerce into Western PA just for game 2. That's only one game, so a series is a bad thing?

I work in downtown Pittsburgh and the vibe is pretty electric right now. It's fun and a welcome break from the hard times we've experienced in the region.

8

I would love sports if it was only a seven game playoff season.

Then, every game would be played with the intensity of, say baseball's 180 game season, and no one would be bored by it. Every player would be playing his utmost, and there'd be no doubt as to who won the game fair and square.

9

Teams that win a conference in the NFL should have to play the same number of games as the other teams to win the Super Bowl. Having an extra week off from "full contact football" is too great of an advantage.

The term "anybody can win '1' game applies," and besides "$$$," playing a series in the other big sports truly does crown a champ, simply because "anyone can win '1' game."

I'd say the Stanley Cup is by far the hardest to win, and I do love the playoffs. It's so great to watch for 2 months of the season.

The Super Bowl is great to watch if it's a good game. If it's not, then we're all out of luck because you only live once!

I say "NO" to the "one and done" idea. Too bad one full football game is so hard on the bodies of the players. I'd like to see a "best of 3" in the NFL playoffs, but that would never happen.

...------

– indianation65

I completely agree that in such a full contact/violent sport as football, conference winners have an unfair advantage with a week off. Their reward should be to play the wildcard teams, those that just barely made it into the post season. While the playoffs would become interminably long if every match-up were a best of 3 - to avoid the "anyone can win one game" scenario - I'd like to see it for the Super Bowl. And it would only extend the season by [possibly] one week not two as you'd eliminate that stupid extra week off. If a team wins the first two, the season would end at the same time basically.

As for the issue of the season having to go longer, they could solve the issue by all but eliminating pre-season games that fans largely ignore - no one wants to see second stringer play - and the starters hate playing. They hate playing because the guys on the other team fighting for a job play particularly tough, especially against top players to impress their coach and this tends to increase the rate of injury.

10

The length of a playoff series really doesn't matter to me.

But to me it would make more sense to limit the number of games in a regular season-- Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey all have ridiculously long regular seasons, and for what? Just to jockey for a playoff spot?

Baseball-- 162 games, Basketball-- 82 games, and Hockey-- 82 games, which is kind of stupid, unless you're going to play every single team in the league at least TWICE before a league playoff series. However, scheduling almost always tends to be weighted toward playing mostly the same teams in your own division over & over & over.

11

Whenever the idea of shortening the Season or the Playoffs gets brought up, the League, the Owners, and the Players typically sing the same tune...More$$$!!!

The Off Week during the Season idea was an outcome of how much abuse is the limit for the modern, science developed, human body.

12

An off-week during the season for hockey players??? Not a chance for me. Suck it up princess. The reason for the need for an off week is due to 3 factors, 2 of which aren't controllable while 1 is. The punishment their bodies take is largely due to today's overall size of players compared to 20-30 years ago combined with the high speed they play at, which is due to today's tremendous conditioning. These two factors alone produce more and most punishment on the body. The days of the slow skater and by extension goons, is dead and buried. Some of today's 4th liners are faster and better than some first liners 20 years ago! The 3rd factor accounting for injuries has two facets. Equipment has evolved from the minimal amount I played with to the body armor used today. It's a double pronged problem in that this equipment attached to a large human moving at much higher speeds than years ago will deliver a lot more energy to the person being hit and because the players are so equipped, they have a feeling of invincibility so they 'attack' other players with impunity. This is a controllable factor regarding injuries in that if they reduced the allowable equipment to what was available in say Gretzky's first year, players would be aware quickly that if they take a big run at someone, there's an equal chance of them getting hurt as the guy they're hitting! And it would sure stop all this hateful shot blocking! Take away all this body armor and see how many guys continue to fall in front of these blasts from the point! Take a 90+ mph shot that breaks 2 ribs and that's you done for months....and you won't be doing that again!!

While the equipment is an issue that could help prevent a lot of injuries, one thing that they'd never consider is eliminating helmets. This issue is solely responsible for all this careless use of the stick we see today, the invulnerable feeling. And let's be honest, the helmets, even those with the visors don't prevent facial injuries and only cut down on a few of them. Years ago there was respect for the fact a stick could do terrible injury and so players played more carefully. Today they consider it a weapon to use and get away with everything they can. A no helmet rule would also help with the shot-blocking BS. The goalie is equipped to take the energy of the puck so let him stop the shot!!, and let him be the only one to wear a mask/helmet.

13

Did you miss the NHL Off Week this Season?

The CBA required 5 full uninterrupted days...not even a Tweet or an Email!

14

I just consider this week off - babying the players - as an affront to the fans in each local market. Overall, at least here in Canada we certainly don't miss a certain team not playing as we get so many games on TV we continue to have a hockey 'fix' available.

Here in Vancouver I couldn't wait for the season to end so the local sport's radio stations would stop yammering on about the pathetic Canucks. Actually more about what the management needed to do moving forward. Wishful thinking really, especially this year with the added expansion draft and the regular draft.

15

An off-week during the season for hockey players??? Not a chance for me. Suck it up princess. The reason for the need for an off week is due to 3 factors, 2 of which aren't controllable while 1 is. The punishment their bodies take is largely due to today's overall size of players compared to 20-30 years ago combined with the high speed they play at, which is due to today's tremendous conditioning. These two factors alone produce more and most punishment on the body. The days of the slow skater and by extension goons, is dead and buried. Some of today's 4th liners are faster and better than some first liners 20 years ago! The 3rd factor accounting for injuries has two facets. Equipment has evolved from the minimal amount I played with to the body armor used today. It's a double pronged problem in that this equipment attached to a large human moving at much higher speeds than years ago will deliver a lot more energy to the person being hit and because the players are so equipped, they have a feeling of invincibility so they 'attack' other players with impunity. This is a controllable factor regarding injuries in that if they reduced the allowable equipment to what was available in say Gretzky's first year, players would be aware quickly that if they take a big run at someone, there's an equal chance of them getting hurt as the guy they're hitting! And it would sure stop all this hateful shot blocking! Take away all this body armor and see how many guys continue to fall in front of these blasts from the point! Take a 90+ mph shot that breaks 2 ribs and that's you done for months....and you won't be doing that again!!

While the equipment is an issue that could help prevent a lot of injuries, one thing that they'd never consider is eliminating helmets. This issue is solely responsible for all this careless use of the stick we see today, the invulnerable feeling. And let's be honest, the helmets, even those with the visors don't prevent facial injuries and only cut down on a few of them. Years ago there was respect for the fact a stick could do terrible injury and so players played more carefully. Today they consider it a weapon to use and get away with everything they can. A no helmet rule would also help with the shot-blocking BS. The goalie is equipped to take the energy of the puck so let him stop the shot!!, and let him be the only one to wear a mask/helmet.

– Windsordave

The argument around the counter-intuitive effect of equipment actually increasing injuries is also true in football. Take the helmet off and you wouldn't see such dangerous high tackling. Lead with your head then once and you'd be in a wheelchair for life. (Ask Marc Buoniconti about that.) Protective equipment should be only for guarding against inadvertent contact, like a puck to the head. Rugby is a violent sport with injuries but not the numbers seen in American football.

16

The length of a playoff series really doesn't matter to me.

But to me it would make more sense to limit the number of games in a regular season-- Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey all have ridiculously long regular seasons, and for what? Just to jockey for a playoff spot?

Baseball-- 162 games, Basketball-- 82 games, and Hockey-- 82 games, which is kind of stupid, unless you're going to play every single team in the league at least TWICE before a league playoff series. However, scheduling almost always tends to be weighted toward playing mostly the same teams in your own division over & over & over.

– Tartan Phantom

This is a bigger issue. There is nothing more soul deadening than game #150 in a baseball season for a team with no chance of the playoffs.

Of course players want it both ways. They complain about how long the season is and demand more time off, but won't even talk about fewer games.

The preseason in all professional sports is an anachronism from the days when players didn't train in the offseason, those games could definitely be curtailed or eliminated. (College football teams don't play preseason games at all, just practices.)

17

I just consider this week off - babying the players - as an affront to the fans in each local market. Overall, at least here in Canada we certainly don't miss a certain team not playing as we get so many games on TV we continue to have a hockey 'fix' available.

Here in Vancouver I couldn't wait for the season to end so the local sport's radio stations would stop yammering on about the pathetic Canucks. Actually more about what the management needed to do moving forward. Wishful thinking really, especially this year with the added expansion draft and the regular draft.

– Windsordave

The week off for the Wild, which came around shortly after the break for the All-Star game, likely derailed their season. They were first in the division, among the best records in the NHL before those breaks, came back, lost to Chicago twice within a few days and the season slipped away then.

18

This is a bigger issue. There is nothing more soul deadening than game #150 in a baseball season for a team with no chance of the playoffs.

Of course players want it both ways. They complain about how long the season is and demand more time off, but won't even talk about fewer games.

The preseason in all professional sports is an anachronism from the days when players didn't train in the offseason, those games could definitely be curtailed or eliminated. (College football teams don't play preseason games at all, just practices.)

– drmilktruck

You're absolutely right on both counts: pre-season play is living in the past. Coaches will argue they need it to evaluate the rookies in an actual game, but given the conditioning requirements and today's drills, that's become weak reasoning.

Baseball is the one sport most in need of cutting back the number of games. They could begin by eliminating 4 game series. Cut them all back to 3 games and I don't believe you'd hurt the status quo regarding competitiveness. Your reference to game 150 and all it implies is so true. The only thing going for the fans at that point is that different pitchers pitch every day so there's hope for wins. Hockey and football doesn't have that facet so when they're play is dead it's dead and there's no hope of recovering....same quarterback, same goalie so no change to hang your hat on as a fan.

With hockey, I'd eliminate this week off nonsense and shorten all the playoff series to best 3 out of 5. Possibly leave the finals to 4 out of 7. Hockey has to end by the 3rd week of May, not just for the fans but for the players too. Teams that go deep into the playoffs barely get any time off before training camp is on them and they have to train before that starts! Basically no time off for their entire career. They all need to have a month to just chill - work out lightly and of course watch their diet - as they're humans, not machines and need some down time. Their bodies, unlike soccer players!!, take a tremendous beating, not even injuries, and are screaming for some time to recover. The teams players getting to the finals are all used up. They've got no fat left and not near the endurance they had earlier on and these teams need the rest the most.

19

I agree that it's about money, but how do you arrive at a championship with nothing but one contest?? No league worth mentioning just crowns a team without the others having a chance.

20

I agree that it's about money, but how do you arrive at a championship with nothing but one contest?? No league worth mentioning just crowns a team without the others having a chance.

– Parralax View

I assume you're referring to a whole tournament, as the NFL, NCAA and the World Cup finals are one game. I'm arguing that each matchup would be a single elimination game, rather than a series.

I think the argument that it's not fair to have one game as it makes it more unpredictable and what if someone has a bad game. Well, that's the point. It is unpredictable, that the selling point. As for the other, if you can't bring your A game when you need to, you're not much of a player. Injuries don't count either as that's a problem in a series too.

It's just a thought experiment, not a serious proposal, although if I was the sports czar, that's what I'd decree.

21

Your point is well made but the one sport it doesn't apply to is baseball. All the other sports have essentially a set lineup whereas baseball as I explained earlier, is a contest where the pitching staff rotates and the entire season is premised on series with another team, with a different starting pitcher each game for the entire schedule.

While I do enjoy series style play, except for baseball, I don't like the best 4 out of 7 for all the playoffs leading up to the final series.

22

Your point is well made but the one sport it doesn't apply to is baseball. All the other sports have essentially a set lineup whereas baseball as I explained earlier, is a contest where the pitching staff rotates and the entire season is premised on series with another team, with a different starting pitcher each game for the entire schedule.

While I do enjoy series style play, except for baseball, I don't like the best 4 out of 7 for all the playoffs leading up to the final series.

– Windsordave

Baseball would be an exception I agree, but not longer than 3 games. Even though the Twins won their two World Series titles using their ace throwing games 1,4,7, I'd want to avoid that.


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