Dan Fauts

Dan Fauts

An old man rant 

As you have probably figured out, I watch a lot of sports. Like, it’s kind of the only thing I do anymore. Quite frankly, I don’t have a lot of options right now — live music is out, all my favorite restaurants only offer takeout and, well, I didn’t really like going to the movies all that much anyway. So, I watch sports as much as I can, sometimes for six, seven, eight … 10 hours a day. Hey, it gets me through, what can I say? 

As I watch multiple games a day, I draw certain conclusions and I wanted to share one with you today. Basketball is the only sport that has improved over the past 5-10 years. I am talking about the way they play the game. While I am sure this irks basketball purists who hope for set offenses and still rail against the three-point line, bear with me. 

Basketball players in 2020 are simply better at the game than their predecessors. When I was a kid and basketball was my favorite sport, a guy would be considered good if he shot 40 percent from the 3-point line.

Now, guys shoot 40 percent from 30 feet and beyond. That’s eight feet behind the line! Also, have you noticed the 7-footers, like Anthony Davis, who handle the ball and pass like the point guards of old? Seriously, if you enjoy the individual aspects of the game, then this is as good as it’s ever been. The guys who are playing right now are simply amazing. 

I cannot say the same for baseball. Seriously, it is almost unwatchable at this point. The game has devolved into what is basically just a home run hitting contest, which I want no part. Someone, please, take advantage of those extreme shifts and start hitting the ball the other way! Where is Wade Boggs or Tony Gwynn when you need them? I really think the game has suffered because of sabermetrics and all their numbers. I will never believe that a player going one for five with four strikeouts and a home run is somehow more productive than a guy getting three to four hits in a game, even if all those hits were singles. You put the ball in play and things happen. That’s what my Little League coach always told me, anyway. 

Sadly, the same goes for football at both levels. The college game suffers from the read option, which is a boring offense. Is he going to hand off? Is he going to keep the ball and throw a short pass? Who cares? It’s also irritating that almost every team runs this very same offense. 

Back in the day there was so much variation in the offenses college teams ran and it made watching different teams from across the country so much fun, because who knew what they were going to do? Some never passed. Some passed all the time. It was fantastic! Now, they all basically do the same thing — the only difference being how effective they are at doing it. So why bother ever changing the channel? 

The preferred offense in the NFL is also a problem for me. They throw way too many short passes, which is also boring. I guess this is just the evolution of the old west coast offense which theorized short passes were more effective than running the ball. Well, maybe that’s true, maybe it isn’t. But I don’t have to agree with it either way. Someone, please, run a power sweep and then chuck the ball down the field 50 yards to some speedy receiver! Where is Ken Stabler or Dan Fouts when you need them?

You notice I didn’t say a word about hockey, because hockey remains perfect. And so, ends my rant. Now excuse me, I have to go chase some neighborhood kids off my lawn. 

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