The kids got some rules right

Over the weekend, I cleared off my desk and took it all home, with goals of shredding what I didn’t need and only taking back what I needed for the office.

As usual, I rediscover enough supplies to keep alive the dream I will someday open up my own stationery store, which I would call, “Kevin’s House O’ Half-Full Pens and Five-Sheet Notebooks.”

Other than that, the return shipment was light — a clipboard full of rubber bands to hold stat sheets in place, a few football programs and three issues of “Sports Illustrated for Kids.”

I don’t really skew that young, to be honest. A coworker randomly found the issues while doing some home cleaning, and slapped them on my desk because he thought I would appreciate the history involved in the issues spanning 1991 through 1993.

The issues followed a pretty standard format:

• A story dedicated to kids who were really good in sports that I didn’t particularly care about. “Ooh, they like running. Yeah, my family drives.”

• A debate on a sports question, with arguments from kids.

• A “What’s the Call?” trivia section, where you play the ref and tell us why Bobby didn’t win the game when he leaped, landed and then made the basket.

My favorite story brought back memories, though, because I read it when it first came out and found it ridiculous. It was a smorgasbord of suggestions from kids about rules they would make to improve professional sports. Some of them are genius, and some look like they came from kids.

• “Football: Form a pro league for kids.” Shhh, it’s called Division I.

• “Football: Use instant replay to help officials make the correct call.” Did it. It’s still not working.

• “Baseball: Have American and National League teams play one another during the regular season.” Did it.

• “Baseball: Give homefield advantage in the World Series to the team with the better regular-season record.” Wow, how incredibly stupid and arbitrary, kids. We actually give homefield advantage to the team that belongs to the league that won an exhibition game in the middle of the summer where nobody plays for more than three innings.

• “Basketball: Players who are fouled get to shoot free throws until they miss.” I can just see the story now: “League scoring champion Mark Price led Cleveland to the title with a record 189 points on 0-for-1 shooting from the field and 189-of-193 shooting from the line, and said he was happy the Cavaliers survived the 12-hour Game 6.” Just kidding, Cleveland would never win a title.

• “All sports: Toughen the penalties for drug use.” This wasn’t even a steroid thing. Very prescient.

• “Baseball: Make it possible to throw umpires out of the game.” Great, but who gets to throw them out? I say name a random seat number before the game. That guy gets to throw the ump out.

Actually, I have a better rule. I get tickets for life. In my luxury suite. It’ll just be a tax write-off from “Kevin’s House O’ Half-Full Pens and Five-Sheet Notebooks.”

 

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Clovis Media Inc. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by email:

kwilson@cnjonline.com

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