Game Planning

November 02, 2015

THERE HAS been talk lately about turning college basketball into a one-semester sport, giving the best players a fighting chance to learn what a semester is. The idea, proposed by many and supported recently by Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, is great, but why stop there? With a little imagination, a calendar and a sharp pencil, we can improve every sport's season.

NFL

The preseason is hereby canceled forever, and anybody who objects goes to prison. The playoffs will never expand. Browns games will no longer be televised. There will be no Thursday games, because most players can't even feel their extremities until Friday.

The Super Bowl will always be one week after the conference championship games, and always in New Orleans. So that we don't have to endure three months of hype, the draft will be held on Valentine's Day, forcing men to choose between their one true love and their wives.

MLB

The season gets cut from 162 to 154 games, so it starts in April and ends in October. The All-Star Game stays in July, but no longer decides home field advantage for the World Series. That goes to the team with the best record.

Every team will play a doubleheader, at single-game prices, on the Saturday closest to Sept. 17, the anniversary of Ernie Banks's debut. The next day will be an open date so that teams can make up rainouts. The draft will continue to be held in May, or June, or whenever it is.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Teams play 11 games, not 12. All will be held on campuses, on Saturdays, while school is in session. The College Football Playoff championship game will be on Jan. 1, under a setting sun in the Rose Bowl, as our Founding Fathers intended.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

The season tips off the day after Christmas, with one massive tournament in Maui, featuring the 64 teams that had the highest GPA that fall. Teams play three games per week for 10 weeks, then finish with the NCAA tournament.

NBA

The season will begin on Christmas Day, with the All-Star Game. All-Stars will be determined by jersey sales during the holiday season. When the All-Star Game ends, participants will be barred from socializing with one another until the conclusion of the Finals in June. The season will be 50 games rather than 82. The draft lottery will take place in the bedroom of the owner of the worst team, which will be ineligible to win the top pick.

NHL

The season opens with a single Winter Classic outdoor game on Jan. 1, which always features at least one Canadian team. Instead of 82 games, teams will play 50, to bring some of the tension of the best postseason in sports to the regular season.

To reduce the number of upsets in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the higher-seeded team gets to host five of the seven games. The higher-seeded team's doctor gets to examine the lower-seeded team's players, to determine who is really injured.

GOLF

We'll leave the majors where they are, but the Ryder Cup winner gets to host the next Ryder Cup. Augusta National will hold a women's Masters the week before the men's event; the winner gets free club membership for life.

TENNIS

The Grand Slam events stay where they are, but the Davis Cup becomes a one-week, Ryder Cup--style event, with the best players in Europe taking on the best players in the rest of the world.

OLYMPICS

They will continue to be held every four years, but instead of moving around the world, the Summer Games will be on a soundstage in Hollywood. The Winter Olympics will be awarded to the country that makes the best hot chocolate.

SOCCER

No changes. Americans are not yet qualified to tell the world what should happen in soccer.

See? Sports are better now. You're welcome. The only problem is that these changes will cost various leagues some money; by my calculations the total will be $417 billion. I think we should all chip in. My new calendar tells me you should go first.

In an improved sports world there would be no NFL games on Thursday, because most players can't even feel their extremities until Friday.

How would you alter the sports calendar? Join the discussion on Twitter by using #SIPointAfter and following @Rosenberg_Mike

PHOTOCARLOS M. SAAVEDRA FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ILLUSTRATION

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)