Monday, September 26, 2011

Two thoughts and suggestions...

On an early Monday morning, here are a couple of thoughts and suggestions.

In the past, it was never a problem of having football games start at 7:30 p.m. That was, of course, before the dreaded spread formation caught on and teams started passing way too much.

Former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes said, "There are three things that can happen when you pass the ball, and two of them aren't good." And that did not even take into consideration three-or four hour games.

Now, many teams pass the ball on roughly three out of four plays. Unfortunately, some (or many) of those passes are incomplete.

When that happens, the clock stops. After a running play, the clock keeps going unless the runner goes out of bounds or picks up a first down.

With so many passes being thrown, games are lasting longer…and longer. Used to be a game would get over at 9:30 p.m. or so. Two hours, good entertainment and not so long people would lose interest.

Now some of the games last longer than one of those “epic’ movies that are expected to win an Oscar.

Or even as long as an eight-man game.

That is too long. I know this will be hard to grasp, but Arkansas actually did something smart. The schools in Arkansas now start games at 7 p.m.

Yeah, that makes travel a little difficult, but I would definitely endorse this idea.

High school football games do not need to end at 10:15 or 10:30 at night. How is Bob Marchant supposed to stay up that late? How am I? Fans lose interest after a certain point, as do the players.

Two years ago, I covered a Central game at Talihina. I believe there were less than 10 passes thrown in the game.


I was able to avoid hitting Bambi on the way home, and arrive home before most of the other games in the county were over that night. And some wonder why I enjoy covering Talihina games.

Personally, I say bring back the wishbone, the veer and the Power-I and run the stinking ball, not only because it makes the game quicker, but that is the way high school football should be played. Most 16-17 year old kids do not need to be throwing a football 40 to 50 times a night.

So as long as the spread continues to rule, the games need to start earlier.

One other suggestion Oklahoma needs to change: volleyball.

Volleyball? Seriously?

Yes, seriously. I am not a big fan of volleyball even though I covered it back in the Texas era. But it can be exciting, honest.

Some schools already play volleyball, but not many of the smaller ones. This is a sport more schools need to pick up. Play volleyball in the fall and move fast-pitch softball to the spring.

Get rid of slow pitch. That sport needs to be reserved for the beer drinkers and church leagues. Most girls don’t even like the slow-pitch version.

Volleyball is much more exciting than slow pitch, plus aside from the bumps and bruises, is better exercise for the student-athletes.

None of the local schools play volleyball, except maybe in physical education classes.

But like the 7 p.m. start for football, it is something that needs to happen.

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