Thursday, November 27, 2008

I don't know why professional sports don't have slaughter rules.

The Detroit Lions have just lost their traditional Thanksgiving Day game, this time to the Tennessee Titans, by a score of 47-10.

Here at my sister Peggy's, none of us cared much about the game anyway, but this was a new standard of boring and humiliating. The Lions are 0-12 for the season, and I'm wondering how anyone benefits from allowing the Lions to finish out their schedule.

Is anyone still going to their home games? Is anyone watching them on TV? It's already ending in tears; what could happen between now and the end of the season, other than someone getting hurt?

I don't understand why professional teams don't have slaughter rules -- or, as Little Leaguers now have to call them, mercy rules. When it becomes obvious that a team has no chance of winning, the coaches and captains ought to be able just to call the game. Everyone gets to go home early, and the TV stations can show an old movie or rerun an episode of Seinfeld.

Design your own mercy rule for a professional sport. What margin of victory is insurmountable, and at what point in the game? What teams need to take the rest of the season off and focus on rebuilding?

3 comments:

norby said...

The OSU-U of M game was sort of like that. A final score of 42-7? Michigan is having one of their worst seasons ever (Lloyd Carr must be feeling pretty vindicated right now), and they just looked silly out there last weekend.

I ALMOST felt sorry them.

Archimedes Principle said...

A Mercy rule. God, what a great idea. Very humane, not like you're taking the entire team to the veterinarian to have them put to sleep either. You just take 'em off the field when all hope is exhausted. I'll have to mention this to the English football authorities; I've spent years head in my hands watching my side (Sheffield United) drift further and further away from even the smell of victory. There's no misery like sports misery (well, there is...but you know what I mean)

Claire said...

I think that would be especially good in slower-moving sports like baseball and football (football especially, since there's such a high risk of physical harm on top of the humiliation). Even yesterday's Redskins game, with a much smaller margin, was impossible to watch, and impossible to win by the 4th quarter. Ugh.