Peterson: Pro sports losing appeal

As one watches the different professional sports nowadays, you have to wonder how long they will stay popular.

Take the National Football League, for instance.

The league has insisted on changing the rules of the game so often, the actual rules are taking a beating by their interpretation by the officials.

Monday Night’s fiasco between Detroit and Green Bay clearly illustrated that.

In a game that was ultiumately decided by at least three iffy calls (all on the Lions) in the final minutes.

There were two questionable horse collar penalties and a no-call on an obvious pass interference have come into light by even the national media.

Just the day before, the New York Jets upset the Dallas Cowboys by getting away with just about any violation in the book.

They roughed up Dallas quarterback Dax Prescott so many times, he was likely ready for a hospital ward after the game. The list included body slams, tripping and and, yes, the infamous horse collar.

The danger of this type of inconsistency by the zebras is obvious. If only some teams get flagged, what are the other ones supposed to do about game preparation?

Now, the NFL has the perfect golden goose. But that concept was created by the pioneers of the game — Vince Lombardi, George Halas and former commissioner Pete Rozelle.

The NFL, which also continues to foolishly push for overseas expansion, is not alone.

The National Basketball Association has also diluted its game, changing rules that favor the “big” names of the sport.

LeBron James can do whatever he wants on the court without much objection. That includes carrying the basketball like a fullback and knocking over defenders like so many ten-pins.

And its league-wide trend to build super teams (Lakers, Warriors, Clippers, etc.) is also harmful to the competition.

Winning by 40 points and show-boating all the way, is fun for the hometown fans. But how about the other teams — and their fans — who pay big bucks?

Even the National Hockey League, perhaps the purest of all the professional sports, made a mistake by implementing the one-on-one rule in overtime.

Sure, the sight of a player skating in alone on a goalie is exciting. But wouldn’t it be more sporting to win in an overtime period?

Call me old-fashioned but the thrill of pro sports is vanishing quickly.


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