The best ritual
in all of sports is the postgame handshake line in the NHL, which has the
humblest players in the four major professional leagues--suggesting that a firm
grip on reality begins with a firm grip. So let's require handshake lines in
every sport. Shaq, Kobe. Kobe, Shaq.
But why stop
there? Let's take every great custom peculiar to a sport and make it mandatory
in all sports.
benefit from soccer's system of promotion and relegation, as the Royals and the
Pirates get demoted to Triple A next spring, replaced in the big leagues by the
Charlotte Knights and the Round Rock Express.
kick the ball out of play when an opponent is hurt, knowing that the injured
player's team will give the ball back on the ensuing throw-in. This quaint
notion--that it's more sporting to tend to the injured than to take advantage
of them--carries lessons for the world, not just the World Cup.
match-play courtesy of conceding putts, and we'll save time by conceding dunks
(to LeBron James), second-service returns (to Roger Federer) and NFL stars (to
Paris Hilton). Pick that up. It's a gimme.
should distribute the oversized novelty paychecks presented to the winners of
professional tennis tournaments. It's the most appropriate way to pay A-Rod his
average biweekly salary of $484,615.39.
Let's follow the
lead of the Indianapolis 500 and toast all great victories with a milk bath,
not a champagne shower. It's good for the skin, and milk allows teetotalers,
like Heat guard Dwyane Wade, to fully participate in their team's celebration.
You just gave 110%, enjoy a gallon of 2%. (The lactose-intolerant are on their
Speaking of the
Heat: After winning the NBA Finals last week, they didn't cut down the nets--as
champions do at every other level of basketball--because a two-dollar nylon
necklace doesn't quite cut it when you have a platinum gong on a gold rope in a
locker room lockbox. From now on, all teams should celebrate titles the way
they do at lower levels of the sport. This means World Series winners will go
to Dairy Queen in full uniform.
As for full
uniforms: Put one on, Bill Parcells. Why are baseball managers the only coaches
who wear what the players do? If Dusty Baker requires wristbands to manage the
Cubs, we should also have to endure Coach K in a tank top, Andy Reid in
skintight stretch pants and Bela Karolyi in a star-spangled singlet.
If the Kentucky
Derby teaches us anything, it's that all postgame interviews--in every sport,
no matter the venue--should be conducted by a woman on horseback.