BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The following is a sports commentary blog from WBRC FOX6 Sports Director Rick Karle:
Are you still suffering? Can't get along in your life without SEC football? I hear ya! But worry not, as the football season kicks off in less than 190 days, and soon the big, bad SEC will be back! But while you're waiting for football to start, I thought I'd bring you 10 new rules that should be written into the SEC bylaws immediately. These new rules will vastly improve the game and help make your game day experience one to remember. Here we go!
10. TV timeouts should last no longer than two minutes.
Those timeouts in the national semi-final and final were longer than a presidential candidates' debate. I mean, they had to mow the turf by the third quarter in Glendale because the grass grew so long, and I'm not even sure the grass was real. The SEC and it's partner schools make zillions of dollars a year. I'm thinking that if they sell a few less TV spots and haul in only a few billion dollars, the fine folks at the conference office can get by.
9. Moving forward, fans will be prohibited from booing players.
Look, these kids are amateur athletes, trying their best to juggle classes, weightlifting, practices, free room and board and hero worshiping. Fans can boo the coaches all they want, but rule #9 says any fan caught booing a player will be marched to the 50-yard line during halftime and forced to tackle Leonard Fournette.
8. Teams will be allowed only one mascot.
I'm all for a solid marriage as I've been hitched for 31 years, but enough with the male and female mascots. You know, Albert and Alberta Gator? Gag me, please. And now, Bama fans have been seeing Big Al hang out at games with Big Alice. All these years Big Al has been a bachelor, and now Alice shows up? Where's she been, Nepal? What next, Aubie and Aubrie holding paws at Jordan-Hare Stadium? Let's keep it one mascot at a time!
7. Mascots such as Smokey (Tennessee), Uga (Georgia), and Bully (Miss State) should be refrained from watching bad football.
As an animal lover and an owner of two dogs, one cat, one rabbit and three hedgehogs (don't ask), I would be in favor of this rule. You have to wonder what is going through the minds of these animals when they are forced to watch a bad football game for nearly four hours. Once these teams get back to winning championships, these fine mascots will be allowed to return to the field.
6. SEC officials shall think outside the box and hire people other than 25-year-old blondes to be TV sideline reporters.
What, do brunettes not interpret the game like blondes do? What about young men? They can get yelled at by coaches at halftime just the same as those currently employed. Thank heavens for Kaylee Hartung. I do reserve the right to change my mind on this rule once I see how the reporters do this season.
5. Ban the Signing Day shenanigans
Oh, holding up a puppy is cute, and having mom flash the Bama gloves is slick, but I think back to something Coach Bryant said to his players about their behavior after scoring a touchdown: "Act like you've been there before and hand the football to the official." Let's encourage blue chippers to make it simple. And when a 5-star has been dreaming all of his life of playing for, say, Auburn? Let's not attend Signing Day and hear, "I made up my mind when I woke up this morning." Hey, I love ya kid, but I'm not going to buy that one.
4. Only teams that have won championships can hold their own "Walk Of Champions" before games.
I have to admit, Tiger Walk at Auburn is sensational, and Bama's Walk Of Champions makes sense, as the Tide seem win it all just about every other year. But the Walk Of Champions at Ole Miss? When was the last time the Rebs won it all, 1962? Rule #4 states that if a team has won a national championship in the last 10 years they can hold a Walk of Champions. If not, perhaps a Walk Of Runner-ups or a Walk Of Bottom Dwellers may be more appropriate.
3. Fans are not allowed to bring children under the age of five to football games.
I'm the biggest baby lover in America, but I've seen it too many times: The young one is hyped up on sugar early in the game, only to be sound asleep in his/her parent's arms (usually mom) by the fourth quarter. And if the team loses the game? Said parent is thinking, "Perhaps I should have skipped the game and had a root canal." If mom and dad can afford tickets to a game, they can likely afford a baby-sitter. Next time, leave the little one at home. Mom and Dad
will have a better time, and the kid will thank them, as he/she would rather be watching Dora The Explorer than a strange game in which young men run into one another.
2. SEC shall outlaw plastic Arkansas Razorback hats and Florida jorts.
I've always wondered: Is the guy in the red face paint with a plastic hogs helmet on his head actually heading back to work at the bank Monday in a suit? The thought certainly is intriguing. And those Florida jorts? I know Tim Tebow once wore a pair, but I just don't think they're catching on. Let's leave the fashion statements to the experts.
1. Fans over the age of 30 shall be banned from wearing a football jersey with a player's name on the back.
There's something a bit creepy about a grown man walking around a stadium in a jersey with "McCarron" on the back of it. As adults, we can certainly admire the athleticism of these young football players, but the the jersey thing borders on idolatry. The exception to rule number one? Adults who are actually the parents of a player. And of course I encourage the kids to wear as many player jerseys as they'd like. And one more thing on the idolatry thing: An amendment to this rule should be that anyone over 30 years of age is barred from waiting in line at fan day come August for six hours, then sprinting 80 yards once the gates open to get an autograph from Calvin Ridley. Let's leave that sprint to the kids.
Hang in there, SEC football will be back soon. Just follow these new rules, and your game day experience is about to be the best of your life. That's a promise!