Sunday, May 04, 2008

Ten Ways To Improve The Game Of Basketball, In Increasing Order Of Entertainment Value

by Klondike, 2007 KankaNation Laetare recipient

#1: Actual Enforcement Of Rules
Yeah, buddy, I'm pretty sure that was a travel right there.

#2: More Creative Enforcement Of Rules
Free shots just don't seem very sporting; every point made should be a point earned. Instead, penalties should result in punitive action. The obvious choice would be to institute a hockey-style penalty box, but there are more creative methods. They could forbid the player from using his arms for thirty seconds, or tie one of his legs to that of a lucky fan.

#3: Style Points
The more flamboyant the shot, the more points that are awarded. First and foremost, after all, the players are here to entertain.

#4: Time-Progressive Penalty Restrictions
The game would start with the normal five-penalty limit per player. As the game progresses, however, less penalties would be acceptable. The last ten minutes of the game could not be played by any player with more than one penalty, and the last two minutes would be limited to those without any.

#5: Height Classes
Apply graduated height limits to the players on the court. Each team needs one player on the court who is less than four feet tall, one less than five, and one less than six and seven feet, respectively. One player's height could be unlimited. If you don't have a playable person for a given class, you can't fill that position on the court.

#6: Larger Courts
We don't really need games with three-digit scores. How about we extend the length of the court a bit? A hundred yards seems like a nice, round, common number.

#7: More Sponsorship Deals
I . . . I just can't get enough. Should I drink the sports drink, or . . . or buy the shoes, or wear the clothes, or . . . or what? I need a basketball player to tell me how to live my life! Somebody, please help me.

#8: That Guy Award
After every game, the fans get to vote on which player was That Guy. This player would then be subjected to something suitably humiliating, like a pie in the face or a wedgie.

#9: Foley Artists
Pretty much every specific action in basketball begs for an attendant sound affect. With Foley artists, slam dunks would actually slam. Swishes would actually swish. Penalties would actually sound like foghorns. Foley artists make everything more entertaining.

#10: Hazards
With a larger court, there would be plenty of room to mix it up a bit. How about a rope-swing/mud-pit splitting the center court? Low-friction, sandy, and sloped areas would also be entertaining, as would wind machines, fog machines, and rogue Syrian hamsters.