Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Rick Cleveland is dictator for a day

For one day — and one day only — I am the Commissioner of Sports. All sports. Things are going to change around here. 

First off, we're going to quit discriminating against college baseball players. They have mamas and daddies, too. No more splitting of 11.7 scholarships among 27 players. Come on. Eleven-point-seven? Who came up with that? The limit has never made sense and makes a lot less now that games are televised and attended by thousands. Why should a star shortstop have to pay half or more of his tuition, while the third team cornerback gets a full ride? Fair's fair. That's not. From now on, the limit on college baseball scholarships per team is an even 25. If it makes the NCAA happy, make it 25.3. The Commissioner will not quibble.

Now then...

Oh, and about those bats. We're going to make them wooden, the way the great Umpire in the Sky meant them to be. No such thing as a DH either. My apologies to all the slow guys who can't catch or throw. You'll love slowpitch softball.

Hoops? Basketball teams, at all levels, are hereby limited to two timeouts a half, just one in the last two minutes of a game. When does two minutes become one hour? The last two minutes of an NBA or college basketball game, that's when. Enough is enough and two timeouts a half is plenty, especially when timeouts last forever so the networks can sell beer, male potency pills, cars and stuff.

College football? No kickoffs before noon. No kickoffs after 7. No games until September. We play on Saturdays. No going to bowls unless you have a winning record. No TV timeouts. That's a good start.
For some time now, the Commissioner has been trying to discern exactly what constitutes holding at every level of football. Players hold on EVERY play. Nineteen times out of 20, they get away with it, much to the dismay of defensive coordinators across these United States. Something has to be done, and since we can't cut off all the hands of all the offensive linemen, we're going to make them wear special gloves that keep their fists balled to where they cannot possibly hold. I don't know why I hadn't thought of this before. Umpires, your job just got a lot easier.

The Commissioner has long stayed out of the fashion business when it comes to sports, but somebody has to protect these college football teams from embarrassing themselves. Uniforms are hearby restricted to school colors. No mixing stripes with checks. If a sports writer with 20-20 vision and binoculars cannot read your number, then adjustments must be made. Players wear numbers for a reason. While on jersey numbers, only one player on a team can wear a certain number. Football is confusing enough.

I have saved the worst for last. What to do about the USGA? We'll start with this. Any rules decision that may affect the outcome of the tournament has to be made immediately (or at least in the first three  hours after the need for a ruling occurred.) Common sense should apply.

As for the issue of putters, we are outlawing the silly looking long ones. From now on, no putters that come up above your waist. Better yet, no putters that come above your crotch. Try to anchor it now.
Oh yeah, 63-year-old sports writers get two mulligans and a throw a side. And winter rules apply. Always.

Rick Cleveland is a syndicated columnist and historian at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. His email address is


Anonymous said...

Rules 6.8a-7.4c Only former athletes can comment on sports, write about sports or interview athletes. Anyone who looks like they never did a push up will not be allowed a press pass to any sporting event. Coaches will be required to exercise with their respective teams. No more fat coaches. Fans will no longer be allowed to talk about how great their respective teams are unless they have played for or won a national championship,(see State of Mississippi football fans as example A).

Anonymous said...

I would like to add. MHSAA soccer rules are all eradicated and any kid anywhere can play anytime. It is nonsense applying football logic to soccer.

Messick said...

A couple more:

- Re: college football games, CBS does not dictate when kickoff is.

- Re: uniforms, NO PINK. In any male sport. Period. Your wife, aunt, niece, mee-maw, daughter, or sister has breast cancer?? Cut a check to the cancer research institution of your choice, but leave sports out of it.

Anonymous said...

No more commentators/talking heads. Only play-by-play announcers are allowed to call games and they are strictly prohibited from commentary. Because, I really don't give a sh!t what they think.

Anonymous said...

You must have attended at least one game/day of class at the University of Alabama to actually talk trash about them.

You can't like Ole Miss "just 'cause they have a rebel flag" like most MS rednecks do even though the pretentious fans would have you believe all UM fans are models or millionaires.

Anonymous said...

Rick drinks Scotch. Is there a rule about that?

His brother, Bobby, however, drinks chocolate syrup in case you didn't know.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS