I listen to a lot of podcasts; doing so is essentially how I relax. Anyone who has the same addiction has almost certainly heard of Bill Simmons. I've been listening to (and occasionally reading) his work for more than half a decade now, which is probably why it occurs to me to adapt (steal?) one of my favorite segments from his podcasts with Kevin Wildes. The segment is called Half-Baked Ideas, and it features the two sports gurus exchanging half-thought-out ideas that could make sports better in some way.
Sometimes the ideas are awesome, but by necessity, each idea has numerous problems (usually pragmatic) but should be enough to make for some fun and interesting debates. So, with that in mind, I present to you a Rockies and MLB centered version of this concept that we are calling Purple-Hazed ideas. Other writers at Purple Row will contribute their ideas and I ask that the comments section for these pieces be reserved to debating the ideas presented, if you have any new ideas of your own please send them to me and if I get good ones I can include Rowbot ideas into future pieces.
Idea #1 Sports PPV
At first this may not seem like a Rockies centered idea, which may have made it an odd choice to begin this whole feature with. But the idea of being able to watch sports via Pay-Per-View came to me while watching (and being critical of) the ROOT broadcast of Colorado Rockies games. I don’t need to rehash my specifics qualms with the broadcast. For those, check out my earlier piece on the subject.
Suffice it to say that it seems almost universal to me that whomever you speak to in the sports watching world, somebody has a broadcast, or broadcaster that they simply cannot stand. As I have mentioned many times before, I feel the biggest reason for this is that media outlets are businesses that are trying to attract as many people as possible and therefore want to have the widest appeal possible. This oftentimes means appealing to the casual fan rather than the baseball junkie, keeping the attention of people who don’t know the game that well, and (especially in the playoffs) generally treating the viewer as though they are dumb.
Some shrug this off, but others eventually break after watching 150 or so games in a season only to have to sit alongside the newbies as someone explains for the 3,765th time that Rafael Betancourt throws strikes. And that pales in comparison to the explanations of the basic rules and concepts that lifelong baseball fanatics have to sit through before some of the biggest games of the season. For this, and many other reasons, I suggest an alternative; watching sports on Pay-Per-View.
Imagine if you could pay a monthly or event-by-event fee to watch your favorite sports free of any broadcasters, commercials, or other distractions. If you've got the moolah, maybe you PPV all the time, if not, maybe just if your team makes the playoffs. How about just during March Madness? What if you could replace all the noise with just the sounds of the game?
Imagine a television feed where all you hear is the on field/court/rink action including maybe even some spicy language from players and coaches that you couldn't hear on regular TV. If whoever was running it was smart, the sports PPV experience could even include directional mics and plenty of graphics and/or occasional bottom-of-the-screen crawls to keep you up to date on any information you might be missing from the normal broadcast (i.e. injury reports, stat updates, or news and scores from around the league).
Most of the problems with this idea are pragmatic. TV rights are hotly negotiated. The idea could either overwhelm the rest of the market or flop entirely based on how much it would cost to produce and how much people would be willing to pay for it. Hearing on-field sound could jeopardize the hidden strategies of the game. I’m sure there are other issues and I hope to see some of them (and maybe some support/additional benefits?) in the comments section.
Idea # 2 RsBI
No I didn’t just invent a new stat. It’s an old stat. Some people say it’s a dead stat. And that’s a fun debate. But this is not that debate. Last year during a particular ROOT sports broadcast the team got into an argument over the correct pronunciation of the plural for RBI. Some are completely fine using the now common RBIs, pronouncing the "s" at the end. Others argue that this pronunciation doesn't make sense since it translates to saying "run batted ins" which sounds silly. These people generally argue that the correct pronunciation, like with the words deer and freshmen, is RBI, with no "s." Some people argue that this is pretentious and doesn't give a clear enough indication of the facts since one can have both many or one RBI…s.
I turned to my friends during this conversation and remarked that really it should be "RsBI," pronouncing the "s" after the "r." That way the "s" goes where it belongs in the word and it’s still obviously plural. It sounded ridiculous to me at first, but after a week I couldn't stop saying "arrrs bee eye!!" It starts to roll off the tongue. So I suggest we all compromise and start saying "RsBI." Or perhaps we will all sound silly.
On second thought, let’s not say "RsBI" 'tis a silly sound.
Not relevant in baseball, because they know how to properly name teams, but no more using the word "is" for non-plural team names like the Jazz or Heat. The Heat are still multiple people the same way you would say that the deer are in the woods. If you say "the deer is," you would only be referring to one deer. But when you say "the Heat are in first place" you are referring to the entire team of players. So ya, quit doing that.