(That's to say nothing of the self-righteousness of hockey fans when the savagery crosses a line, as in when one player bashes another into unconsciousness. What is the difference between a man using a stick or his bare-knuckled fists if his opponent isn't able to defend himself adequately?)

To solve this dilemma, players should be banned from taking off their gloves on the ice. If the gloves come off, he is out of the game and suspended for three more. Players can still fight, but they should at least do it as boxers do: with their gloves on.

11) Play every game outdoors The National Hockey League has slid so far down the sports-relevance pole that if it weren't for Canadians, it may have been surpassed in importance by bull roping. But give credit to the beleaguered league for discovering a gimmick that actually has grabbed people's attention: outdoor games. This past week showcased a contest between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks in the latter city at a baseball stadium, Wrigley Field. Outdoor games will further force teams to abandon such non-hockey homes as Phoenix, Dallas, and Tampa — not that anyone will miss them.

12) Create a sensible playoff system Obama is partially correct on this one: a playoff system is the way to go. But, sorry Dick van Patten, eight is not enough: there should be 16 teams in a playoff, not eight.

The championship game, ostensibly open to any of the 120 teams in Division I-A, is realistically available only to 66 schools (which is to say any of the 65 schools that belong to the six powerful conferences within Division I-A, or the independent Notre Dame). Case in point: two schools in weaker Division I-A conferences — Utah and Boise State — finished their regular seasons undefeated, but neither came close to landing a spot in the championship game. Utah proved its worth by this past week crushing SEC runner-up Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. That same Alabama held the number-one ranking in the country for a month and, had it beaten Florida in the SEC conference championship, would have been a shoo-in for the title game.

13) Ban cupcake scheduling The schools that compete in Division I-A are currently allowed to pad their records by feasting on opponents from lower-grade divisions. This would be akin to the Red Sox adding to their win total by playing a few series every year with the Portland Sea Dogs. Make each team play within its own division, and that will further contribute to de-clutter the playoff jumble at season's end.

14) Stop covering them altogether They aren't sports, and no one gives a shit.

15) Reduce the number of men on the field Soccer is like a lot of other interesting European conceits (take democracy, or pizza): a good idea in search of an American execution. Soccer's problem is that its matches too easily devolve into 90-minute-plus nil-nil miscarriages, contests in which the only offensive actions are taken in the stands, as, say, gangs of Brits shiv unsuspecting Danes.

This onfield non-action is often aided by coaching strategies in which, either as a from-the-get-go game plan or as a defensive posture after a score, one team stacks all of its 11 players near its own goal to prevent the opposition from scoring.

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