Changing The Rules

What <B>Andy Rooney</B> Thinks Will Improve America's Favorite Sports

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by correspondent Andy Rooney.
I have some suggestions for rules changes in four sports: baseball, basketball, hockey and football.

First, baseball. One game between Boston and the Yankees in the World Series playoffs took five hours and 49 minutes. Now, if anyone has that much time to spend watching someone else play a game, they ought to get a life.

There are a lot of things they could do to speed up a baseball game.

To begin with, make the pitcher throw the ball within 30 seconds of the time he gets it. Sometimes a pitcher does a bunch of little tricks that go on for minutes before he throws it.

He looks around, tugs his cap, pulls on his shirt, blows on his hand. Throw the ball, for goodness sake!

It would save time too if the pitcher decided for himself where to throw the ball. Who decided the catcher knows better than the pitcher where it should be thrown?

All the pitcher can do is say he doesn't want to throw it where the catcher tells him to. That all takes time.

Hockey is losing fans. Too many games end up 1-0. They need more scoring in hockey and there's a very simple way to do it. Make the net 4 inches wider so it would be easier to put the puck in the net.

They might also cut down on the size of the costume a goalie can wear. It looks like Fort Knox.

Basketball is just the opposite of hockey. There's too much scoring in basketball. They should raise the basket about three feet so the 7-foot players can't just reach up and drop the ball in the net. Basketball should depend on a player's skill, not on how high he can reach.

I'd make one change in football rules.

It used to be illegal for a coach to send in plays. It still ought to be illegal. They changed the rules years ago and allowed coaches to send in plays, and you know who decided on the rules change? A committee of coaches.

In the NFL, the quarterback now has a radio in his helmet. For goodness sake, the coach can tell him what to do on every play. Well, deciding what to do next is part of the game. Give the game back to the players, and let the quarterback call the signals.

And, one more rules change for football. It would be illegal for an NFL game to go past 7 p.m. on Sunday night and intrude on 60 Minutes.

By Andy Rooney