You Asked For It: Frank Deford's Top 12 List

Oct 16, 2013
Originally published on October 16, 2013 12:35 pm

As a commentator, Frank Deford gets a lot of suggestions about prominent subjects that he should take to task. Usually, he has already sounded off on these suggested topics, and most of them are cut and dried, with nothing new to add. But here, Deford takes on 12 of these familiar issues — this time with brief updates.

Among them: a Washington Redskins name change; high school football games on national TV; hockey fights; Pete Rose and the Baseball Hall of Fame; tackle football for young boys; and the tradition of pouring Gatorade on winning coaches. On the latter, when teams win, skip the coach dunk, and think of something new. Please. Thank you.

Click on the audio link above to hear Deford's quick take on these and other issues.

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Busy time in sports: the baseball playoffs are on, hockey season just started, football is in full swing, my hometown high school football team just turned up on ESPN.

And commentator Frank Deford has enough opinions for every occasion.

FRANK DEFORD: As a commentator, I get a lot of suggestions about prominent subjects that I should take to task. The fact is, however, that usually I have already discoursed at length on these suggested topics. And most of them by now are so cut-and-dried, so obvious, that there's simply no more to add without sounding like Sean Hannity expressing his original views about President Obama each and every day.

So, herewith a pithy update, a dozen issues that I have already bloviated about at some length but I will only briefly, mercifully, update here.

Number One: The Washington Redskins ought to change their name. Duh.

Two: Don't televise high school games on national TV. There'll be plenty of time to exploit young athletes in college.

Three: Ice hockey ought to ban fights because fighters endure concussions. The defense of retaining this barbarism - that hockey fans won't watch hockey without staged fights - reminds me of the people who said saloons would empty if people couldn't smoke therein. Last times I looked, people still bellied up to the bar.

Four: Pete Rose ought to go into the Baseball Hall of Fame. His offenses, compared to the drugs cheats, rise to the level of the parking ticket.

Five: The late Marvin Miller ought to go into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Either that or close up the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Six: Pay big-time college football and basketball athletes, and not just stipends but fair entertainment wages. Otherwise, don't pay college coaches, athletic directors or sports network executives.

Seven: Don't let people who watch golf tournaments on television have the right to point out player errors, so that the golfers are then penalized after the fact; especially Tiger Woods, who's on television all the time. It's bad enough that people at home get to vote on "Dancing With the Stars." Professional sports are not interactive.

Eight: If we, in sports, feel obliged to play "The Star Spangled Banner" before games - unlike at all other entertainments where there is no need to exhibit ostentatious patriotism - at least it's not necessary to gild the lily and also play "God Bless America" during the game.

Nine: Get rid of the let serve in tennis. All sport, like all life, has its bloop singles. Live with it.

Ten: Pouring a big can of cold Gatorade on winning football coaches. Please, not any more. Please, it's old hat. Please, it's not funny. Please, think of something new. Please, thank you.

Eleven: Don't let coaches talk to sideline announcers, so then we could get rid of sideline announcers.

Twelve: Outlaw all tackle football for young boys. If I have to say more, you don't have a brain and you wish the same for your son.

INSKEEP: Thirteen: Commentator Frank Deford joins us every Wednesday. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.