Things That Don’t Make Sense in Sports

This is by no means an exhaustive list of things that are illogical, unfair, or just plain inexplicable in one sport or another. But these are the most glaring head-scratchers:

If a golf tournament goes to a three-way playoff and one golfer gets eliminated on the first hole; e.g., by bogeying the first sudden-death hole while the other two both par the hole, shouldn't the golfer so eliminated receive third prize money rather than share second and third with the golfer who eventually loses as between the two survivors?

In the NCAA basketball tournament (men's or women's), if the 1, 4, 7, and 11 seeds advance to the Sweet 16 from the same region (and play at the same site in the next two rounds), why does the 1 play the 4 and the 7 play the 11? Shouldn't the 1 play the 11 and the 4 play the 7? The NBA also adamantly refuses to "re-seed" after the first round — and it is not re-seeding because it is continuing to observe the seeding beyond the first round.

If an MMA fighter wins a fight and then tests positive for a performance-enhancing drug, the fight is declared a "no contest" for both fighters instead of the cheater being disqualified; i.e., losing the fight, with the opponent winning. This sends the message that cheating will be "punished" with a draw — which is what a "no contest" amounts to.

Players can wear any number in college football regardless of what position they play — a privilege not extended to NFL players. Maybe if an official can't tell a wide receiver from an offensive guard, he shouldn't be an official.

Why does an overtime or shootout loser of an NHL game get one point in the standings? Do the losers of an NFL, MLB, or NBA game that goes into extra time, innings, etc., get credited with a tie?

In baseball, a strikeout is abbreviated as "SO" in a pitcher's official record, but as "K" on a scorecard. And speaking of scorecards, why is "6" used to denote a shortstop while the third baseman is identified with a "5?" Never been able to figure that one out.

The NFL names its Coach of the Year before the playoffs even begin. Shouldn't what happens in the playoffs count toward making the decision as to who wins the award? (The ballots are cast immediately following the end of the regular season and the results are announced the night before the Super Bowl).

Why was the backcourt foul rule eliminated by the NBA in 1981? The rule made such a foul a two-shot foul, and three chances to make two if the fouling team was in the penalty. The public address announcer at Madison Square Garden's bellowing out "Backcourt fowl — three da make tew" was classic, and was reason in and of itself to keep the rule.

And while all the focus on the NBA draft order has focused on whether or not the bottom teams "tank" games, the NBA needs to drain its undeniable swamp at the top — by adopting the NFL's procedure of having the playoff teams draft in the order of which they were eliminated in the playoffs (using regular-season records only to determine order as between teams that were eliminated in the same round).

The NFL needs to count the salary of each team's head coach toward the salary cap (which would then of course be increased correspondingly). After all, having Bill Belichick over, say, Hue Jackson as its head coach gives a team every bit as much a competitive advantage as having Tom Brady over, say, Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. And the NBA needs to do this, too.

Instead of going through the ritual of intentionally walking a batter (and perhaps risking a wild pitch), why can't the pitcher simply put his mouth to the ball four times? (The act of a pitcher putting his mouth to the ball was made an automatic ball in 1969.)

Why do FOX and CBS insist on abbreviating Jacksonville as "JAX" when there is no "x" in "Jacksonville"?

Life, or any walk of it, has to make perfect sense — said no one, ever.

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