In watching Game 5 of the Celtics-Magic NBA playoff series, it struck me again how basketball is a free-flowing, back-and-forth game for 47 minutes, and then grinds to a halt in the final minute. Foul. Timeout. Another foul. Another timeout, and so on. In Game 4, there was a five-minute stretch at the end with 4:50 of non-action and commercials, with one 10-second play sandwiched in-between.
Too many timeouts and too many fouls in basketball are two of my sport pet peeves. Those irritating things found in all sports that help diminish enjoyment. And I know that every sports fan has his own list, so I'd love to see them. But first, some more of mine:
Basketball: Excessive timeouts per team. I would limit teams to one timeout each in the final minute. Don't slow down a fast-paced game just to appease control-freak coaches.
NFL: The overtime rule. Give each team a possession.
College football: The BCS. Blow it up and have a playoff.
Baseball: Pitchers who take forever to throw and batters who adjust every piece of clothing and equipment before stepping up to the plate. Put these guys on a clock.
Media: Anything Fox broadcasts, especially if Joe Buck is the announcer. Who did he sleep with to keep getting all the high-profile jobs? ... ESPN's regular obsessions (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Terrell Owens, Brett Favre) that suck the air out of all other sports news when they're happening.
Hockey: Most Sun Belt teams. It's a cold-weather sport. Contract the league and have the playoffs done by May 15.
Swimming: The full-body swimsuit. For obvious reasons.
Those are just a few of my least-favorite things in sports. What are yours?