Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



Corporate sports are too big to fail. For example:

*MLB is dependent on the three true outcomes (home run, walk, strikeout), pitch count, and analytics. Exciting, visual aspects like fielding and running the bases are minimized. Radical shifting stifles offense. Lineups are made and bullpens administered by rote. Games take too long. Attendance has dropped by 11 million since 2007. TV ratings for this year’s World Series were the second-lowest ever.

*The NFL has too many teams and games. It has too many bad players, especially bad quarterbacks. Bad coaches, too. Frequent injuries further dilute the talent pool. The Steelers-Los Angeles Rams game Sunday was a joke. The defense outscored the offense, 16-13. The Steelers offense barely outscored itself, 10-9. There were 23 flags. The game took over three-and-a-half hours. There are too many rules and penalties. Amazingly, NFL TV ratings are up three percent. That’s gambling and fantasy football.

*The NBA is held hostage by its players. The Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard was a healthy scratch for a nationally-televised game against Milwaukee and reigning MVPGiannis Antetokounmpoby way of “load management.” Winning is important, but so is entertaining. So is feeling an obligation to ticket-buyers and TV viewers. But star players are now the de facto GMs and coaches. They assemble and run the teams.

But no matter what acts of self-sabotage the so-called “major” sports leagues perpetrate, the damage is relatively minimal.

Corporate sports are too big to fail.

None of this will be fixed. Each league lacks self-awareness and has an overabundance of self-righteousness. The customer isn’t always right, or often even considered.

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