Bob Ryan

If I were king of the sports world . . .

If Bob Ryan were king of the sports world, luxury boxes would not exist at the Super Bowl.
If Bob Ryan were king of the sports world, luxury boxes would not exist at the Super Bowl.Jim Davis/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

When I’m king of the entire sports world . . .

There will be no more nitpicky, goal-killing “offsides” in either hockey or soccer. I have given this decades of deep thought, often while standing in the “12 items or fewer” line at the supermarket.

All luxury boxes in all arenas and stadia will be ripped out. Give our games back to the Real People.

Montreal, Seattle, and Buffalo will get their teams back. The Expos were done in by the 1994 work stoppage, the other two by awful ownership.

Minnie Minoso will take his rightful place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Wait, you say, what about Luis Tiant? Well, duh, what do you think?


One foot inbounds will be sufficient for a pass catcher in the NFL, as it is in college ball. This is football, not Olympic gymnastics.

There will be no more AAU summer basketball. Get a summer job and play pickup at night. It was good enough for Magic and Larry. Put the emphasis back on high school.

There will be stringent enforcement of both a pitch clock and a rule forcing batters to remain in the box (unless dusting themselves off after a near-beanball).

All those singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” will be capped at 1 minute 30 seconds and the mike will be cut off at 1:31. (The late John Kiley could rip one off on his organ at :59.)

There would be no polls in college football until five weeks go by and no college basketball polls before January.

Mistakenly signing an incorrect golf scorecard would mean nothing. A scorer walks the entire 18. Everybody knows who scored what. It’s just golf pomposity.

The Baseball Hall of Fame will take a public stand on the subject of suspected PED use. Voters will be instructed to vote strictly on the numbers and achievements, or not. Voters should have a mandate. After all, it’s their Hall.


No Saturday or Sunday MLB games would start later than 2 p.m. local. If they come to me seeking a waiver, they’d better have a good reason.

If someone is tackled and the ball comes loose, it’s a fumble. I don’t give a hoot about where his knee, elbow, or rear end was at the time. Hold onto the ball or face the consequences.

Two timeouts per half would suffice in basketball. Just go play the game.

Bobby Orr highlights would be shown before every NHL game so people would understand why he remains the hockey GOAT 40 years after his injury-mandated premature retirement.

Since it is unlikely Marvin Miller will ever be elected to the Hall of Fame, I would order there be a permanent exhibit at the Hall celebrating his life and times, with appropriate tributes from many of the greats whose lives he changed forever.

All basketball referees, at every level, would be required to pass a one-question, pass-fail quiz, which is “Why am I here?” The correct answer is “To adjudicate the smooth flow of the game.” It is not to prove he or she knows every comma in the rule book.

Saving my most fervent belief for last, I would eliminate the worst thing that has happened to a sport I love in my lifetime. The insidious 3-point shot, a gimmick thrust onto basketball by a promoter (Abe Saperstein), must go. It distorts the game at every level.


Bob Ryan’s column appears regularly in the Globe. He can be reached at ryan@globe.com.