Which of these old-styles of sports play do you miss most?

I remember growing up some tactics used in sports that I just don’t see anymore. I don’t know if it’s just a change in sports mentality (like how 2nd base plays a lot cloer to 2nd than they used to), lack of coaching fundamentals or something else. My big ones are:

Baseball: I just don’t get battlers looking at called third strikes. Sometimes the announcer will say “He was looking for a breaking ball.” but that still doesn’t excuse not even trying to swing and maybe getting a foul. I see this at all levels and it used to be coach would kick your ass if you didn’t swing at ANYTHING clase. Now it’s “Oh well.”

Basketball: What happened to the hard foul? I’m not saying knocking the shooter to the ground but when you fouled the shooter you made sure to hit the ball/hand/arm hard enough so they couldn’t shoot. Now adays you give their hand half-a-sissy-slap and they finish the drive and lay it up. Why even foul them if they still are going to shoot the ball?

Football: Remember coffin-corner? It was the sideline between the 5 yard line and the goal line. When was the last time you saw a punter angle the ball to the sideline on a consistent basis? The level of kicking is so good now (yes place kicking is different than punting) and so are returners that if near midfield it makes no sense to give them a chance to return or punt a touchback.

The Bears’ former punter, Brad Maynard, was, AFAICT, one of the last who made a habit of trying the coffin-corner punt.

My understanding is that it was the adoption of the Aussie-style punt, or “drop punt”, initially by former Australian footballer Darren Bennett (who punted for the Chargers in the 1990s) that largely killed the coffin-corner. A punter who uses it drops the ball at a different angle towards his foot than with a normal punt, and (if done right) the ball should bounce backwards from where it initially hits (and be easy for the punt coverage team to down). It sounds like punters and special-teams coaches have decided that the Aussie punt has a higher likelihood of success than the coffin-corner.

Or they now kick it such that it is high enough to force a fair catch around the 10 yard line.

The Mariners have perfected watching Strike Three go past without a swing. It drives me up the wall.

Because you might get a “flagrant foul” called against you, resulting in the opposing team getting/keeping the ball and potentially being awarded free throws. Furthermore, you could get tossed out of the game. In a sport where a few possessions, a few free throws, a few seconds can win or lose you the game, why take that risk? Besides, Shaq is long retired.

I’m not disagreeing with you, BTW. I too miss the hard foul, especially with all the blatant flopping; if you’re going to foul, make it count, and let all the wussy ticky-tacky shit go.

Have you ever tried to hit a fastball that you were expecting to be a breaking ball? It’s not like you get two seconds to stand there and decide that you’re gonna swing so your coach doesn’t get mad. It’s already gone right by you by the time you can react.

I miss basketball where you don’t play defense and start looking for the shot as soon as you get over the midcourt line. I want to see some old-fashioned 110-95 (college) or 140-130 (pro) games.

I miss full-time pinch-hitters in baseball–guys like Manny Mota and Jerry Hairston, or like Smoky Burgess, Willie Stargell, or Willie McCovey toward the end of their career. Nowadays with the 12-man pitching staff the few position players on the bench (4 in the AL, 5 in the NL) have to be versatile.

I miss old-time football when the ball was rounder and conducive to rugby-style laterals. I’m too young to remember that kind of football, but it looks super-cool in Knute Rockne, All-American.

Also, quick kicks. I want more quick kicks.


I was coached with two strikes to look for a fastball, the logic being that you could adjust to a slower pitch if you were looking for a fast pitch, but you can’t adjust to hit a fast pitch if you are looking for a slow one.

This never worked for anyone.

There is so little time between when the ball leaves the pitchers hand to when you pick it up and decide whether or not it is going to be in the strike zone.

Actually, the reason why people are caught looking more than you can stand is (IMO, at least) the result of the shrinking strike zone that now exists. When I played, the strike zone was literally the knees to the armpits. Now umpires all differed in what they called, but for the most part, this was the general area. So swinging at anything close covered a lot more area than it does now.

The strike zone is so freaking small now, I think it makes much more sense to keep the bat on the shoulder if you don’t think you can hit it. The umpire is more likely to call a ball unless the thing is right down the middle, and in that case you should be swinging. But if it is close, it will probably be a ball.

Hell, the strike zone now is about two to three inches below your crotch to two or three inches above your belt. Still the width of the plate, but it is such a small window now.

And if you have a pitcher that can throw a good curveball and you are looking for a fast ball (like my brilliant coach taught us) all the pitcher had to do was break off a curve that starts like it’s coming at your head. You bail because you think “fastball! I’m dead!” and you go to “Strike 3! You’re out!” in a second. Nothing worse than bailing and watching that nice slow curve plop right over the plate the catcher’s glove.

Voted other.

Basically because they are all American sports and I have less of an emotional attachment to them.

I miss in football/soccer being able to challenge the keeper. These days it seems to be almost impossible for an attacker to jump for a ball that the goalkeeper is going for without giving away a foul. It just seems pointless to try. No, I’m not calling for the old days of being able to charge the keeper, but some balance surely can be found.

I suspect it’s also that players and coaches have realized that wildly swinging at anything will almost never result in a base hit; you might get lucky and get a foul ball, but if it’s fair it’s probably a weak grounder or pop-up.

Long run, you’re better off making sure that if you get the pitch you’re looking for, you can get a solid hit on it, rather than chasing things that won’t work out well even if you do get a bat on it.

Yup. Which is a subset of the more general realization that strikeouts just aren’t that bad if they come with power and OBP. Back when BA was all that mattered strikeouts were considered rally-killers and hitters that struck out too much were generally undervalued.

Now it’s generally agreed that it’s a net positive to swing hard at the pitch you’re looking for and take the strikeouts that come with it.

Has the coffin corner punt really disappeared? If it has, it’s probably because of the increased range of field goal kickers over the years.

As for basketball, the hard foul probably went away when the rules changed so that an intentional foul was 2 shots and the ball out of bounds. Originally, it was just 2 shots, and it became an effective strategy to foul the team’s worst free-throw shooter. Imagine if that had been the rule when Shaq was playing.