Made to be broken

TED WYMAN

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

So there's this new rule in the CFL which penalizes punters for booting the ball out of bounds between the 20-yard-lines.

This would suggest that punters -- who in the CFL are usually more prone to the shanks than hack golfers buzzed on caffeine -- would ever intentionally boot the ball out of bounds at, say, the 40-yard line. Instead, what usually happens is the punter drills one off the side of his foot, it goes forward about 10 yards and out of bounds and then the refs tack on a 10-yard penalty to guarantee a net kick of zilch.

Watching this rule being enforced this season got us to thinking about some of the other silly laws of the sporting world. Have no fear, there's plenty of room for more efforts from the good old CFL in our top 10:

10. Signing your scorecard, golf

You've just reeled off seven specatacular birdies and an eagle from the bunker to record a 63 and take the first-round lead over Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh, but in your excitement you forgot to put your Sergio Garcia on the scorecard -- or you signed it but your playing partner got the score wrong. Sorry buddy, the round of your life doesn't count and you are out of the tournament. Snooze, you lose.

9. Service lets, tennis

It's scary when John McEnroe is the voice of reason, but his argument that there should be no lets on serves makes good sense. If a ball can clip or bounce off the top of the net during a rally and still count, why shouldn't it be the same on a serve? It might even take some the advantage away from the monster servers if the odd bullet got popped up into the court and got drilled back for a winner by the returner.

8. Intentional walks, baseball

OK, there isn't really a rule and they would be awfully hard to prevent anyway, but for our money they shouldn't be allowed. Here it is, bottom of the ninth, runners on second and third and Roger Clemens is facing David Ortiz in what could be an epic battle. Now here's what the fans pay for, the excitement, the electricity, the war of wits and skill that can only come from one of the all-time great power pitchers facing down one of the truly great power hitters in a classic confrontation. And what happens? The catcher jumps to the side, the pitcher hits him in the mitt four times and the hitter trots down to first base to set up a possible double play. What a thrill. Now that's worth the price of admission.

7. Shooting the puck over the glass, NHL

Until recent years, touch-up icing and the danger it poses to players (thank you Don Cherry) would have beaten out this idiotic rule for a place on this list. But how can anyone like a rule in which players are penalized for accidentally shooting a puck over the glass in their own end? This in a league where icing the puck intentionally is not a penalty. Tell us, what's harder to do? Hammer the puck down the ice to relieve the pressure and get a rest or flip the puck over the glass? We'll take Column A and that's the one that should be discouraged.

6. No touchdown celebrations, NFL

If there was any question why it is known as the No Fun League, it was answered in 2006 when the competition committee decided to crack down on touchdown celebrations. Deeply disturbed by the antics of Joe Horn and his cellphone, Chad Johnson and his penchant for giving CPR to a football, Steve Smith and his end zone snow angels and Terrell Owens and his Sharpie, the aristocratic powers that be in the NFL decided such actions will result in a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff. If this doesn't work, the league is expected to bring in a complete ban on jumping into the stands, handing the football to the ref with too much enthusiasm and smiling.

5. NBA timeouts

Many people find NBA games almost unwatchable because the final two minutes of even the most exciting games are constantly interrupted by timeouts, which often coincide with incessantly long commercial breaks. Each NBA team is allowed two 100-second timeouts and one 20-second timeout in the final two minutes of a game. That can lead to the final two minutes taking about 25 minutes of actual time, which allows the viewer to get a beer, use the facilities and catch a rerun of Seinfeld and still hear the final buzzer.

4. Tuck rule, NFL

If an NFL quarterback starts to throw a pass and then decides against it, but drops the ball while tucking it back into his body, it is considered an incomplete forward pass. We consider it hogwash. If he's trying to tuck it back in so he can run or scramble and he drops it, it's a fumble plain and simple. We're sure Tom Brady doesn't agree, as that rule helped him win the Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2002, but our guess is we might find a few sympathetic ears in Oakland.

3. Points for losses, NHL

Some idiots decided it would be a good idea to give teams a point for making it to overtime and then have the teams play five-minutes of sudden death and a shootout to decide who gets the other point. This has completely skewed the NHL standings, as teams with inferior records can accumulate more points than teams with better records. Case in point: last season, the New York Islanders made the playoffs with a 40-30-12 record (40-42 technically), while the Montreal Canadiens missed with a 42-34-6 mark (42-40). Same thing happened in the West, where Calgary made the playoffs at 43-39, while Colorado missed at 44-38. Oh for the days when a win was a win and a loss was worth nothing.

2. Sudden death overtime, NFL

Two teams slug it out for 60 minutes, leaving everything they have on the field in an attempt to win a nasty gridiron battle, only to end up tied at the end of regulation. So what do they do now? Flip a coin to see who gets the ball first. About 75% of the time, the team that wins the toss takes the ball and goes down field for a field goal attempt. If they are successful, the game's over and the other team doesn't get so much as a sniff at the football. It's not just dumb, it's unfair.

1. The rouge, Canadian football

How much do we need to say about a rule that rewards failure? If you lineup for a field goal and miss, you should get nothing. Instead, in the CFL, you get a point even if you miss by 20 yards, as long as the other team concedes or the ball goes through the end zone. However, if the ball goes off the upright, which means it was a decent kick that missed by inches, you don't get a point. Here's a single point for you -- the rouge sucks.


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