Including Dodgers TV situation, he'll be reveling in causes in 2015

Fan of the House columnist's to-do list: Dodgers TV situation, NFL playoff times, tiebreakers in MLB games

As we all know, what you get out of life depends on what you put into it. So my first impulse each day — amid so many impulses — is to wonder, "How can I make this world even better?"

As evidence, I point to last season's seminal work on the Dodgers TV standoff. After I rallied fans, mocked management and suggested arbitration … not much happened. I admit that. But in the end, good sense gushed forth, and Time Warner Cable allowed the last six games of the season to be shown on all outlets.

That's noteworthy, right? Look, if a mess like Jameis Winston can win the Heisman, why can't a wholly dysfunctional cat like me at least win the Nobel Peace Prize?

It's about time my selfless contributions to press boxes and saloons across California were acknowledged.

Certainly, there is more work to be done, since the Time Warner Cable standoff seems to be with us once again.

It's on my 2015 to-do list.

Once you start loving someone it's hard to stop, and that's the way I feel about these Dodgers, who spent the off-season trading a few of their most popular assets. That seems a strange way to do business, but what do I know? My financial successes are limited to pay-as-you-go credit cards and the occasional quinella.

No sports team really needs television anyway. Not with Twitter such a rich and engaging experience. Or the medium of the future: newspapers. Against all that, the television business seems doomed.

But I did love those college football semifinals, one of the greatest single days of football ever. Traffic around the Rose Bowl was a little heavy snaking out to Linda Vista, then up over some poor putz's lawn; but you live near a stadium and you get what you get.

Spent much of that day doing what I do best — hopping from tailgate to tailgate and bumming beers from strangers, which was a core class at the journalism school I attended. Taught by a bearded guy with arm patches and a million tips on bumming beer around the world, it inspired me to be a journalist.

What I like in particular about the Rose Bowl is how around 4 p.m. the sun dips behind the press box and the temperature plunges 40 degrees, causing the crowd to squeeze together for warmth, an orgy of flesh, football and Falstaffian thirsts. For a moment, I considered doing the Lambeau Leap.

Also love the light. About dusk, the San Gabriels turn a rosy hue, as if God put some giant light gel over the setting sun. So not only do you have that group-love thing going, you have that swoony, fireplace light.

ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit nailed it during the Jan. 1 telecast:

"To me, this is the best setting in sports," Herbstreit told a viewing audience of 28 million. "I would like to see the national championship played in this venue every single year."

Which makes you wonder why an NFL team doesn't plop down right there.

What else am I taking on in this new year?

• I want to see the NFL adopt the college game's overtime system. No brainer. Easy-Drew-Breezy. Done.

• I want Sunday's NFL playoff games to start later, the same times as the Saturday games — 1:35 and 5:15 p.m. Pacific.

• I want to see Major League Baseball adopt a tiebreaker. Nobody likes an extra-inning game — not fans, not players, nobody. So if a game is still tied after nine, baseball should go to the "California tiebreaker" — each inning starts with a runner at second base with two outs — used in younger levels to end tied games quickly and spectacularly.

Imagine throwing a fistful of diamonds into the Kardashian pool. That's the same splashy feeding frenzy you get with a California tiebreaker. "Ugh! Kill me now!" you purists are saying. I'll point out that MLB playoff games were lucky to draw 5 million viewers last fall. That means 311 million Americans did something else. "Change or die," that's my motto.

• Finally, I'd love to see our mayor, the one who's been AWOL throughout this Dodgers TV debacle, declare Los Angeles the "Hiking Capital of the World," embracing our insanely lovely physiography with what should be our insane need to get outdoors during this rosiest of months.

See you on the mountaintop.

Follow Chris Erskin on Twitter @erskinetimes

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
60°