I’ve got a lot of problems with you people! Now, you’re gonna hear about it!

The holidays are here and lest everyone forget the greatest holiday of them all, Festivus — the made up “Seinfeld” holiday — is upon us.

Since I was in high school my friends and I have celebrated this holiday on Dec. 23 in the same sense as the classic TV show, complete with feats of strength, a potluck dinner — sharing allowed, but not encouraged — and, most importantly, the airing of grievances.

For those not familiar, the airing of grievances is the portion of the night where everyone gathers around and lets each other know how people have disappointed you in the past year — a strangely cathartic experience.

I figured it’s only right that I get in the holiday spirit, break out the aluminum pole and share a couple with you:

• Race walk.

This one has stuck out like a sore thumb since I arrived in Maine and it’s an event I just can’t get behind.

Every other event in track is about who can run the fastest, throw the furthest or jump the highest/furthest. But the race walk? Who can get to the finish line the fastest — without running.

I get that it’s an Olympic event but so is ping pong — uh, table tennis. The bottom line is there are very few states that even contest this event. Track and field affords more high school students than just about any other sport the opportunity to compete in college, except in the race walk where one would have to go to an NAIA school to compete in the event.

I get that there are people around the state who really enjoy the event, but I think it’s time to get behind a more practical event like the hammer/weight throw.

Increased safety measures at most (all?) facilities would be necessary, but it would provide an opportunity for throwers to have a greater impact on their teams other than just hurling the shot. It is also an event contested by most NCAA schools and could give some talented hurlers more opportunities to compete at the next level.

• Shot clock.

It’s time for Maine to get with the 21st century and add a shot clock to high school basketball.

The NCAA recently reduced the clock in the men’s game from 35 to 30 seconds, while high schools in this state continue to play the old fashioned way. Why stop there? Is there a shortage of peach baskets?

I get that it would incur an additional cost on schools but plenty of other states find the money for the piece of equipment and pay someone to operate it.

When it comes down to it, the shot clock offers a level playing field throughout the game — particularly when they matter most in the final two minutes.

There is just something that goes against the core of the game watching a team fight throughout the night, never trailing by more than a few points to only have to foul down by one with two minutes left on the clock because the other team is standing around and not playing basketball.

Stall ball is unsportsmanlike and could very easily be rectified if there was a 30-second shot clock.

And for those who want to make the strawman argument that ‘it doesn’t happen very often so you really don’t need to change it’ think about what you’re saying and apply that logic elsewhere in an instance of greater gravity.

There haven’t been that many people who got e-coli eating at Chipotle, so it doesn’t need stricter scrutiny on how it handles its product, right?

• Time management.

When I get to a high school hockey game that starts when it was scheduled for, it will be the first this season. If a game is scheduled for 8 p.m. it’s not likely to start until around 8:20 p.m. — at least, that’s what I’ve come to know.

All I ask is either you schedule an 8:20 start or move up the events prior so that the game starts on time.

It’s a funny little thing I’ve noticed about winter sports in Maine is that rarely do games start on time in this season.

During the fall, football is almost always a prompt 7 p.m. start on Friday nights and, if anything, it gets going a few minutes earlier.

Hockey, though? I sat around and watched empty ice prior to Gardiner’s game against Greely as the 7 p.m. scheduled start time came and went.

It’s something that’s not exclusive to hockey, however, as basketball tends to fall under the same umbrella with junior varsity and freshman games prior to the varsity. I get it, and these kids deserve their chances, too. But just schedule the start times earlier.

There is always a chance these games are going to go into overtime, so why not build in a buffer to ensure the varsity game starts on time?


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