Saturday, January 10, 2009

Proof is in the puddin!

United vs. Chelsea

Proof that Promotion/Relegation is far better than a Playoff system!!!!

Before I go into my thoughts about this hugely important game between Chelsea and United tomorrow, I wanted to begin by making a case that promotion relegation is always the best way to run a league. The system that nearly all soccer leagues in the world use is this style The name, promotion /relegation, implies exactly what it means where teams at the end of the league will move down to the a lower league and league the lower league teams at the top of the table will move up to higher leagues. This is highly adaptable system and always makes for more entertainment over a longer course, ensuring higher ticket sales for nearly all the teams involved.

While the playoff system and time can be highly entertaining it creates a system in which the best team might not get rewarded at the end of what should be considered a good season. The playoffs are in many ways like the multiple tournaments that occur in Europe at continental and national level. These tournaments, on top of the hotly contested national league titles, are hugely entertaining and pack among the most money per/game in the world of club soccer. This plays huge dividends for the clubs, yes, but also those fans that get nail biting exciting action from August to May. Some who are unfamiliar might suggest that this would only be interesting if things where still close in the league but what if you’re a mid-table of bottom tier squad? I answer what’s more exciting the uncertainty if your team will stay up which is real worry for at least 7-10 comes February, 6-8 come April, and 5-7 come May. If your team is a mid-table side then you have the uphill battle, all year long of trying to qualify for those continental tournaments, and have nearly all year to play in the national tournaments and attempt a run.

There could be no doubt that playoffs make a month of the year exciting promotion/relegation especially when in combination with tournament soccer is exciting all year round. A prime U.S.A. example is College Football and the bowl system, which rewards only the best of the best with “real” bowls and even semi-successful teams. A season long year of excitement is what all American sports, with that one exception, seems to be missing. Imagine the increase in year round ticket sales and excitement for a shortened, relegation, promotion baseball league? Or a basketball league that makes every game a must win? I do concede that football would be nearly impossible due the size of the league, and the physicality of the sport, yet college footballs bowl system leaves the entire season exciting. Soccer, hockey, baseball, basketball, and what ever other sport I may have forgotten would be hugely entertaining year round if done this way.

Come on think it over and tell me I’m wrong. Lets move on to a must win match in my opinion tomorrow morning at 10,(which can be seen on FSC), Man United vs. Chelsea. Manchester United walked away with a point earlier this season at Stamford Bridge and cannot allow Chelsea to gather too much drive or points this season. If anything United have to win to kee
p Chelsea from winning. While strange and rather obvious sounding, it is vitally true this time around. Here is why: If United win both of the two games that they have in hand they would still be within two points of Liverpool and if the Red Devils lose to Chelsea they would be within one of Chelsea. So mathematically but the big reason is momentum. Chelsea seems only to need a push to get going on a huge tear and threaten to take everything. Drogba might start tomorrow and if he gains confidence against a team like United there might not be any stopping to him. The even bigger reason is the same could be said exactly about United. If Berbatov or Ronaldo can have a big game and United can rebound from a shocking display against Derby it might be the medicine the guys need to be the scary team they were at then end of last season.

I will not contend to have any real idea to who wins but I do believe United have a real shot to get the result. United did not play a 100% team for the full game against Derby for starters which is no excuse for a shocking display it does explain it off a bit and gives Fergie a rallying point this week in practice. He will also have the Rafa rant, calling Fergie scared and covertly United scared. Ronaldo has the comments from Bosingwa and Rooney wants to back up his feelings of a positive result. I think United feel they have a lot to prove and will come fired up for the game and out for blood and will pull of the result. I think 2-1 or 3-1 sounds right but that is me being optimistic. Who knows what the hell will go down and what events will conspire tomorrow but that’s what makes sports so damn interesting! I am just glad that I am this excited in the middle of my chosen sports season and not at the end. To my known chosen sports but those I admire and only wish to see improve, GO G-MEN!!!!!

Also WATCH 24, it rocks my socks off!!!!