Tuesday, June 27, 2006

That Other Football

So, I've watched about 15 minutes of the world's most popular sport- and it's the first 15 minutes of soccer that I've seen since the last world cup. That, however, won't deter me from acting like I'm an expert on the game. I think I've figured out how to fix the sport so that it will be more palatable to the Amercian viewer, which I'm sure is real high on FIFA's priority list. Actually, I've got two different plans- one of which is drastic, while the other is more subtle.

Drastic measure- Switch ball from round to oblong. Allow the use of hands and tackling. Get rid of the goaltender and switch the entire baseline to an "end zone." Upon reaching this endzone, a team is awarded six points.

That one probably won't fly. So here are a few alternative measures.

1) Revise offsides. I absolutely hate the offsides trap. A defenseman should not be awarded for allowing an opponent to outrun him. Getting behind the defense should be a prelude to some action, not a violation. At the same time, I can understand why there needs to be some rules in place to prevent outright cherry-picking. There's another sport out there that has an offsides regulation that still allows for aggressive offensive play. Unfortunately, it's a sport that nobody watches and so this adaptation has gone unnoticed. It's called hockey. Soccer could borrow from hockey and put some chalk down 30 yards beyond each goal creating attacking zones. A team would be required to be "onside" upon entering the zone, but as long the ball stayed within the zone, then players could roam as they wanted.

2) Reduce diving. It's true that basketball remains popular despite flopping, but the difference is that basketball games have 180+ points scored in each game. So one flop, while pivotal, won't in itself determine the outcome of a game. But when soccer games routinely end 1-0, then flopping becomes a viable strategy. As much as I hate to do it, I think soccer should introduce instant replay into soccer for any play that is ruled as either a red card or a penalty kick. Blatant flopping should result in a yellow card for the flopper.

3) Bring back the Golden Goal. I can't imagine that it's all that satisfying to play 120 minutes of soccer and then have the final outcome decided by penalty kicks. The analogy has been made before that it would be like playing 53 minutes of basketball and then opt to settle the game with a free throw shooting contest (although looking at what Josh Howard and Dirk Nowitski did with free throws in the Finals, maybe that is what happened). If a soccer match is tied, teams should play 30 minute periods until somebody scores a goal. I don't care if that means players are being forced to kick the ball through puddles of vomit, the players and the fans deserve a meaningful victory.

4) Dedicate a camera to the painted hotties in the stands. Actually, you can ignore the other three suggestions and just stick to this one, and I'll watch. Especially if it's a Sweden vs Brazil showdown.


At Tue Jun 27, 07:29:00 PM PDT , Anonymous jetsgrumbler said...

i have been itching to post a bit on how the flopping drives me crazy, but i have been too busy at work.

i will say this, though:

i used to train with a bunch of professional thai boxers. the whole point was to kick the other guy in the leg as hard as you could. we wore soft shin guards that offer much less protection than soccer shin guards. never once did i see anyone roll around like a 10 year old girl the way these soccer players do. it makes me cringe. aside from that--and the stoppage time thing--i would think it was a pretty cool sport.

i also went to olympic trials in tae kwon do and competed for years at a national level. i have seen people get knocked out unconcious and spend less time on the ground than the average fallen soccer player.

At Wed Jun 28, 12:44:00 PM PDT , Anonymous NFL Adam said...

I hate many of these same thoughts. Offsides kills me. It's like if T.O. got past the defense and then the played was called dead because the safety stopped running.

Like the idea of a Hottie cam. Maybe they have like a hooligan cam. Kind of how the ESPN had those different angles for that Duke game.

At Mon Jul 17, 10:46:00 PM PDT , Anonymous Adam said...

Seriously, what is your problem bro? Why every time I leave this site, it is with an erection?

At Mon Jul 17, 10:53:00 PM PDT , Anonymous insomniac said...

Mr. Burgundy you have a massive erection!

Um, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, it's the pleats. It's uh, it's actually an optical illusion. It's the pattern on the pants. It's not flattering in the crotchular region. I'm actually taking them back right now. Taking them back to... the pants store. Oh, this is awkward."


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