Saturday, July 01, 2006

Soccer could be Good

You have to ignore all my earlier posts that make fun of soccer because I'm going to counter that today by saying soccer could be a fun sport if there were some changes made...Americanize it so to speak:
  1. Do something with the officials. One ref and two line judges to cover an entire field is absolutely insane. They need 3 refs on the field and they need to be assigned to specific areas similar to basketball. This will take care of #2.
  2. Flops. Everyone in soccer is flopping all over the place and the officials call a foul for every flop. It kills the flow of the game. If the official were closer to the allegedly foul, he wouldn't call it because he would be able to see it better.
  3. Instant replay. Get over this "tradition" thing and get with the times. Questionable goals, use replay. It doesn't kill the "flow" of the game any more than the constant fouls and flops.
  4. Get rid of stop time and run the clock like a normal sport. When the ball is in play, the clock runs. Injury, out-of-bounds, clock stops. I really hate stop time.
  5. Setup more strict perimeters for yellow and red cards. It seems like one official gives a red for a little trip, another gives a yellow for a deliberate elbow to the face. Work out a system...the officials have too much discretion now.
  6. Control the fans. Americans love their sports but they are not nearly that fanatic. And, well, they won't ever be. FIFA needs to figure out a way to control soccer hooligans instead of celebrating them.

So, anyway, I have watched more World Cup than I anticipated but I feel relatively certain that after it is done, I won't watch soccer for 4 more years. If then.

Lastly today, the Tour de France is back in serious trouble after the top stars have been barred from the competition. Without Armstrong, does anyone care? But, seriously, it appears more and more likely that cycling might be the dirtiest sport in the world, easily beating MLB. That's pretty amazing to me.

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