Friday, July 23, 2010

The Madman fixes the world of sports (part 1)

I have followed sports ever since I was old enough to understand them and after almost four decades, I have seen a lot of things that could be better and have ideas to remedy them. No doubt many of them would not be instituted since it would cost money or prevent people from making more money. However, if I had the ability to make changes in most every sport (and some things I don't call sport) this is what I would do.

With so many things to change, I will be starting a seperate blog since some of my regular readers really don't care. However, the first one will be posted here:

Topic: Soccer

Orginally I thought this is the one sport which was fine. However, the recent World Cup showed very significant flaws that need to be corrected.

First of all, I am among the few who didn't mind the zuzuvelas. Background noise is part of the event and having the local music played made it seem special.

There are two things that definitely were at the forefront of the event. First of all was the ball. It was determined in wind tunnels that the new corporate designed ball for the event was unstable when struck at high speeds since the stiches were on the inside and the ball was perfectly round. Many people stated, "Both teams have to play with the ball so why does it matter?"

This is why. Imagine the NFL having a different ball for the playoffs which becomes unstable when thrown at high speeds or long distances. Wouldn't it hurt passing ball clubs more than running teams the same way a windy day can effect a game? The same thing happened at the World Cup. People complained about less scoring. Why? Long passes and shots were unpredictable. Spain was one of the few countries who did not depend on long passes and that allowed them to capture their first title. I believe all new future ball designs will be tested at game speeds. Duh.

The other issue is officating. From missed calls to bad calls, it dominated the event. I know FIFA wants controversy but not this way. The soccer referee has to cover an area that is bigger than a football field and it is common for the ball to travel from one end to the other in a few seconds.

He also has two linesman who can advise on fouls from the sidelines and can rule on offsides. That is not enough! The ref has a general path from one end of the field to the other which is way too much ground to cover. I propose having a second ref. It works with hockey and with each one covering to each goal line needing a goal camera would be unnecessary. The paths are listed here:

One more thing. People who speak English in the United States really don't care about professional soccer exccept for the World Cup. I am begging FIFA, ESPN and every other network to stop trying to get Americans interested. Americans prefer football played with laces and always will. It is embarassing. The networks made such a big deal over Landon Donovan's winning goal over Algeria even though it only made them advance into the round of 16 where the United States was beaten by a country that has fewer people than Texas.

The networks made a big deal when the women's team won the World Cup in the United States in 1999. A home country winning the title is not uncommon. They also compared that team to the one that won the Olympic gold medal in hockey in 1980. No, No, NO!

The 1980 US olympic hockey was assembled in the fall before the olympics and was made up of individuals from different college teams most of whom afterward went into the NHL. The 1980 USSR team played as a unit for only their home country. Those players went to special schools where with studies learned their sport from the best instructors and the best of them played for the country.

Over half of the 1999 US women's team went to the University of North Carolina and the national team at that time was the only one the women on it played for. Anyone else see which team in the miracle on ice game mostly resembled Mia Hamm and her teammates?

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