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The English Premier League Is MORONIC For Not Having Playoffs

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Every season at this time of year as I watch the EPL on weekend mornings with a nice cup of coffee as I ease into the day I get all excited for the beautiful game as the season nears the end, but there’s always something missing. What is missing is an actual playoff system. I tweet about it annually. You can set your watch to it. Yesterday was that day

And every year the response is overwhelmingly positive. If there’s one thing people like, it’s new ideas! Let’s see how it went with soccer twitter

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In short…

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Little known fact about me…I am actually a pretty big soccer fan. Have been for years and years and years. I have a cousin who works in La Liga and my uncle owns a team in Serie B. I’ve got juego bonito in my bones. I just don’t tweet about it much because 1) I’m kinda groggy in the morning generally 2) Barstool Sam has the EPL covered way better than anything I could add and 3) I don’t have a team that I am super passionate about like Feitelberg with Liverpool so I never get too hyped up. I just watch because I like it. So I get triggered when people try to hit me with “knowledge” about the FA Cup or Champions League as if I am hearing about them for the first time.

Oh shit…they already play the FA Cup?!?!

Yeah guys, I know about all of that shit. And my rebuttle…if you have two champions you don’t really have one. At the end of the day, no team would choose winning the FA Cup over the Champions League or finishing on top of the table. In fact, sometimes teams will rest it’s top players for FA Cup matches if they bigger goals in Champions League or the EPL. The FA Cup a consolation prize at best. So let it be just that. Let it be for the teams that aren’t in the Premier League. Per wikipedia, there are 737 teams that play in the FA Cup. It’s Chelsea and there billion dollar payroll and some fucking pub team from out in the Cotswolds who have a drunken striker and a sheep playing goalie. Is that really necessary? Remove all the Premier League obligations for FA Cup and just condense the EPL schedule a bit by using days set aside for FA Cup games so there can be a additional weeks available for the playoffs at the end of the season.

For the life of me, I can NOT understand why soccer fans object to this idea so much. Why wouldn’t you want a format where you can get an EPL Super Bowl of sorts? Why wouldn’t you want high intensity, pressure packed moments to create excitement and memories? Imagine if they just crowned the 1998 Bulls champions? We wouldn’t get Jordan’s last shot against the Jazz. Imagine just giving the Super Bowl to the 2007 Patriots and not having David Tyree’s helmet catch? Laettner’s turn around jumper vs Kentucky? ALL of the most memorable moments in sports history happen in the playoffs. And that includes soccer whose biggest moments have happened in the World Cup elimination stages.

And as much as I love the Champions League, and I truly truly do…I HATE that it happens the following year. There is something wrong about that. It’s not the current best team in the world since the qualification happened the year before. Take Real Madrid this year for an example. They qualified for Champions League with Cristiano Ronaldo on their team, but for the actual tournament he’s playing for Juventes. Those two teams are FUNDAMENTALLY different. Imagine playing the whole season and then having Brady or Lebron James switch teams right before the playoffs. That’d be fucking stupid and that’s essentially what happens with the Champions League. It’s a sweet tournament and I don’t have a way to fix that issue I perceive as a problem, but it doesn’t sit right with me since it’s not a continuation of the team that actually qualified.

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but there is one fact of life that I know for sure…playoffs are always good. There’s nothing that beats it and there’s nothing in European Professional Football that is a good enough substitute at the moment.

bobby kennedy

ADDENDUM: I meant to include this in the blog, but I forgot and the top comment reminded me:

top comment

I fucking LOVE the relegation threat. Not sure why people think that having playoffs means that you have to get rid of relegations. I wouldn’t sign up for that. The bottom 3 teams can still fuck off. The 17th place finisher is safe from relegation but wouldn’t participate in the playoffs. What you’d have is literally every single game be meaningful the entire season. Relegation is a threat. Champions League qualification up for grabs and then also…playoff seeding. Look at the Table right now

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If you had a game between West Ham and The Toon Army right now it would be literally meaningless. Nothing is at stake for either of them. Nobody is getting dropped if they lose. Nobody is qualifying for anything if they win. Its just a game on the schedule because it has to be. If teams were jockeying for playoff position and seeding then suddenly going from 11th to 13th really matter. That is not the case now.

Playoffs would give every team in the EPL something to play for every single weekend. The current system does NOT provide that.