Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Good Job, NFL

Today, the NFL has decided to change it's postseason overtime rules, making it no longer a strict sudden death period. In a 28-4 vote, the league has decided that if a team that wins the coin toss kicks a field goal, the other team will have a chance to get the ball back to either tie or win. If they score a touchdown instead, the game is over.

This is the perfect overtime for the NFL and really should be implemented in regular season as well. You earn touchdowns, not field goals. Field goals should be a play you settle on. The fact that all any team needs to do is take the kickoff to the 30, then go 40 yards is too easy in this NFL. This new rule puts the role of strategy back into the overtime, as now any field goal try would be second-guessed and the possibility to attempt an onside kick would be thought about. Plus, now it's no longer career suicide to win the coin toss and kick the ball (unless your defense sucks).

I think most everyone would agree that the NFL needed a new overtime format. The college format would be the worst idea since it's the dumbest OT in sports (going along with the dumbest way to decide a champion). For those who don't like that this rule is different from the regular season, remember the NHL has a completely different format for their postseason OT, so a slight, but clear difference won't matter here. Finally, by not going too far with trying to fix OT, it keeps the NFL from overplaying games when injuries can become more prevalent. The fact the NFL still can have ties is why soccer does the same thing. Soccer can never do a NHL-type OT during major events because playing for almost 120 minutes (90 in regulation and 30 extended) is physically draining and need the penalty kicks to decide games. Same goes for the NFL, even a little more do to football's brutality. The NFL did good today in tweaking their rules.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Keep The Yank With The Brits

This Saturday, Everton will face Birmingham in a battle between two of the better teams in the EPL. Neither side is in any danger of dropping into the bottom three of the league, meaning they wouldn't be demoted into League One. At the same time, neither team has much of a chance to finish in the top 4 and qualify for the Champions League. So why does this game matter? Because this is the end for Landon Donovan and his 10-week loan to Everton.

Donovan goes back to the States and the L.A. Galaxy to get ready for the start of the MLS season. Everton wanted to keep him for the rest of the season, but they couldn't make a deal with the Galaxy to extend his run, unlike what AC Milan has done with David Beckham. This to me is an extremely short-sighted decision on the part of Bruce Arena and the Galaxy.

Landon Donovan his proven that he fits in with Everton and is good enough as a player in the Premier League. There, his talents aren't being wasted, instead he's only getting better. The U.S. is now a better team because Donovan has played in England and with the best players in the world (including many English footballers who he will face in the World Cup opener). The chances for the USA to do any kind of damage in the World Cup are because Tim Howard is Everton goalkeeper, Jozy Altidore is in Hull City, and Clint Dempsey can return to action with Fulham. That, along with whether Oguchi Onyewy and Charlie Davies can be healthy in June could determine how well the Yanks play in South Africa.

However, that's not the main reason why Donovan should be allowed to play in EPL. It's because he's a Premier League talent and he would be paid like one. He doesn't make nearly the kind of money that he can in England because he's been brought up in this American system. If the MLS had a strike this year, no one would miss it, since all the American soccer fans watch European club leagues anyway. It's a disservice to Donovan to not allow him to finish the season with Everton and hopefully Donovan will leave once the season ends as a December or January transfer. Or better yet, there are rumors that Chelsea would be interested in picking up Donovan next year, which would allow me to officially declare Chelsea as my EPL team.

If you caught the highlights of Everton's blowout over Hull City, you see Donovan score a goal and set up another goal and both times, the Everton players showed how much Donovan meant to that team, which is somewhat true since Everton went 6-2-1 with him in the lineup and moved from second half to first page of the EPL leaderboard. Donovan was thrilled to play there and fans and played showed him the love that he can never receive here, at least in club football. So allow him to stay Coach Arena, at least until April 15 as Donovan asked for. Then when next year's transfer window opens, Donovan could earn the league even more in transfer fees.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fire Sather

Enough of the Jedi mindtricks Glen. Now, I don't know how he's been able to keep his job with his decade of incompetence. I mean Isiah Thomas only had five years in charge of the Knicks. Did Glen need to have Wade Redden involved in a truck party while harassing a Garden aide to be fired. That's why I've taken the idea that the Rangers would be better served by missing the playoffs this year. Perhaps the fact that Jim Dolan can't weed extra money from his fan base (including myself in 3 of the past 4 years) will lead to him thinking it would be wise to find someone new.

Today, there will be a "Fire Sather" rally outside MSG at 5 pm, before tonight's Sabres/Rangers game. I unfortunately will be unable to attend, but fully support this action and really, this needs to happen before every Rangers home game; at least on weekend games which work and rush hour can't limit the amount of people who can join in. I know that the chances of Dolan actually listening to those at the rally are about 0.0000001 percent, but at the very least shows the Rangers fans care how their team is run, before a generation of potential Rangers fans are lost like Blackhawks and Bruins fans in the late 90s, early-to-mid 00s.

Finally, I wanted to share this SI Vault article from 1965, notice how sometimes, things never change.