Monday, August 3, 2009

8/3/09: Did Dave Checketts Hit His Head?

"I want my shootouts!"

Let me introduce the moron of the month in MLS. Dave Checketts wants shootouts back. Here is Checketts making his absurd argument about a 1-1 tie where a goalkeeper was subbed back into the all star game and most of the league's top talent opted not to play(Dwayne De Rosario) or had no interest in taking part for the second year(Guillermo Barros Schelotto).

"If this doesn't make a case for the shootout being brought back, I don't know what does," Checketts said. "I said, 'Look at the people staying, standing, screaming.' It was a classic matchup of the two best Americans who have ever played that position(yeah except Friedel is better than both combined, but who has time for small details when a euphoric wave of "shootout fever" strikes you. Further what if the matchup is John Thornton against the Everton reserve keeper, still jizzing in your pants, Checketts?). It was classic."

People "staying, standing, and screaming" for a meaningless exhibition in the middle of the season and a chance for top players to pick up an injury can probably be attributed to, in my opinion, that some mormons are a little bit kooky. Just saying, I dated one briefly. Or because they paid the money(or received complimentary tickets), had all their favorite shows on tivo, and figured "mise well stay around, so little Billy and Becky can see some of that soc-cah."

Anyways, if you haven't guessed, I'm a soccer purist. This isn't the early 1900's where experimenting with the beautiful game(because of a lack of education or a dislike for Europe) should be allowed to run rampant. Soccer is soccer, everywhere across the world, plain and simple. Why can't dumb Americans(it's okay to make fun of your own ilk) just accept it, instead of being "different, just to be different." Look we don't need a shootout to be different and edgy, and to bring in tons of fans(it didn't work before, it pushed most REAL soccer fans away.) We can be different with our own American style of play. Which is all grit, speed, determination, and heart.

Further, isn't MLS already being different and edgy by having a pointless All Star Game(to seem more like baseball) in the first place (and to well, get another night on ESPN and to sell 20,000 more tickets, and to bring in some C rated pop band). If you ask most MLS fans, they would get rid of the All Star Game as well. Hell, the teams that have players who take dedication to their team more seriously then a godwill night for the league, just politely reject the offer to play anyways. Also, despite the fact that Checketts found the All Star Game the most enthralling matchup featuring MLS players this year, I watched for about 10 minutes, then got something to eat, and played soccer in my local park; ignoring the rest of the pointless fixture. There is nothing on the line, so why should I care? I rather watch FC Dallas face off against Colorado in front of 6,000.

The All Star Game aside, a shootout is just a ridicoulous and cruel way to end a game. You shoud win the game with skill, great finishing, and a never relenting defense. You shouldn't win a game on luck just because being lucky excites a bunch of soccer mom's and rednecks who don't know anything about soccer in the first place. Anyone who knows anything about soccer, shakes their head when a World Cup final goes to penalities. That type of luck ending isn't how an important game is supposed to end.

Sometimes both teams deserved a draw, it's a fair result. Sometimes an away team worked their ass off to hold onto that one point, should they go to penalities exhausted and be sent home with zero points? Yeah, ok, Checketts.

But, "that's how they dooo it in hoc-key" says Checketts, or he should have just said that:
"A lot of hockey games ended in ties, and everybody said you can't mess with traditional hockey(yeah since this was before Checketts was probably born, who the hells knows though, I'm not a big fan of hockey)," he said. "But let me tell you something(that you already probably know): There's a five-minute overtime at the end of every regular-season game, and then a shootout, and no one leaves the building. No one. The winning team gets an extra point for winning in the overtime or the shootout, but both teams get a point for ending in a tie, and you know what? We haven't rocked the foundations of hockey. I don't think anybody's been hurt by it."

Yeah, your argument still sucks. Just because everyone stays for an extra five minutes, what does this do for MLS? Does it sell out stadiums for an extra five minutes? No. Do people walk by the stadium and say, "oh a shootout's going on, let me buy a ticket for the last five minutes." No. It just means that most people stay a little longer and it means that real fans of soccer(and apparently there is quite a bit of them with just your regular American soccer fans like myself, the 44 million Latino fans, the immigrants from about every other country as well across the globe who have made America their home, and the 1-2 million Americans of all backgrounds who have(or will) witness international friendlies this summer.

All of them seem to be dying to catch some traditional soccer. But, yeah, let's listen to Checketts and take a hacksaw to all of MLS's real progress. MLS has finally begun to listen to ACTUAL soccer fans(there are enough of them in this country to probably run three premierships) instead of trying to find a format that 1st and 10, Rome is Burning, and their idiotic horde of followers can understand.

Soccer is soccer and if Checketts doesn't like it then he can go buy another hockey team.


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