You cannot be serious

Now this is funny. Well it would be if Brian Mawhinney didn’t actually believe it might be a good idea. Ending all drawn league games in penalty shoot outs. I’m almost lost for words. Where to begin on this utter stupidity? I actually did check the date to make sure it wasn’t April 1st.

Apparently, because people find shoot-outs exciting, there should be millions of them because that would make every draw end in high tension. No, no and thrice no. Here’s why in a few ways that spring immediately to mind.

1) Shoot outs are only exciting for neutrals. For those supporters of the clubs involved, they are terrifying, gut-wrenching ordeals that we would not wish on Osama Bin Laden.
2) They are only exciting if there is something to lose. A semi-final is something to lose. Or a final. Here is drama, theatre and terror. Not getting your one point for a draw is not drama. it is barely a shrug of the shoulders.
3) If my team goes out of a cup competition on penalties, I am gutted. I have been there too many times and the hurt never lessens. Similarly if my team wins in such a way, the cascade of relief is one in which I gladly drown. It just about balances the appalling squeeze on my heart that has just preceded it. If, on the other hand, my team is denied a point and therefore stays 12th rather than reaching the heady heights of 11th, there is always next week. If my team is relegated as a result, then I predict a riot…
4) I can never understand this desperation to make something genuinely exciting into something that is not by making it all-pervading. Hang on, let’s have Christmas every day as Roy Wood suggested. Or maybe have a world cup every year (actually, it was once mooted that it should be every two years if I remember rightly). Please, Lord Mawhinney, try to comprehend that anticipation breeds excitement and mundanity kills it.
5) Shoot outs would not increase excitement in any case, merely give another bullet to those poorer sides who reckon they might be able to hang out for 90 minutes and then win on pens.

Next he’ll be wanting to cut out the middleman and ditch the preceding 90 mins entirely. Just think, you could have a whole league season in one afternoon at a big stadium filled with lots of nets, huddles of players and capering goalies. What fun.

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4 Responses to “You cannot be serious”

  1. Ariel says:

    LOL :)

    I reckon they’re just trying to deflect attention away from their completely insane refusal to consider replay technology for key decisions…

  2. JamesB says:

    And you know what worries me too? It’s that technology may not get used because the authorities ‘don’t want a stop start game.’ What the bloody hell do they think they have now? The only game more stop start is American Football. And it’s still exciting, dammit.

  3. Jez says:

    hmmm maybe… I’m on the fence with this one but I have to say both feet are on the side of penalty shoot outs. Soccer is an unusual game in that a match is far more likely to end in a draw than most other games. That’s not particularly exciting for the fans. Winning IS exciting and cause for celebration. Penalty shoot-outs at least ensure that a game ends with a winner, skill factor argument aside. Fans of the winning team can go to the pub, drink, be merry, gloat and have a good time. Fans of the losing team can semi enjoy the lively atmosphere and those with open minds can perhaps share the enjoyment vicariously. There’s no thrill for either team in a draw, a draw is relatively boring.

    Keeping in mind that my comments are perhaps heavily weighted on experiencing a game live in a stadium and not on the idiot box. Watching ANY sport on TV at home alone just does not compare to a stadium/group pub experience. Your time would best be served reading a good book.

  4. JamesB says:

    Got to say I’ve been to games where hanging out for a draw has been incredibly exciting. Support a club like mine and know the joy of a point when you deserve none at all…

    I think the problem with ending every game with a shoot out if necessary diminishes the joy of victory. Cheapens it. I get it in a cup game, I just don’t see it in a league format where accumulating points is what it’s all about. One point can be so vital.

    Ipswich stayed up one season by dint of hanging out for a draw at Blackburn. Could it ever have been right to then settle the game on pens and maybe relegate the team because their spot kicks weren’t quite as good?

    To make a shoot out fair, both teams must have as much to gain or lose. In the example above, Blackburn would surely win nine out of ten times because to them, it barely matters and hence it is like scoring in a training session. For Ipswich, it would have been playing for their survival…

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• March 19th, 2007 • Posted in Football • Comments: 4