I have followed both the Premier League (soccer) and the NFL (American Football) for many years now. However, this year, I think will be my first year where I could not care less about one of the sports... much to my frustration and disappointment.
People in the UK should, by now, be starting to grow tired of what the powers-that-be at the Premier League are providing us, the fans, with year-in and year-out. In a 20 team league, there is only a realistic chance of four teams ever winning it (and two of those are outside bets!) That scenario will not be changing for at least the next ten years if the system doesn't dramatically change by then.
In 15 years, only one team outside the top four has ever won the title.
Yes, stop the press! Manchester United, Chelsea. Arsenal and Liverpool WILL be the top four teams this year, probably in that order. No-one will come close to challenging for the title. Not this year. Not next year.
The reason for this is simply because there is no fairness in the league. No parity or structure at all. It seems that all the Premier Leagues decisions are decided by: a) The Press, or b) The Big Four managers. As a point of interest, just who is in charge? The FA? the Football League? Premier League? Ferguson? Wenger? Abramovich?
Games have become meaningless. The Premier League title is no longer held in high regard in the soccer world. There are too many competitions and far too many teams competing. Fan catchment areas are too limited and the infrastructure of the game is too archaic to fit a modern sporting world.
Not only are we being spoon-fed The Premier League, but also The UEFA Cup, Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, Johnstones Paint Trophy, no fewer than Four Domestic League Championships, and also all the Scottish, Spanish and International soccer too! No wonder the Premier League has lost its importance. It is physically drowning in a sea of saturation.
Thanks Sky TV.
So, now I find myself on the NFL side of the fence. The season is structured beautifully into 17 weeks (excluding play-offs), and pretty much any team can win. If not this year, the bottom-rated club could potentially be a contender in the next four, given the correct management and coaching.
Management and coaching: That is what the NFL season comes down to essentially. No £31 million signing fees being transferred between teams here. No sir, it's all trades (player-for-player or draft picks). Speaking of the draft, the worst team gets the best player. That in turn could entice better players/coaches to the team. In next to no time, the worst team in the league could be a serious competitor.
The 32 NFL teams play only one competition, the NFL. The Super Bowl is the ONLY competition teams want to win. No excuses of demanding fixture schedules (every team plays just once a week) and the phrase, "We're concentrating on the CarlingBarclaysCarling League right now, the Mickey Mouse cup—sponsored by Durex—is a distraction we don't need!" This is nowhere to be heard!
Also, there's the whole shared revenue thing. No team is considerably richer than the other. There is a salary cap in place, and major decisions about the league rules and competition are decided by the owners of the 32 teams balloting, presided over by a commissioner. Not by Fergie or Wenger telling the FA what to do, how to do it, and who to do it to.
In the last 15 years, 11 different teams have won the Super Bowl.
A level Playing Field. Parity. Fairness. Structure. A genius idea for an ideal of what sport should be.
Now, I'm not saying that American Football is, game-for-game, a better or worse sport than soccer. I'm just saying that I can no longer enjoy soccer in the UK due to the poor running of the competition and the sheer greed of the league's fat cats. The lop-sidedness of the Premier League has made it become a "Sport" akin to Formula 1. Sod the driver, the best car wins.
Until they all get their stuff in one sock, I'm turning off. Instead, I'll be watching the hundred plus NFL games that will be showing in the UK this year. I look forward to sitting down in front of the TV to watch a game, and genuinly not know who will be victorious come the full-time whistle.
Thanks Sky TV