What’s the Point, Exactly, MLS?

After a long trip back to the barren lifestyle of the 18th century, the blog is back. Sitting by candelight in the cave night after night without access to the modern necessities, save a bottle opener, offered the opportunity to think about life’s many problems without all the usual distractions getting in the way. Didn’t take that opportunity, though, as usual.

Instead, my thoughts turned to the MLS. Odd, because that almost never happens. Why should it? Is there a more useless league in the world?

It’s play-off time in American soccer. The teams have just played a whole season of virtual friendlies against one another. Not a single game the whole year meant a thing. Almost every team makes the play-offs anyway. Just avoid being Among the bottom four or so, and you’re in. The whole thing is completely backwards. An entire season is played, not to determine the best team, but just to determine the worst.

The rest get into the play-offs where any team can suddenly find some combination of luck or a hot streak for a couple of matches and be crowned Champions. Nothing that played out over the entire summer means a whit. It’s a system that almost guarantees a lesser team will take the title.

Why should anyone be remotely interested in this sham?

The pointless season means there’s not going to be any emotion in the matches then. The play-offs are a quick crap-shoot that any team can win. There is no way any for any fan fervor to build up for this inane product.

The rest of the world does football right. Leave it to the Americans to think they know best. They clearly don’t in this instance. The belief that Americans are ‘used to’ a play-off system in their sports and won’t accept anything else, is just ignorant. On top of that, the league feels it has to coddle the clubs until enough interest is raised in the league to support itself. How can this method possibly raise any interest? I should be their target audience and I couldn’t be less bothered about it. A completely meaningless season followed by a little tournament to name a more or less arbitrary champion. What a great idea. Makes you long for next season already, doesn’t it?

The MLS made fatally bad decisions and the long-term future of the league has to be considered shaky at best.

Luckily, the rest of the world is back in action after the international break, and I’m back with enough technology to follow them. At least now I can get my daily dose of The Fiver again. A little blog put out by The Guardian that now numbers among my addictions. It’s almost always the funniest thing I encounter all day, and they’ll fire it out to you in your email at noon everyday if you ask them. Go to The Fiver to read today’s and sign up.