Let's talk podcasts for a second.
We didn't punt last week - in fact, there's a Special Edition FATBack with Kenn's full interview with Jesse Marsch. All them. No me.
Sadly, I'm back this week. Despite that, it should be an interesting show. Bryan James of the Sons of Ben is on - bizarrely enough, he'll be talking about the Philadelphia Union. We'll also discuss MLS at the 1/4 mark - call me crazy, but I think the league will finish the season. Also - WPS is cracking down on the on-field violence - but will it drive away the fans who come for Eddie Shore, old-time hockey? Plus - how long can I drag out the Final Thoughts schtick?
Comment of the week, from Edgar:
It isn't just the blog now. Everything I do online is setting up punchlines. In fact, that's my whole life now. The only audience for my actual jokes anymore is eight months old.
I should be pimping Aaron and Ed's show, but Listening to Dave Denholm's podcast, where he points out the difference between a team going undefeated on the road, but never winning, as opposed to a team winning five games but losing the rest.
Turns out it's the same - 15 points - I have calls in to Caltech to confirm the math, but I think this is correct.
It's less of an issue in WPS, since so far teams don't go out trying for the draw. There aren't intimidating home field advantages in the new league, even compared to MLS. The talent's roughly equivalent. I'm just smarting from having watched the Sol and Breakers serve up a big plate of null hypothesis.
So I'm tired of what I've been seeing around here, and you can't spell tired without "tie." Let's give four points for a win.
Will it work? No, but that's not the point.
When The Powers That Be brought in three points for a win, instead of the two points for a win as demanded in Leviticus, the game....well, it didn't open up. Because coaches are a superstitious, cowardly lot, and the only Law of the Game they respect is the law of unintended consequences.
We as fans think, "Go for the win!" Coaches think, "Do not lose." Coaches won't think of the two (or three) points left on the table. They will think, "At least we didn't give the other guys two (or three) extra points."
So why do it? Justice.
If such a system were in place now, Chivas USA would have an even more ridiculous lead - and the only way to catch them would be to win. Tying might as well be losing in the grand scheme of things with four points for a win. If you want to move up the standings, either tie four times, or win once.
If that doesn't work? Five points for a win.
The real way to get rid of playing for a draw, of course, is to get rid of draws. But that's another conversation which will end up with forty people telling me where I'm wrong and me posting in ALL CAPS HOW WRONG YOU FOOLS ARE FOR NOT LISTENING TO ME.
Dave also brought up MLSnobbery, which is a topic close to my heart. He simply doesn't care about non-MLS teams. Apart from Denholm saying "I'm sorry!" too much - for one thing, I don't think he's actually sorry - I think he's touched on a very interesting topic. Who is your home team? Where do you get loyalties from? Bonus points for considering that most of the United States is located far, far away from their local top pro team.
Dammit, I wasn't going to go into detail...okay, here's an example of the scope we're talking about. I know I've mentioned this map before.
Now, picture a similar "map" with MLS teams. For huge swaths of the country, for practical purposes there's no difference in supporting Barcelona or Kansas City. You're probably not going to may games, you're buying your gear online (preferably through the BigSoccer store! - okay, that's my shilling done), your friends have never heard of any of the players, and so forth. Support your local, sure. But, as Jesus asked, who is thy neighbor? Why should someone in St. Louis be honor-bound to support a Chicago team or a Kansas City team?
Sure, if you're in reasonable driving or public transportation distance of a team, and you sit at home cheering on Zamalek or Distillery or whoever, then take a long walk off a short pier. But the idea of a long-distance fan isn't exactly alien to the US - our pro sports are in fact built on it.
I like MLS and the US national teams more than anything else, mostly because there isn't room for anything else in my tiny brain.