News: Conference alignment & schedule parameters announced

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by JasonMa, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. Fighting Illini

    Fighting Illini Member+

    Feb 6, 2014
    Chicago
    That the NFL is a competitively abominable product whose only saving grace is America's bottomless cultural affinity for the game of football.
     
  2. aztec21bas

    aztec21bas BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 24, 2009
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thanks for sharing. There are many of us who are mature enough to love BOTH types of football.
     
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  3. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree there are many things to find "abominable" about the NFL, but the fact that it has a lot of divisions is pretty low on that list.
     
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  4. Fighting Illini

    Fighting Illini Member+

    Feb 6, 2014
    Chicago
    I love both types of football! And goodness knows I do enjoy watching the Bears from time to time.

    But if someone can honestly tell me that they can watch the 2:30 SEC game on CBS (college football's increasing attempts to NFL-ize itself and kill the golden goose notwithstanding) and then watch, say, Monday Night Football, and find the NFL presentation to be the superior entertainment product, I think that person is crazy.

    Rigidly enforced parity and large, highly random playoffs makes for such dull, thin gruel of a game-in, game-out product. MLS is already hamstrung by this, and every one of these longer-term plans just keeps making it worse and worse and worse.

    You can't have 32 financially unified and substantially equal teams playing for only one meaningful championship over the course of an entire year. That's dreck, any way you slice it.
     
  5. AlbertCamus

    AlbertCamus Member+

    Colorado Rapids
    Sep 2, 2005
    Colorado, USA
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    8 small divisions is too many in my opinion, but putting that aside for a minute, why do they have to be in 2 conferences?
     
  6. ToMhIlL

    ToMhIlL Member+

    Feb 18, 1999
    Boxborough, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So you know Garber well enough to know what he likes? The horse is already out of the barn when it comes to playing all teams over the course of the season, and I don't think it will ever go back. If they wanted to, they could have configured the divisions to make that work, but they didn't, so that seems indicative of their vision for a league with more teams.

    However, the one thing MLS brass does seem to care about is regional rivalries. And the problem with 4-team divisions is that it splits up a lot of them. NE vs the NY teams; Atlanta-Nashville; the 3 Texas teams; St. Louis-Chicago (which is more of a sports rivalry than STL-KC); San Jose-Sacramento.

    Instead, if you had 4 divisions of 8 (and at 30 teams, 8-7-8-7), you could keep all those intact.

    I remember many years ago when they scheduled both of the Revs away games at the MetroStars on weeknights, which made it impossible to do the only feasible away bus trip. Fortunately, they seem to have learned from that mistake.
     
  7. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Explains why Portland didn't get a team until 2011. You cannot fit the Timbers Army into any of those categories.
     
  8. ToMhIlL

    ToMhIlL Member+

    Feb 18, 1999
    Boxborough, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In 1999 it was a different scene, even in Portland. As I said, things have evolved where there is a lot of overlap and the culture is very different. A lot of the current fans who are regulars were toddlers at the time.

    Honest question: What was the Portland fan culture scene like in their pre-MLS days? Were they similar but just on a smaller scale?
     
  9. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Yes, the minor league Timbers Army were similar but on a smaller scale.

    And, circa 1999, I don't believe there was a minor league outfit or a Timbers Army. But I'm not sure you could say the "culture" of Portland was "very different" in the 1990s.
     
  10. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In 1999 Portland had no team at any level (USL team founded in 2001) and hadn't had one since 1990 when a version of the Timbers played in the first season of the APSL before folding. It got an MLS team when it got an owner with the money to do it and a stadium renovation plan that got rid of the old multipurpose (baseball) configuration.
     
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  11. CMeszt

    CMeszt Member+

    Fire Crown 4 Life (or until they change it again)
    Jan 9, 2004
    Soldier Field Media Deck. First Row.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Well the NFC East is abominable for a number of reasons...
     
  12. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's tempting to make three divisions with 27 clubs. Playing every club in your division twice and every club in the other two divisions once would be 34 games. At one point the NBA had 27 teams in three divisions of seven and one division of six.

    Here's a complicated format for three divisions of seven and one division of six:

    Division of six: 10 divisional games + 8 against every other division (making 144 games between these clubs and the other three divisions

    Divisions of seven: Six clubs in each division plays seven against the division of six, and one club in each division plays six against the division of six. Adding twelve divisional games and seven against the division of six leaves fifteen games, which would be one against the other divisions of seven with one more needed. The clubs with six games against the division of six would need two more. The simplest way would be for clubs in the same division to play rivalry games to make three against one opponent. The club that needed two more games would have two rivalry games, which works out because a division of seven can't have every club play once while only playing in the division. For example, number the clubs from 1 to 7, with 1 playing two rivalry games. The pairs could be 1 vs. 2, 1 vs. 3, 4 vs. 5, and 6 vs. 7. Decisions could be random or done intentionally. For example, the Red Bulls could be designated 1 to play extra games against NYCFC and D.C.
     
  13. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Nobody mentioned that the Red Bulls have been Western Conference Champions, but not Eastern Conference Champions (in they playoffs, obviously they had the most points in either conference when they won the Supporters Shield).

    The NCAA has:
    1. Teams having most of your games against teams they play every year
    2. Being able to claim that your region of the country has the best and/or most popular teams
    3. Rooting for other teams in your conference because it helps your strength of schedule
    4. Making fun of other teams for playing weak schedules
    5. Playing most of your non-conference games at home because your favorite team is in a top conference
    6. Cinderellas winning in Men's Basketball (for Football it can happen in the regular season but not the College Football Playoff)
    7. Bragging about how high your team is ranked in polls or claiming to know more than poll voters who don't think as highly of your team
    8. Selection Committees and brackets to predict
    9. Watching your team win blowouts

    The NFL has:
    1. Being able to name every team off the top of your head and many of the quarterbacks
    2. Tiebreakers and possibly needing help from three teams to make the playoffs when every team has one game left
    3. Picking every game
    4. Seeing close endings after a game in your area ends or if you get NFL RedZone
    5. Being able to memorize the channel number of every channel that shows games
    6. Having your record determine your fate without your schedule and a Selection Committee deciding (unless the tiebreaker gets all the way to strength of record and/or strength of victory)
    7. Having only one night game in a day and never 10:00 P.M. or later games like the Pac-12 has (as an exception the NFL has a 7:00 P.M. and 10:15 P.M. doubleheader on the first Monday Night)
    8. Watching games from London
    9. Rooting against teams in your division when they play out of division games
    10. Smaller average margins of victory
    11. Not having as many teams with the same record as your team because the NFL has fewer teams
    12. Having start times determined before the season except for flexible scheduling Sunday Night Football (some NCAA games have their time and channel decided one week at a time based on what games TV wants)
    13. Rooting for ties because they are rare
    14. Not having the clock stop after every first down

    Given the popularity of the Super Bowl, I don't think the NFL is hurt by not having a second competition. If the season is lengthened, there will be more games in hot summers and/or cold winters, and there will be more injuries and possibly decreased quality due to fatigue.
     
  14. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, F that. The rest of the Pac should crash and burn every week if I have any say in it.
     
  15. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    MLB may eliminate minor league teams and restructure the remaining teams, but in 2019 Nashville was in the Pacific Coast League (PCL), while Atlanta's affiliated in suburban Gwinnett was in the International League (IL). According to Google Maps, Nashville is within five hours of three IL clubs (Indianapolis, Louisville, and Gwinnett), but only one PCL club (Memphis).

    I was going to edit the following into my previous post, but since JasonMa already read it I'm putting it in a new post.

    I agree. Nobody should claim that all American soccer fans know more about the world than all American sports fans who don't watch soccer, but the former group can have a higher percentage of fans who know more about the world without it being a guarantee in a comparison between two fans or small groups. I'm going to make an analogy to politics in a way that presents a fact and does not give an opinion about any politician or party. According to Wikipedia, in the 2016 presidential election exit polls showed men voted for Trump 52%-41% with 7% other, and women voted for Clinton 54%-41% with 5% other. Men are more likely to be Republicans, and women are more likely to be Democrats, but there are areas where most men are Democrats and where most women are Republicans. It's a significant difference without a guarantee.

    Given the countries in Europe and the capitals one at a time to put in the correct country, I got every one right. I can also name most countries in the world. I haven't traveled, but I know more about the world because I'm a soccer fan. Of the Big Four, my favorite team is the Yankees. I haven't been watching the Islanders, but they're good. The Giants and Knicks are bad, and for a long time I've preferred NCAA Basketball to the NBA. MLB is the only one of the big four where I would recognize the name of almost every star player.
     
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  16. CMeszt

    CMeszt Member+

    Fire Crown 4 Life (or until they change it again)
    Jan 9, 2004
    Soldier Field Media Deck. First Row.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    [raises hand]

    /it helps that through 17 years of higher education and university employment I never attended or was employed by a school with a D1 football program.
     
  17. Minnman

    Minnman Member+

    Feb 11, 2000
    Columbus, OH, USA
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Enjoying both sports doesn't make you particularly mature. Just means you like both sports. Personally, I grew up addicted to the NFL. Just loved it. But it's been 20+ years since I've watched a game (I never cared for college football at all), and it's now at the point where I'd rather hit myself in the head with a hammer than watch that sport. Bores the shit out of me.
     
  18. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    #118 don gagliardi, Dec 6, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
    The maturity is in not gratuitously denigrating people who have a different outlook from you. The idea that people who enjoy the NFL are likely ignorant and "unworldly" provincials is immature -- and frankly bigoted. Garber's purported perspective in this regard is in keeping with how he condescends to Columbus.

     
  19. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We could check that in any year the champion wasn't selected for the playoff because of the SoS criteria - especially if UW was the champion. :)
     
  20. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You could, but my opinion wouldn't change (ok, maybe I root for an Oregon St. or Colorado but never Wazzu/Oregon/USC, and probably not UCLA either).
     
  21. Fighting Illini

    Fighting Illini Member+

    Feb 6, 2014
    Chicago
    I have no connection to the South or those schools either, but the dramatic tension on display there week in week out is just exquisite and anything other than the back end of the playoffs for the NFL isn't even on the radar screen.

    Plenty of amazing CFB to be watched outside the SEC as well of course, but those marquee CBS games (especially when Verne Lundquist was doing them) are absolutely as good as it gets. People made fun of those ads, but it was a true slogan: it just means more.

    Soccer leagues elsewhere have an element of that. THAT'S what MLS should be shooting for, not the pro forma slog of big four regular seasons.
     
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  22. Bluecat82

    Bluecat82 Member+

    Feb 24, 1999
    Minneapolis, MN
    Club:
    Minnesota United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Despite all the attempts ny The Don and the Home Office to convince me otherwise, I will probably never consider Sporting Kansas City as a "local rival"...

    Now, if he decides to put Team #33 in Minneapolis... :)
     
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  23. CMeszt

    CMeszt Member+

    Fire Crown 4 Life (or until they change it again)
    Jan 9, 2004
    Soldier Field Media Deck. First Row.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    One thing the current SEC has going for it is the utter lack of good defense compared to offense, which MLS seems to be doing a good job of imitating.
     
  24. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Similarly, I’m currently watching the Big 12 Championship Game and I want both Baylor and OU to lose.
     
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  25. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And to be honest this whole “rooting for your conference” nonsense is more or less the province of the lesser schools in the SEC who would otherwise have nothing else to root for.

    I mean, when was the last time you heard the “ESS EEE SEE” chant from Bama fans?
     
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