A dispatch from Chelsea Football Club:
Alvaro Morata wished Gary Cahill a good retirement… but he’s not retiring pic.twitter.com/BiASFd9AfA— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 7, 2019
Ramble of the Day
I was casually watching Dallas Stars-St. Louis Blues last night, wondering what game of the series of the National Hockey League playoffs. It was game seven, and though I’ve understood the format of the hockey playoffs for as long as I’ve known them, I did think about it for a moment: Isn’t a best-of-seven arrangement a bit much for a playoff series?
The first thing I realized is that, by my sport of choice being football/soccer, I will naturally be shaped by the norms of that sport. A two-legged series is probably just enough, and at least in football, it would be extremely difficult to arrange more matches on scheduling alone.
Of course, this is also attached to athletes and their recovery times; in football, it seems completely illogical to make players play more than three games in eight days, and only to do so somewhat occasionally. These best-of-seven series are common in not just hockey, but baseball and basketball. There’s probably an argument to be made baseball players needing less recovery time than footballers, and perhaps one for hockey players, too. That said, I’m not 100% sure I’d make the same argument for basketball players, and I now realize the logic somewhat extends to tennis players; they don’t really play best-of-seven series, but they tend to only get a day of rest in between matches, and they tend to exert a lot of energy.
I doubt the athletes in these sports feel like they don’t get enough time to rest in between matches, though. Still, football(/soccer) has shaped the way I think about other sports. I found out once that National Football League teams play only 16 games in the regular season, which I found to be too short. Major League Baseball teams apparently play 142 games, which I find to be an exorbitant amount of matches. Even hearing that Tottenham play about 50 games a season between four competitions leaves me with my mouth open, even though it is standard for the team at this point; of course I’m going to feel this way about the MLB schedule.
I’m not tapped in, so I don’t know if anyone’s argued against the structures the way they are. From what I know, it seems like these particular items aren’t up for debate, so I have no particular reason to question them. It is fun to go ahead and think a little too hard about the way things are structured in my brain, though.
tl;dr: Differing sports structures, and how we get used to certain things.
Links of the Day
Diego Godín will leave Atlético Madrid on a free after nine years at the club.
Europe’s domestic leagues are reportedly united regarding UEFA’s proposed changes to the Champions League as the parties hold meetings in Madrid this week.
Today’s longer read: Rachel Rose Gold and Adam Braun on Everton Ladies and the team’s unrealized potential courtesy of neglectful management for Royal Blue Mersey