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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Maybe We Could Call It 'The World Championship of Football'

The most recent English Premier League season started around August 20th, 2006 and finished around May 20th, 2007. What do the players do in this three month off-season? The top players across Europe are then recalled to their national teams to play international matches. These include the European Championship, the World Cup, qualifiers for those two tournaments, and international 'friendlies' to stay sharp.

All of this action gives soccer fans something to focus on at all times, and it keeps the top players in shape and in good form. Unfortunately, the constant play can also lead to injuries that can cause a player to miss their club team's entire season. England/Newcastle Striker Michael Owen is an example. Still, professional soccer clubs generally allow their players to compete in international matches of great importance despite the risk of losing a key component of their team to injury. Perhaps this is allowed because when showcasing a player on an international stage, the club could later benefit from fans who discover a player through these tournaments and then want to follow them in their domestic league. A player's value to the club could also undoubtedly increase with strong international play. Take Marseille's Franck Ribery, for example. He was a standout for France in the '06 World Cup and is on the verge of being transferred to Bayern Munich for a rumored twenty-five million euros.

Over on this side of the pond, we Americans are treated to various athletic leagues in the football off-season, none of which fully fills our deep, vast vagina that is constantly moist and glistening for the great pigskin cock. While the NFL stars are off frolicking in places like Miami or the O.C. fattening up, de-injuring themselves, filling the role of beefy celebrity that the average shitty golfer can outplay at a charity outing, or whatever other sissy, lazy, family oriented half-mastery they engage in, we fans suffer. We love the NFL so much that the Bermanic fucking televised draft probably gets better ratings than every single non-football athletic event during the off-season. Saturday afternoon baseball on FOX between two teams, neither of whom are named the Tigers? Are you kidding me? I would rather watch a movie on Lifetime based off of a Danielle Steele novel or ask an elderly woman for tips on growing rhododendrons than watch the Mets play the Florida Marlins with Joe Buck and Tim McObvious narrating. Announcers for televised baseball, by the way, are the most unnecessary add-ons to any televised sport. All you need is to have the score, outs, the count, who is up, who is pitching, and who made the play in the field. There's a handy thing called 'text' that humans have used for years that can be flashed on the screen at the appropriate time to alert the viewer what is happening.

Now I know there are many legitimate excuses for not playing top-level football in the Spring and Summer. I'm not going to get caught up in all of that mess. It's high time for a Spring/Summer football tournament. At this point I do not have a name for it, but it should be modeled after the European Championships, with the major difference being that states and not countries would field the teams. Each state can enter a team of players born in that state only. The players could come from any level of football, as long as they are over 18 (so they wouldn't die on the field after being hit by Ray Lewis and not know the simple pleasures of legally buying pornography or purchasing fireworks in Indiana). The tournament could consist of sixteen teams with four states out of each of the four Census Regions qualifying somehow. The games would take place at some site within the regional action, and the final four would be held at some city selected to host for that particular year.

This would be fun for many, many, many fine reasons. Here are some of them:

- Americans tend to both like football and have state-pride. Ding dong!
- It would be awesome to see an NFL player you can't stand get burned by some white guy from Wyoming.
- The NCAA might start to believe that there is real money to be made from a tournament at the end of the college football season.
- Who wouldn't want to watch Hawaii play Alaska in the qualifying stages?
- Each state would also have its own cheerleaders. Cheerleaders have vaginae and pretty hair.

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