Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Overtime thrills, a lawsuit against the NHL and racism in football

From where I sit it looks like the first round of the NHL playoffs gave a great reminder of the best form of tie-breaking in sports.

Fully 17 games went to overtime, with all but the Montreal-Ottawa series having more than one. Apologies to fans of the other major sports, but honestly the NHL is far and away the class of the field. NFL, it's sudden death, kind of. MLB, extra innings can be fun, but all too often ends with a sacrifice fly. NBA, it's not hat exciting if you can win by 10. The NHL can last as little as 9 seconds...and as long as 104:46. Yet, it's the dramatic nature of the end. Jubilation and heart break all at once. It's a beautiful simplicity. Next goal wins.

As the NFL is facing a lawsuit from former players over their concussion problems...the NHL is now facing one of their own.

The big difference here is Boogaard's family also includes allegations of heavy prescription drug usage. All coming from various team Doctors. None of this has been proven, nor has the League filed a statement of defense. However, it's worth noting there hasn't exactly been a wave of denial. For me it's not so much whether the allegations are true, but that nobody seems very surprised. Once upon a time it was rare for a player to even use something as mundane as smelling salts, now practically everyone takes a whiff. With specialists in pretty much everything on each team there's always a new way to get an edge. The question isn't when will science slow down...but when will the body simply not be able to keep up.

Racism is still a major issue in the world of football.

How these teams can continue to allow fans like that in the door is beyond me. It's not even like these are minor teams. Roma is a major side with a long (though not always great) history. There is no reason teams can't ban racist supporters. Hooligans can and have been banned. All these fans have managed to accomplish is make their own side look bad. It's not exactly going to make the transfer market any better for Roma with this going on. The Football Association is apparently looking at a 5-game ban for racist abuse. In Europe it could be 10 games. But that still doesn't take care of the fans. Please, just kick them out and don't let them back in. Ever.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

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