The Women’s World Cup
I spent my afternoon watching the women’s World Cup Final between the United States and Japan. And although the United States didn’t win, our women have nothing to be ashamed of. There’s something to be said about motivation. The Japanese team was motivated from the Fukushima earthquake and nuclear reactor. A similar thing happened in 1980 when the US hockey team was motivated by the failure of the Jimmy Carter presidency.
There were two things about the World Cup that bothered me. The first thing is that overtime wasn’t sudden death. The US scored the first goal in overtime. In most other sports, the first team that scores wins. There isn’t much scoring in soccer, so the first goal is that much more important. The second thing that disturbed me was the game ending on penalty kicks. Spending two hours playing soccer only to have a game end on penalty kicks is wrong (especially in a final game of a tournament.)
The NHL has a shootout to end tie games in the regular season. But even they realize that a shootout is no way to determine who gets to hoist the Stanley Cup. If Game 7 of the World Series was to be tied after nine innings, they would go to extra innings. They wouldn’t resort to a home run derby to determine a championship.
Soccer would be more popular in the United States if it had a sudden-death format with whomever scoring first would win. It would also help if they kept playing until somebody scored.
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