Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The play off's just don't pay off

Had this pass through the ABITB offices today...

Happy to help Sepp my old sausage. But i will be getting back to him over his shoddy spelling and grammar in that e-mail. Must have been those Martini's he has at lunch.
Now I'm not sure why this is Sepp's current flight of fancy, but I'm prepared to give it a bit of thought, and i think i can come up with a few reasons. 
Firstly, Surely no one can argue with the theatre of the play off's. You would think that in games with so much at stake, teams would take a steady approach and shut up shop, where even one misplaced pass could be the difference between death or glory. However, recent play off finals have seen some of the most expansive, enthralling, exciting, nerve wrenching, arse clenching, vomit enducingly brilliant games you are ever likely to see. For example....
Reading 3 Bolton 4
Swindon 4 Leicester Ciy 3
Charlton 4 Sunderland 4
Gillingham 2 Manchester City 2 
All games that would send any supporter of the teams involved to the local A&E department with a heart affliction that even Dr House would struggle to figure out. 
But we also can't ignore the elephant in the room here. The play off's are inherently unfair. As the great man himself, the own goals zeitgeist himself, Mr Danny Baker once pointed out.....
The play offs are the equivalent to Muhammad Ali going 12 bruising rounds with George Foreman before being declared the winner, only for a bloke to jump in the ring and shout " hold on Ali, we got a couple of more blokes for you to have a go at "
I don't see any rational reason why a team that has expelled copious amounts of blood, sweat and tears all season and battled away to finish a deserved and respectable 3rd should then be told "hold on a second pal, you know that team that were fairly ordinary all year? well they won their last 3 games so they get to go up instead of you"
Blimey, this has got my blood boiling! i can see why Sepp wants me to sort this out now. So what are the alternatives.....

Pitch Battles (Version 1):
A simple solution this one, the final automatic promotion place will be awarded to the team with the greenest and lush-est playing surface. Golf tournaments are awarded to the courses that are kept in the best condition, so why not in football. Anyway, a well kept playing surface is surely more conducive to attractive passing football, so everyone's a winner.

Pitch Battles (Version 2):
Slightly less sophisticated this one, Basically a massive tear up between fans of the two teams, one leg each on either side's "manor". Each set of fans would also be able to pick one of their teams players as a star guest to help in the battle. Imagine a cross between the scene in the football factory and the fight between the different news channels in Anchorman and your pretty much there (and who wouldn't want to see Carlos Tevez wielding a trident)
Royal Rumble:
This is possibly my favourite idea, the last promotion spot is decided by a carbon copy replica of the famous WWE Royal Rumble. A wrestling ring is set up in the middle of wembley stadium and the manager of each team in the league enters the ring with the intention of dumping their opposite numbers over the ropes and onto their arse's in order to be the victor and send their side soaring into the next division. Entrance music and tight Lycra wrestling suits are of course mandatory.

Mascot Derby:
An idea pinched from the world of cricket's 20/20 finals day. Each team in the league send their club mascot off to the new Olympic stadium for a 100m dash to promotion victory. I am for some reason picturing this being officiated by John Anderson of TV's Gladiator's, which surely can only make this idea better.

Top gear test track:
In association with the BBC and top gear, we send a player from each team off to the top gear test track on a weekly basis so that they can whizz around the track in the reasonably priced Kia Cee'd, ably assisted by Sir Stiggerson. 
"Some say if you see into his eyes you turn to stone and he had a playboy magazine in his hands when he was born. all we know he's called Robbie Savage"

 So there you have it, a few things for Monsieur Blatter to mull over. I hope the mad old bastard doesn't actually see this though, otherwise next years play off final will be replaced with Arsenal's Gunnersauraus racing Neil Warnock around Wembley in a Datsun Sunny.