August 04, 2005

Just Wrong

Whaaaaaaaaaat? I've been so busy lately, between overseeing the Mother Jones site and trying to find a new roommate, that I haven't had a chance to check out what's going on in the NHL. (Plenty of time for gratuitous blogging, though.) So it looks like the owners and players agreed to make nice and bring hockey back for next season, but with a catch: they've changed the rules. No more ties: every game ends in a shoot-out. Bullshit, I say. Bullshit. There's no justification for a "shootout" in any sport. Why not just end baseball games with mock homerun derbies? Or basketball games with free-throw competitions? Or volleyball games with a swimsuit runway walk-off?

More to the point, one would imagine these new bush-league rules will provide teams with some seriously perverse incentives. It's difficult, after all, for a team to win games, but not nearly as difficult to battle to a draw during regulation. So a mediocre team can just invest in three cheap, pretty useless players who happen to be good at scoring breakaway goals, aim for a draw in every game, and then try to win on the shootout. Infuriating. Plus it appears that the league eventually wants to ban all fighting from the game, in an effort to "attract more fans" here in the United States, which, for anyone who's actually lived in this country, seems pretty daft.
-- Brad Plumer 8:51 PM || ||