1. timmyg

    timmyg Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Agreed. Both #1 seeds are out. Playoffs should never be chalk but something is awry when the seeds left are 2v4 and 4v7, especially when your season is as long of a slog as MLS is. No format they've ever had made much sense, so you'd think they'd at least give elevate winning the Supporters Shield and not the entertainment-driven playoffs.
  2. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Newburgh, IN
    Sorry, but I think this is a backward way of thinking. What you are essentially saying is the Super Bowl, World Series and NBA "cup" winners are not as relevent as the regular season best record team. They are all essentially cup tournaments and they all matter.

    New England are the regular season champions, and the Supporters Shield is not meaningless just because MLS has found a way to make the cup competition meaningful. I am not sure I have ever not heard how meaningless Euro cup competitions have become and you don't see MLS teams not playing the best available 11 in cup matches. I love it and hope it never changes. Teams get upset and knocked out of cup competitions everywhere but I can't name one other country where getting eliminated from a cup is as painful as in MLS.

    BTW, if you need any evidence of how important the Supporters Shield has become go back to last season and look at how Philly celebrated winning its first ever piece of hardware when they were crowned champions.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
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  3. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Walnut, CA
    There is no way MLS would ever get rid (nor should) of the postseason. The revenue generated during the playoffs both at the gate and TV ratings (which are way up) is important. I agree that there should be better scheduling so New England doesn’t have 3 weeks off. However, this is a country of playoffs in all its major sports.

    Take any sport and if your a fan you’ll think of those classic games/moments, how many of those are in a postseason setting? Should the 116 win season by the Mariners in 2001
    have been given the trophy? The fact they lost in the playoffs to the Yankees is what stands out. If a #1 seed has a home match against a lower seed and they gag I don’t have much sympathy.

    Portland handled RSL 2-0, so the Timber’s Army will be rocking Providence Park this Saturday in the Final against NYCFC who have the luck going there way as Philly had major covid issues and were depleted on the pitch.
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  4. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2013
    Virginia Beach
    I suppose that my point here is one of perspective. Obviously having the best record over the course of the season is important - and with the Supporter's Shield, it is actually celebrated in MLS. I think the NHL may have a trophy as well, but the fact that I can't even remember the name supports my point (or exposes me as a far too casual hockey fan). The main issue that I have is if you google MLS champions (or any other American sport), you are going to get a list of the playoff (cup) winners. You're going to see Columbus Crew, not Philadelphia Union. If you google Premier League champions, you're going to get the league winner, Manchester City - not the FA Cup, Leicester City (Manchester City also won the EFL Cup but that's not going to be at the top of your search results). The season champions are seemingly only celebrated by those in the league and the die hard fans.

    The playoffs in American sports are not separated from the season and the emphasis is not on the regular season, only the playoffs. In fact the entire season is basically a play-in for the playoffs. And I agree @SoCalJoe, most of the iconic and memorable moments come from those games. Though I would argue that since the playoff games are made to be so consequential (win or go home), they actually cheapen the regular season matchups and increase the significance of those moments. ...as long as you make the playoffs, right (which by the way is pretty much half the teams in most leagues - 30% MLB, 43% NFL, 50% NHL, 52% MLS, 67% NBA)?
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  5. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    I am the Grinch concerning the "who's the best/who's the champ" MLS kerfaffle. It is a weakness of American sports that there can NOT only be one. I think the American mind set is that nobody really cares about ANY sport until the end of season tournement. Once upon a time there were two major league baseball leagues. The winner of each league was the LEAGUE CHAMPION. Every other team in the league was NOT. The World Series came along as sort of a dessert to pennant race meal. The BEST v. the BEST was a nice way to forestall the onset of winner. "The World Champion" was classical American Jingoism. If you're the best in the USA, you HAVE to be the best in the world.

    Along came the idiots who, in my humble opinion, have fucked up the great game royally. They determined two things: (1) Baseball was a television series. (2) The longer the "who's the best" drama can be drawn out, the higher the ratings. More idiots jumped in and created the playoffs to keep more teams involved. This is how we wound up with at least two or three mediocre teams in the post-season.

    And this is why the various "champions" in the MLS aren't guaranteed a championship of any kind.

    When I was a kid in the early 60s, I saw a FA Cup final on TV. It was the first soccer I ever saw. I can't remember who the two teams were, but I [and probably 95% of other Americans watching] assumed that this was THE CHAMPIONSHIP of English soccer. It wasn't until I moved to England that I found out that there was a whole different British viewpoint on the difference between winning a knock-out tournament and winning a league championship. I was thrilled when Sunderland of the old second division defeated mighty Leeds United in the FA Cup final. A week or so later, I got to watch the newly crowned side lose to Luton Town in a second division clash. Yes, the FA Cup final was NOT the last match of the season!

    Where am I going with all this? I have no problem with there being a League Champion and a FA Cup winner. This is something cool that MLS could feed. I DO have a problem with a barely .500 side taking part in a "League championship tournament."

    Bah Humbug
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  6. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

    Mar 4, 2014
    I like having playoffs, but I do think that there are often too many teams included in most playoffs and specifically with the MLS I think they should do it like the Champions League and have each round with two legs - home/away. That gives teams a chance to recover from fluky circumstances while still offering plenty of drama.

    One thing that that factors into the value of the playoffs is the lack of a relegation system. In the Premier League, even if a team is running away with first place there is still league drama with who will get relegated (and Champions League spots too). Without the threat of relegation and without playoffs, league play would get dull certain seasons as one team becomes the clear top finisher weeks away from the end. Implementing relegation in the MLS is a whole other discussion.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2021
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  7. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Louisville, KY
    A long time ago, in a galaxy not that far away, a kid who was allowed to start a subscription to Sports Illustrated while in the 3rd grade, received the issue dated April 7th, 1969. Inside, beyond the cover of legendary St. Louis Blues Center Gordon "Red" Berenson, was an article, the lead article, in fact, titled "The Curse Of The Endless Playoff." The article, written by longtime SI lead American football writer Tex Maule, was a diatribe about the pending NFL-AFL merger and the resulting playoff scheme. Maule was an NFL loyalist, deriding the AFL, the quality of it's teams and players. But, the point of the story was the playoff system's track records in the NHL and NBA, it's pending implementation in Major League Baseball, and the likely negative effect of it's imposition on his beloved NFL. After he deftly enumerates the iniquities of second place teams having a relatively short porch, two games, in fact, to make it to the Super Bowl, he writes: "If you spend a season determining a champion, the season games art meaningful, Pete. But if you spend a season eliminating a few teams from spurious playoffs put on for the enrichment of TV, then you devalue the season games. When that time comes, Pete, you will be in deep, deep trouble. You will have killed that famous goose." Pete, of course, is former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, who most credit with making the NFL the money making juggernaut it is. Later, Maule wrote, "Sport is not all business--and anyone who thinks that way is likely to be making a business mistake in the long run."
    Looks like he was wrong.

    Attached Files:

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  8. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    Thanks for posting this. Quoting a jazz age song, "Everything Old is New Again."
  9. stlouisbrad

    stlouisbrad Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2007
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