Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Beauty of the Playoffs -- Part II

If you're still opposed to a playoff format at the end of the season, you're crazy. It doesn't have to be one that determines the champion, it can be one that determines the UEFA Cup places or Champions League places. After watching Bristol City book a date at Wembley in 12 days' time after beating Crystal Palace 2-1 today and 4-2 on aggregate in the Championship playoff semifinals, I'm more convinced than ever that some postseason system should be in place.

I didn't think the first leg of this tie could be topped in terms of excitement and drama, but I was wrong. This game went back and forth; both teams enjoyed dominant stretches where it looked like they'd be the side to advance. I watched the full 120 minutes today and came away impressed with both teams and both sets of supporters, although Crystal Palace's fans wanted to storm the field when their team was losing during extra time, presumably in order to get the match abandoned (GROW UP!!).

You just don't see many games like this during the regular schedule. There were so many twists and turns that I felt like I was watching a rollercoaster over and over again. The crowd was amazing, the goals were great, the tackles and 50/50 balls were all hotly contested, and there was even a missed PK that smacked the left post that could've won the tie for Crystal Palace. Lee Trundle, a terrific player but one who apparently has no right foot whatsoever, curled in a goal just right of the top of the penalty area to put City ahead in extra time, and a low, driven free kick from Michael McIndoe sealed the deal for Gary Johnson's team.

After this game, you just can't be opposed to a playoff system. Well you can be, of course, but you'd be insane if you weren't at least open to the idea.

No comments: