Like you, I (Scott) am a busy guy. Like you, I love sports, especially football (soccer). Because I am a busy guy, I have to be strategic about which sporting events I watch. I only watch the games that actually matter -- the ones that don't leave me feeling like I've wasted my time when it's over.
That has been the premise of many blog posts over the past several months. American sports leagues have a playoff system and no relegation. This leads to many games that can be avoided altogether.
If a team is guaranteed to make the playoffs, I no longer have to care about their regular season games. If a team is guaranteed to miss the playoffs, I no longer have to care about their regular season games either. This leaves only the teams in the middle with games that matter. As league seasons draw to a close, it is harder and harder to find games that matter.
Even more frustrating, when the playoffs start, all the playoff games are played in close succession. It is impossible to watch the games that matter when they finally begin.
Then there's football (soccer). With no playoffs, the title is decided during the season. You have to watch the top clubs until the title is decided. With Champions League qualification so important, you have to watch the clubs in the top half until places two through four are decided.
Then there's relegation. While the quality of the matches between the teams at the bottom of the table might not be high, the amount of drama in those matches could not be higher. They are literally fighting for sports survival.
I am a busy guy. I have to choose my sports wisely, and you know what I pick every single week? Of course, the Premier League.
Even in a season when Manchester City has seemingly run away with the title, there is so much drama in so many matches. Take this weekend's Gameweek 27, for instance. Here's the lineup of matches:
- Tottenham (5th) v. Arsenal (6th)
- Everton (10th) v. Crystal Palace (14th)
- Stoke (18th) v. Brighton (13th)
- Swansea (17th) v. Burnley (7th)
- West Ham (12th) v. Watford (11th)
- Manchester City (1st) v. Leicester (8th)
- Huddersfield (19th) v. Bournemouth (9th)
- Newcastle (16th) v. Manchester United (2nd)
- Southampton (15th) v. Liverpool (3rd)
- Chelsea (4th) v. West Brom (20th)
Manchester City is fighting to win the title, and they will work to get there until it is clinched. Any other club that is in the top 6 is fighting for a top 4 position. Clubs 9-20 are fighting to avoid relegation. Only 7th and 8th place right now are not really fighting for anything (maybe Europa League qualification, or avoiding it).
You can find a reason to watch all 10 Premier League matches from this weekend. When you consider that, you shouldn't be watching much else.