American sports need to find a way to implement some form of relegation and promotion. On Sunday morning I was sitting in an Annapolis pub watching the last day of the English Premier League season unfold. As a Manchester United fan the games were meaningless to me but the same can’t be said for other people in the pub. There was a Hull City fan and a Middlesbrough fan in attendance. They were on pins and needles. These teams were not fighting for a title or a place in European soccer. They were fighting to stay in the league.
For those of you who don’t know in European soccer they have relegation and promotion. The teams that finish in the bottom three of the league go down to the lower league and three teams from the lower league come up to replace them. This is a great idea. If there was no relegation the games on Sunday would be meaningless. The top four had been decided and there was only one European spot up for grabs. Everyone was on the internet trying to get the lastest results.
Would their team be safe or take the drop? At the end to see the Hull fan estatic over a 1-0 and the ‘borough fan on the verge of tears since his team went down was priceless. The stadium reactions were just as special. Hull players were spraying Champange and displaying a sign saying “We’re Staying Up” while Newcastle and ‘borough fans were in shock that they were going down.
This practice also forces teams who may have a bad season to fight and scratch for every point. It also keeps the fans interested and forces the team’s management to spend all their available money to try to save the team.
I know it would be hard to do in our sports but it should definitely be considered.