The Beautiful Game?

I’m going to get myself in trouble on this one….

Even after you take those dreadful Vuvuzela horns out of the equation, I’ve still got problems with soccer. Here’s how the sport breaks down for me:

– a thrill to play;
– a joy to coach;
– a bore to watch.

I don’t think I’m alone. Hey, here in the US, it’s the sport that everybody’s playing and nobody’s watching. (Take this 2-question pop quiz: 1) Who was the 2009 NCAA champ? 2) Name 5 US pro players.)

While I hate to come off as the Ugly American sports fan, I freely confess that if I sit through 90 minutes of a scoreless tie, I want my money back.

Rather than curse the darkness, I offer a candle in the form of three blasphemous suggestions:

1) Get rid of off-sides;
2) Add a shot clock;
2) Add a 2-point shot.

Regarding #1, a free-for-all would be avoided by adopting hockey’s blue line model. Regarding #2, offense would be stimulated. Regarding #3, both basketball and lacrosse (at the pro level) have been rejuvenated by adding the extra-point element. As an ardent fan of both sports, I was initially opposed to these developments but today stand corrected. (It has arguably saved the NBA.)

OK purists, bring it! (But leave those horns at home.) Onward, Malcolm Gauld