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The STO Commissioner Critiques: Scoring

I think everyone who has ever watched a match of soccer would agree: the sport could use a little more goal scoring. Don’t get me – the STO Commish – wrong, I appreciate soccer for what it is. Soccer is a sport of strategy, precision, and patience. Unfortunately, I am not a very patient person. I love good defense, but I yearn for goals.

To be a fan of some lower tier teams, you would have to be an extremely patient person. Like abnormally patient. For example, Middlesbrough fans just sat through a season which saw their team score a mere 28 goals all year. In Serie A, Reggina scored only 30 goals – in 38 games. God forbid either team ever scored 2 or 3 goals in one game…

That could mean a scoring drought that could last for two solid months.

I admit, the two teams I have used as examples were the two worst in their respective leagues when it came to scoring. But, think about it from their fans’ perspectives. Should their players acquire more parking tickets or goals this season? Should fans be subjected to seeing their team score a measly one goal (or none) a month?

The STO Commish thinks soccer’s low scores make fans into masochistic maniacs. Let’s give those fans a break and save their sanity by increasing goal scoring in soccer. I have a few innovative suggestions that could aid squad’s offenses by helping them put the ball squarely in the back of the net. Now, please do not be worried…

None of my ideas were inspired by MTV’s classic-cheese-ball sports show Rock “N” Jock. There will be no bonus point spots on the pitch where David Beckham can casually boot a forty yard 3-pointer into a small cylinder suspended 20 feet above the pitch. There will be no extra points for creative plays like volleys or bicycle kicks.

I won’t even recommend enlarging the goal (though MLS considered it once).

Actually, I won’t change anything about how a player scores, I will just try to tweak the game’s conditions and rules to make it more likely he will. To score, you still have to kick it in the back of the net. But, some small roster adjustments will make goals more prevalent. Like – for example – the substitution rules need to be altered.

A player who exits the game now is not allowed to return to the pitch. If each team could designate one sub to re-enter the game, managers could rest their stars during the beginning of the second half and then bring them on in the 60th minute with fresh legs. This would create more strategy, give the game an added dimension, and…

I bet we would see those stars score some more late goals against dog-tired defenses. My second recommendation is more controversial, which is largely due to the fact one must first assume my O.T. rules from last week’s posts are in place. Imagine of instead of allowing games to end 1-0 (or even 0-0), we had not just overtime, but also…

10 v. 10 overtime (or even 7 v. 7). Now, if this were implemented, coaches would have even more tactical decisions to make. More space would open up on the field, and more goals would be scored. It would be damn exciting in my opinion. I know many of you out there disagree, but please consider this one thing…

Rules that sounded preposterous five decades ago are now acceptable. In every sport, the rules undergo an evolution, and many times these evolutions are driven by the desire to make the sport more exciting. If you don’t believe me, look at NFL scores from the 1950’s and compare them to today. It happens in every sport.

I am sure the same reactions I will get to this post are the ones that occurred at the first baseball game with a DH, or the first basketball game with a 3-point line. Even in soccer, adjustments have been made to make the game better. PKs replaced replays. Violent tackles were outlawed, as were elbows and other tactics designed to injure opponents.

How many games would the great Hungarian teams of the 50’s win today? Not many, because they would get 7 reds cards in the first half. My point is, soccer needs to evolve and create more goals. What has driven soccer’s recent evolution thus far has been Italy’s catenaccio style which produces many low-scoring wins, but little fun.

Small tweaks to the rules could create more goals without ruining the game for purists. To score, one will still have to put it in the back of the net – that will never change.

One man never changes, and he definitely always scores. I am talking about Chiklis, of course, the real Commish. Though, even he does change sometimes. Heck…

He got ripped for The Shield and he turned into some kind of brick-looking dude in Fantastic Four. Maybe the old saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same” is bogus? Maybe it should be “the only thing that stays the same, is that things change”?

You be the judge.

I’ll just be the Commish.

 But I won’t ever look as sweet as Brick-Chiklis did.