Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Promotion and Relegation in U.S. Sports

This post was inspired by one from Jorge Sedano (host of The Third Shift on Fox Sports Radio, 2-6 AM ET weekdays). The little kid involved really has been invited to one of Manchester United's developmental camps after moving to Manchester from Brisbane, Australia.

I am not the closest follower of British soccer football, but I've always enjoyed it . . . from afar. I always thought my buddy Steve and I would get to go to an England-Scotland game one year, but that series was suspended quite some time ago. My favorite teams have been Leeds United and Aston Villa. I don't care for ManU or The French National Team Arsenal.

Leeds, however, has slunk through "relegation" from the Premier League (formerly Division One) through the Championship League (formerly Division Two) all the way to what is now called League One, formerly Division Three. There, they face such powerhouses as Leyton Orient, Swindon Town, and Yeovil, which is in danger of falling into League Two (formerly Division Four). There's even a possiblity a team could fall into non-league status; more on the concept from Wikipedia.

I don't know about you, but I love the idea of relegation and promotion (where a top-finishing team in a lower league gets promoted a step up), and we so need it in this country. Could you imagine the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Pittsburgh Pirates playing to avoid being sent to AAA ball? The Arizona Cardinals and Da Oakland Raydahz trying to stay out of (the now-defunct) NFL Europa? The Memphis Grizzlies and the (pre-Kevin Garnett) Boston Celtics trying not to fall to the CBA? There'd be no more tanking players in those games!

It'll never happen, but I can dream. Actually, it sort of happens on the high school and college levels, although it's not an automatic process; schools usually request a move up or down a division in a given sport based on the team's record.


bigbro said...

I think that would be the cure for the college football. Have a couple of divisions in the top tier and the top 3 teams in each division go to the play off the top team in each division getting a first round bye.

I often thought that it could be tried in the Air Force Promotion system as well. I've often said that I scored so bad on a promotion test that I was in danger of being DEmoted.