Trading Sundays For Saturdays

“September through January my weeks only have six days. Sundays don’t exist.”

Even Toby has been lobbying for a USMNT jersey recently.

This phrase, or some variation of it, has been uttered by yours truly more times than I can remember in the last decade. And it was true. The NFL and the New York Jets have had a profound impact on my life as Sundays have been filled with early games, late games, highlight shows and the Sunday night game. And of course you can throw in the Monday Night Football, Turkey Day games and December Saturday affairs as well. Simply, I watched a lot of (American) football.

This season, however, things have been a little different. Here are some examples:

  • Early Saturday mornings spent in front of the television with my dog have grown in importance while only two Sundays have found me in the NFL bunker for 12 hours.
  • My fantasy (American) football teams are doing pretty well…which apparently is inversely proportional to the amount of time spent proposing trades and scouring NFL news as my time spent on my teams this year is decidedly less than the past seven
  • Given the opportunity to watch Patriots-Dolphins or a blow-out La Liga match three weekends ago, I eschewed the match-up of the NYJ rivals to watch Valencia assault the Real Zaragoza goal repeatedly in a 3-1 victory. It should be noted that I was also visiting family in Alaska at the same time.
  • Last Sunday, I drove the 75 miles back to my in-laws home a little faster than I should have after attending the Broncos-Chargers game to arrive in-time for the start of MLS Cup coverage even though it was set to DVR. (FYI, my wife is die-hard Bronco fan.)

And now we come to tomorrow morning’s conundrum. Barcelona versus Real Madrid (GolTV, and the New York Jets versus the Carolina Panthers both at 11:00AM local time. In years past this would be a no-brainer, but this year I’m not so sure…and it has nothing to do with the mounting losses by the NYJ.

So, what’s happening to me? All I can think of is that…I got a fever…and the only prescription is…MORE SOCCER.


On a separate but related topic, regular TSG commenter pckilgore passed along the recent dispatch from Jimmy Conrad in which the KC and USMNT defender offers his ideas for over-hauling and growing the popularity of soccer in the US. The article, while leaning heavily on many previously discussed strategies, is both a good read and thought-provoking.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Barca – Real Madrid, no question. Even without the magic that is DVR you’ll be able to watch the top two in La Liga, and then flip over to catch the end of the 3-4+ hour marathon that is an NFL television broadcast.


  2. Posted by Thomas on 2009/11/29 at 11:31 AM

    I opted for the derby’s. 7:30am Merseyside 10am London


  3. Posted by kaya on 2009/11/29 at 2:05 PM

    I was on a plane during the Classico. Booo.
    I did watch the 2008 and 1999 Barca home Classico legs on Gol TV though. Best I could do.
    I otoh, did something I haven’t done in several years. I watched 3 college football games yesterday.
    Made me sad to imagine what could be if 1% of the effort that goes into american football could be diverted tbh!


  4. Posted by Mark T on 2009/11/29 at 3:32 PM

    Here’s how it ended up…

    2nd Half of Arsenal / Chelsea then Jets on the TV and the Classico on on the laptop right next to me.


    • This is why I love the interwebs…and it lets me watch the Champions League and other various matches while working out of the comfort of my home office.


  5. Posted by Mark T on 2009/11/29 at 8:32 PM

    If you get a chance, read TSG community member and blogger JCBata’s piece of a similar vein.


  6. Posted by Kevin on 2009/11/30 at 10:37 PM

    I read Conrad’s article, and one thing stuck out to me. If there were to ever be a relegation with MLS 1 and 2 there has to a minimum of 15 teams in each league keeping the expanding to 30 which I think is too much for now. As for buying the USL i think that is a good option as long as it, instead of a reserve league, is MLS 2. Also I would like to note that I strongly agree with relegation/promotion. Concacaf allows the US to have 4 berths into the Champions league, so we keep MLS Cup and the supporters shield is changed to MLS Champions and MLS Cup winners are MLS Cup Champs. Both teams get berths the CCL and there are 2 other prelimary berths that US gets, so the 2nd place overall (no conferences) and 3rd place overall team gets them. In the event that a team wins two berths the 4th overall team gets the last preliminary berth. Obviously excluding Candian teams because they can’t get US berths. Last two things, that I previously already mentioned anyway, is that MLS gets rids of conferences. You can’t have conferences with relegation. Also I want to emphasize that there should be playoffs, but the Champions of MLS should not be the same as the Champs of MLS Cup, so regular season champs are the champs, and MLS Cup winners are MLS Cup champs. Simply stated, put, proposed, to where anyone, including a newbie to soccer, and apprehend it.

    I think of all the interesting things you guys post on here since you don’t do much with MLS, the topic of the structure of our domestic league, which in turn likely presents how much soccer grows in the states, is often overlooked. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to collect lots of different ideas heard about the growth of MLS and compile it into one article. Just don’t compare structure of a domestic league to the structure of an operating system because that just doesn’t make any sense.


    • Posted by Mark T on 2009/11/30 at 10:43 PM

      Kevin, you’ll see something from us on the structure of domestic leagues in the coming months as it directly impacts the growth of the sport in the US.

      There are a lot of ideas, but my initial thought is that it comes down to a chicken-or-the-egg question.

      i.e. Will more money raise the quality of play or will higher quality lead to more money?


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