Now I understand why overseas football doesn’t have playoffs. They have them outside of the league structure. I’ve been aware of the FA Cup for years, of course. The idea of an absolutely open competition for a trophy is pretty cool.
In the back of my mind, I knew there was another competition–I didn’t realize it included all of the teams from the top four professional leagues. Swans took this trophy the other year. Round 3 pairings are up. The young miss and I have a tussle upcoming in late September. Her number two team will play my number one in South Wales.
What I didn’t realize until last year is that these knockout events are not bracketed like the NCAA runs college championships, but that the teams are reshuffled after each round and could play anybody, anywhere. There is no “group of death” or killer bracket–just the luck of the draw.
One interesting tidbit: all three teams promoted to the Premier League were “upset” by lower sides, and all of last year’s teams relegated from the EPL are still alive.
I can see that a lucky/unlucky team could draw a huge number of games in a year. 38 for the EPL season. 5 or 6 each for the League Cup and FA Cup. Maybe a dozen for penetrating deep into European competition. I wonder what the record number of competitive matches is for a pro team. Considering a player on full time might traverse 8 miles a match, that could mean a total of 400 miles or more walking aimlessly, occasionally running, and sprinting here and there. No wonder these dudes “fake” injuries so much.