Sports?



  • @dipset Oh dear, where do I start? :)

    Basically, the way the sport works is that each country has their own national league, there's a French league, an English league, etc.

    Each country's league has multiple tiers/divisions. For example, in France, the top 20 teams play in Ligue 1, the following 20 teams play in Ligue 2, and so on. Every season, the top 3 teams in a division are promoted to the higher division, the bottom 3 are relegated to the lower division. Similarly, the top teams of the top division qualify for the European cups (UEFA Champions League). It's what gives the competition so much prestige, every year it's the best of the best.

    This system means that technically any team can, through hard work/good management/cash injection rise through the ranks and reach the top. It also works the other way around: a big club that messes up could not qualify for the Champions League if they finish outside of the top spots in their league (see: Arsenal this season for example), or even crumble and fall off the top league entirely.

    These success (and failure) stories have happened repeatedly throughout history (~100 years), and this is what creates the drama and the interest, this is what makes it a competition.

    What the Super League wants to do is take 20 clubs, the current "biggest" clubs, and make them permanent members of that Super League, where they would only play each other. No more relegation/promotion/qualification. They would be in the Super League forever, with no other club standing a chance to join them. Pure elitism.

    They are already the richest, but just like the greedy publishers of the videogame world, they don't want some money, they want ALL the money, as Jim Sterling would say. Without any risk of ever losing their status, without competition.

    You're right in saying that even in the current system there are huge inequalities between the top clubs and others, that's the sad reality of our society, the rich get richer. But they don't always win! Remember Leicester winning the English Premier League a few years ago? Montpellier beating PSG to the title in France not that long ago too. That's what creates emotions, the underdog beating Goliath against all odds, because at the end of the day, it's still 11v11 and anything can happen.

    With the Super League, these big clubs don't want those pesky peasants to ever have a remote chance to take their spot, they want their spot guaranteed forever. For them, it's not about sport: they just want to build their brand without interference. And who are they to decide that they're the best?

    And judging by your reaction to the news, this is exactly what they're counting on: they want to simplify the sport for the casuals/foreign fans. I'm sure they crunched the numbers: why bother with those annoying European/local fans, when we can sell our product to the American and Asian markets?

    I can assure you that not a single European fan is happy about this, everyone thinks it's a disgrace, even players and coaches have spoken against it.

    Now those clubs may end up being disqualified from their national leagues, although we'll only know if that actually happens after drawn-out legal battles. Interesting times ahead!



  • @axel minor correction: 15 fixed teams, 5 others qualify annually.

    But yeah it seems to be a battle by the old guard to stamp out the parity that has come along and challenged the ‘Big 4/2/1’ clubs who have traditionally run their leagues and had a walk into the Champions League. Now they will guarantee their spot and annual revenue rather than need to qualify for it. But it’s just a buy-in thing. Fucking Spurs are part of the founders group. The San Jose Sharks/(sigh)Vancouver Canucks of EPL. You’ve done a hell of a job when people are accusing you of shady shit when FIFA/UEFA is the alternative.



  • @e_zed_eh_intern said in Sports?:

    @axel minor correction: 15 fixed teams, 5 others qualify annually.

    Yeah I was trying to keep it simple haha.



  • @axel

    First of all, thanks for taking the time to answer me in the simplest of terms. I'm a big sports fan but honestly have paid much attention to football in years.

    I texted my friend who works for TFC in the MLS who is a big football fan. I wasn't expecting a response since he's away this week, but what he said was so similar to your answer, so clearly most of the fans around the world share the same views that you do.

    I guess from my perspective is that I only have so much time to watch sports. I already watch NHL, NBA, and F1 this spring/summer with some MLB sprinkled in between, so when I do want to take a dive into Champions, Serie A, Premiere, etc, I'd prefer the experience is streamlined and as elite as possible. I personally have found the amount of matches that take place to be overwhelming in the first place with many of them being clear W's for the bigger franchise.

    I also was somewhat aware of their tiering system in football, but my assumption is that the mega corporations were already abusing the disparity within their own leagues. I mean, I see it in every sports league, especially F1 where the bottom teams have absolutely no chance at winning whatsoever, but even leagues like MLB have massive disparity between big market franchises and smaller ones. So I was operating under the assumption that the power is already imbalanced and this new Super League is no different than what already exists.

    Not sure how each league functions but couldn't the even out the playing field through things like spending/salary caps, expansion drafts, and other things like that or does it already exist?

    One more question- my friend says a lot of these mega clubs are really annoyed with how Champions League is being run, but he hasn't been following why they are annoyed. Would you happen to know? Because with that info, maybe this Super League is something they threw at the wall to disrupt UEFA and show their displeasure, but do not expect it to stick.



  • @dipset said in Sports?:

    I mean, I see it in every sports league, especially F1 where the bottom teams have absolutely no chance at winning whatsoever

    This is basically why I have no interest in F1 but adore another open-wheel racing league, IndyCar. F1 teams have far more flexibility in the engineering of their cars, making the series effectively pay-to-win. IndyCar, on the other hand, is a "spec" series, where most parts on the car are league mandated. The best drivers still belong to the richest teams, but there's always a possibility of someone deep in the pack breaking through.



  • @oscillator yeah that’s a thing I don’t get. How are the cars different from one another in F1? I remember somebody saying Hamilton catching Schumacher was nothing since his car was so good. Wouldn’t Schumacher’s have been as well? I remember there being some tire thing with him. Or are things just worse now?



  • @Oscillator

    I used to go to the Molson Indy in Toronto when I was really young but that circuit is pretty weird compared to most modern circuits or even road courses. But honestly, too much oval for me in Indy. I just can't get into oval racing very much. Still have a soft spot for those Paul Tracy years. I also got in trouble in Grade 4 (2004-ish) for wearing a Kool Cigarettes Green IndyCar t-shirt. Lame ass teachers.

    @E_Zed_Eh_Intern

    It's a loaded question and my answer probably isn't super satisfying but the F1 cars are different from one another because there are strict regulations about certain parts of the car need to be uniform between all teams, while other parts are allowed to be designed however the team engineers see fit for success.

    So the beauty of the sport come from the formula. The rules are the formula and each team gets to run wild with it. Many motorsport leagues across the world also follow this model but F1 teams just invest so much money in improvements to their vehicle The disparity comes when some teams have unlimited bankroll with no spending cap whereas the bottom teams have way less money. Like Mercedes has thousands of employees back at the factory always working on the current car as well as next seasons improvements.

    Teams like Haas have gotten clever and they bought the rights to the design of certain car parts (I'm simplifying explanation here) then the team engineers work from the template they purchased to develop their car. So that saves them millions of dollars to get off the ground but ultimately, they'll never fundraise enough money to complete on any meaningful level.

    So in 2021 and especially in 2022 when F1 enters into the new era of engines, the rules are trying to equal out the playing field. Now there are spending caps per season. It's still massive, but it prohibits teams from unlimited investment. So last weekend when Mercedes crashed into the wall and the car was a complete write off, they now only have x-amount of dollars to spend to repair their car which would've gone to performance increases had they not crashed.

    Per the Hamilton vs Schumacher argument; Hamilton's accolades are extremely impressive and people saying otherwise are just downplaying him. Both Hamilton and Schumacher had the fastest cars on the grid for most of their careers, but there is more to it than just having the fastest car. Both have outperformed their teammates in the same car year after year and a pole position doesn't always mean you win the race, but these two drivers mostly win no matter what.

    There are so many unanswerable questions about the whole GOAT debate and overall race craft between legendary drivers. How would Hamilton or Schumacher fare driving on the limit with low fuel? Who knows, but in our current era, Hamilton does a lot of things significantly better than the rest of the grid such as tire management and racing in the rain.

    Here is a really good article by ESPN about the GOAT debate: https://www.espn.com/f1/story/_/id/30330501/how-do-hamilton-schumacher-compare



  • @e_zed_eh_intern said in Sports?:

    @oscillator yeah that’s a thing I don’t get. How are the cars different from one another in F1? I remember somebody saying Hamilton catching Schumacher was nothing since his car was so good. Wouldn’t Schumacher’s have been as well? I remember there being some tire thing with him. Or are things just worse now?

    Since I don't follow F1, I don't know many behind-the-scenes details, but here are some quick search results:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Formula_One_constructors

    "Since 1981, it has been a requirement that each competitor must have the exclusive rights to the use of certain key parts of their car – in 2018, these parts were the survival cell, the front impact structure, the roll structures and bodywork."

    https://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/6jge5n/big_difference_between_teams_yet_they_use_the/?sort=old

    "On top of what was mentioned before, Mercedes/Ferrari engine is designed together with the chassis. Customer teams have to build the chassis around what is given to them."

    https://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/668ekm/works_and_customer_teams_a_question_about_engines/

    "the main advantage of being a works team is the luxury of having the engine and drivetrain tailored for your chassis in terms of packaging, and of course streamlining work flow in that engineers will know where things need to be"

    IndyCar has none of this going on. Teams have one chassis and aerokit made by Dallara, and can use either a Chevrolet or Honda engine that are very similar. There are plenty of configurable things on the cars, but teams are on a pretty even footing on the tech side. The differences that money get you are being able to pay for better drivers/mechanics/strategists, as well as better facilities/more time to prepare.



  • @dipset said in Sports?:

    I guess from my perspective is that I only have so much time to watch sports. I already watch NHL, NBA, and F1 this spring/summer with some MLB sprinkled in between, so when I do want to take a dive into Champions, Serie A, Premiere, etc, I'd prefer the experience is streamlined and as elite as possible. I personally have found the amount of matches that take place to be overwhelming in the first place with many of them being clear W's for the bigger franchise.

    Yeah makes sense, and that's what the Champions League is already supposed to be: the top competition with the top teams. It just so happens that the top teams may vary from one season to the next, and that's what those big clubs don't like.

    And it's true that the big clubs win most of the time, but like I said not always, and that's what makes it cool. Also the Super League's argument of having "only big matches between big teams" to foster viewer interest is flawed: if every match is a big match, then no match is a big match. It's the rarity of these encounters that makes them special, the fact that "it's the first time these two teams play each other since 2010!" or whatever.

    I also was somewhat aware of their tiering system in football, but my assumption is that the mega corporations were already abusing the disparity within their own leagues. I mean, I see it in every sports league, especially F1 where the bottom teams have absolutely no chance at winning whatsoever, but even leagues like MLB have massive disparity between big market franchises and smaller ones. So I was operating under the assumption that the power is already imbalanced and this new Super League is no different than what already exists.

    Not sure how each league functions but couldn't the even out the playing field through things like spending/salary caps, expansion drafts, and other things like that or does it already exist?

    Oh yeah you're absolutely right about that, there is already a huge disparity, the current system is far from perfect. Salary caps and the like would be great, the difficulty is to implement this in every country at the same time, otherwise you'll end up with even bigger disparities. And salary caps are illegal in the EU (or at least certain countries) as far as I know, so I don't think that can happen.

    Taxes and charges also operate very differently from one country to the next, in France for example they are way higher than in other European countries, which means that in order to pay the same salary to a player, it costs the club way way more, so they struggle to compete. The English Premier League sold its TV rights for exponentially more money than other leagues have, which means even the lowest English PL club is way richer than the top French club (barring PSG, they're on another planet altogether). And so on.

    So a lot needs to be fixed, and I don't know if it can. But this Super League thing would be taking things too far. In a way, the fact that people are reacting so strongly against it despite the situation already not being fair shows how much worse it would make it haha.

    And what do you know, I wake up to the news that clubs are withdrawing from the Super League already, it's already dead, yay, the peasants win! The chairman of Manchester United has resigned over it, maybe more to follow.

    One more question- my friend says a lot of these mega clubs are really annoyed with how Champions League is being run, but he hasn't been following why they are annoyed. Would you happen to know? Because with that info, maybe this Super League is something they threw at the wall to disrupt UEFA and show their displeasure, but do not expect it to stick.

    That's also true, but I don't know the specifics. It's definitely for similar reasons, the big clubs want even more money and even less possibilities of missing out, I think that's why they're are revamping its format in 2024.



  • And just like that, the Super League is over. Barely survived 48 hours after English clubs pulled out:

    http://www.espnfc.com/blog-marcottis-musings/story/4365465/super-league-suspended-why-english-clubs-pulled-outwhats-next-for-them-and-uefa

    I wonder if all the club presidents resign now?