Spare Some Change?

This is the time of year when the weather in America turns colder and on the pitches across Europe, it begins to rain and then rains some more. Luckily, it’s a cold, biting rain that builds character. So much character in fact, that players sign up for this experience whilst they’re still in grade school.

That’s the European football model and there will be no changing it.

But across the topics, we discuss in the pub. The debates over handball, offside, fouls, cards, and ‘cynical’ play. Across those things, we can have changed.

In fact, rumor has it that the handball rule is on the verge of another change…going back to where only the ‘intentional’ offenses are punished.

*Sidebar….How are refs going to determine intent, especially when they regularly miss a perfect half-nelson from Sterling or Grealish?

So, with an EPL willing to throw caution to the wind and embrace change, I’m doing the same with the following list. In it, you will see, I have WISHED for some changes at various levels.

Changes I’d like to see…and where and when I’d like to see them…

VAR

I would like refs to use the pitchside monitors in conjunction with VAR. Is that a unique request? Didn’t think so. GET GOING!

Use it now. Use it frequently (as frequently as a terrible call is given). And use it to its best purpose. If the entire viewing public INCLUDING commentators are shouting at the TV, maybe a little stroll to the monitor wouldn’t be the worst thing.

YEAT ANOTHER NETWORK!

From what I hear – and I’m livid – we now must purchase 27 subscriptions to 81 streaming services to see 500+ matches on TV.

On only one of those networks do we get the spectacular broadcast team of the two Robbies and Rebecca. I’m declining to pay for any more Paramount, CBS, Fubo, or AOL until they also run the feed from NBCSN. I would prefer picture-N-picture if possible.

I will be watching all matches at the pub and for those that I can’t make, I acquired a friend’s ESPN+ and Paramount credentials. Thanks, friend!

Gear

I am fairly new to European football, but one of the best things about this sport is the gear. The kit; the equipment; the collectibles; the other apparel. It’s all top-notch. My complaint – weak – is that there AREN’T ENOUGH different and crazy kit designs.

We currently suffer through major manufacturers like Adidas and Nike decided what we get to wear as fans. How about we take this back and create our own designs. We’re doing it online with glasses, outfits, even entire automobiles! How about we get to tweak our own gear.

Excited about the glamour and flash that comes with keeper kits, follow me. I’m all about neon, the stripes, and the less natural the color the better. Those uniforms are brilliant in every way possible and that’s what makes them desirable.

Oh, and don’t get me started on Leeds. Who designs a kit without any color in it? He’s a good coach, but I think their guy has been sitting on too many buckets. He should flip ‘em over, fill em with colorful paint and dunk Leeds’ uniforms!

Behavior

As I mentioned, I’m newish to the sport. I played when I was younger and didn’t have the tools or drive to excel there. Coming back to it recently, I was puzzled by some of the on-field behavior. The talking behind hands. The physicality. The skill. And the flopping.

The only time I saw people flinging themselves to the ground like players do each week in the EPL was NEVER. People don’t do that. I understand a spike on the Achilles is a pain…I played baseball and a lot of second base. But it’s not a death ray!

When I came back to the game I watched Villa as one of my first EPL contests. Perhaps it was Grealish – when he was over there – that influenced my skepticism. But aren’t they on the ground a lot? And not to say our guys are better, but they are.

Last season in the middle of the campaign, I took to watching individual players. The match I watched Mohamed Salah was one of the most gleeful 90 minutes I had enjoyed to that point. He was constantly pushed, pulled, stepped on, and draped over by opponents, yet he seldom went down.

Contrast that with some of the Manchesters’ players, who could probably field their own Olympic diving team without touching the bench. Yeah, diving blows. Just stop it.

Stocking Stuffer

The last change I’d like to see in the sport is a little less in the way of #SPOILERS. If you aren’t familiar, spoilers are just that, they spoil your enjoyment of a match in some way. AND the only way you can experience spoilers is by not watching matches in real-time.

But some of us have lives outside of EPL. Not many. For those who do, staying away from spoilers is ridiculously hard. In fact, for those who want to watch a game a day or two later, it’s almost impossible to do it without knowing the outcome.

And my stocking stuffer wish, for change, is for stations to offer a ‘clean version of their feed without the ticker on the bottom. The worst thing ever is seeing the ticker on the bottom of your TV with the score for the match you’re watching on it. YES, I have fashioned the long cardboard piece to block the bottom two inches of the screen, but sometimes they flash scores in the top right as a screen bug.

Wrapping

While this list isn’t all-encompassing, it does touch on the hot spots. I’m hoping at least one of my wishes makes it to the big time and comes true.

What change would you like to see in the game? Leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading!

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