I wondered, meanwhile, if we had exhausted our seam of suggestions to improve soccer, but there is still time for a couple of doses of common sense.
“Why can’t incidental, or nonthreatening, handballs in the box just be punished with indirect free kicks from the spot of the infraction?” Doug Lowe asked. “It would give the team a scoring opportunity that isn’t brutally punished, as it is with a penalty.” Great question, Doug, because this seems perfectly logical to me.
Adam weighed in on the need to engage the next generation of fans. “As a high school math(s) teacher,” he wrote, “I fully agree with the assertion of ‘to hell with pleasing restless, bored teenagers.’ They’re entitled enough as it is.” I have redacted Adam’s surname for his own protection, in the very unlikely event that any of his teenage students get this far into the newsletter.
And finally, Lee Gillette is here with an eternal plea: Why don’t more people talk about Belgium? “As refreshing change goes, Union St.-Gilloise almost ended its first season in the top division for 48 years with a title, and it is in the running once again,” he wrote. “In Belgium’s infuriating four-team title playoff, Union is surrounded by Flemish clubs. The only Walloon club to win the title in years was in 2009, and Union hasn’t won a title since 1935.”
He is quite right, of course: We have covered the club’s rise before, but Union should nevertheless have been included last week as a potential usurper to the established order. Mind you, perhaps be grateful that it slipped my mind: Dortmund, naturally enough, blew its chance at a first title in a decade at the first available opportunity.