Why Following European Football is So Hard for an American Like Me

While the game of American football (NFL) is far more complicated than soccer in terms of rules, the practice of the sport is far more easier to follow than say European football (or football anywhere else). It’s 1 league, 1 season, 1 champion.

If the NFL were like European football, it’d look like this:

– There’s no playoffs, no divisions or conferences.

– The season would run virtually year-round and would consist of each team playing every other team twice (62 games per team!)

– The team with the best regular season record is deemed the champion at the end of the year. (No more Super Bowl)

– The top 2 or 3 teams would also compete (concurrently during the normal regular season) in an inter-league competition of champions with top teams from, say, the Canadian Football League and other hypothetical football leagues throughout the world, or continent. These games have no bearing on the regular NFL season in terms of Wins/Losses, rankings, etc.

– The next 2 or 3 teams below them would also compete (also concurrently during the normal regular season) in a similar international league with similar not-quite-the-best teams.

– There would, during the course of the regular season, also be a league-wide single elimination bracket-style tournament (like NCAA basketball) for a championship completely separate from the regular season championship.

– There might even be a 2nd bracket tournament including teams from other leagues too, but only those in the USA (invite the NCAA teams, why not?). That’s how you really see who’s the best in the country!

– The winners of these domestic tournaments and the league champions might also play head-to-head to see who is really the champion of champions.

– The best players might have to take time off from league play (don’t worry, your team has 62 games now!) for qualifying and tournament games at the national level (Team USA Football!) against other countries every two years. Qualifying begins 2 years before each tournament, so really it’s all the time.

– The worst 2 or 3 teams the end of the season would be relegated to a lower league (So no Rams, Colts or Vikings this season!) They can get back in by being in the top of the lower league after next season. It’s good for competition!

Chaotic, no? Such is my frustration trying to follow European football.

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