Friday, March 7, 2008

Sepp Blatter, The New David Stern?

Sepp Blatter's at it again. He might as well change his name to Sepp Blather. So what's the crazy Swiss FIFA President up to now? Well, he wants there to be criminal charges for reckless tackles.

Blatter believes reckless challenges are one of the biggest scourges of the modern game and insists there should be harsh penalties for the perpetrators, including criminal charges where necessary.
Well then.

It is always a good thing to be highly reactionary to traumatic events. It never results in saying stupid things or statements that are not well measured. Here Sepp Blather is making a broad pronouncement that a) he could never enforce and b) is made to appease those who feel wronged by injuries suffered as a result of hard tackles.

The second biggest issue with Blather is the fact that reckless tackles are already punished by the game. Studs up tackles are prohibited and usually accompanied with a minimum yellow card and, when a tackle is particularly poor or mistimed, a red card is not out of the question (see Martin Taylor).

The biggest issue is: who the hell is Sepp Blather, the president of a private organization, to say how sovereign nations are to impose there criminal laws? That takes some some serious cojones.

Whether Blather is correct or not, I see him as acting as a new hamfisted David Stern trying to make his game sexier by eliminating and limiting what a defense can do. After the early and mid-90s NBA defense that really slowed down the game, David Stern started making rule changes to prevent teams from playing such stingy and aggressive defense, so sexy-basketball could attract more viewers.

I see Blather attempting the same, except he is nowhere as adept as David Stern in framing the issues and convincing others that he is correct.

Blather is more George W. Bush than Ronald Reagan.

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