Man, was I excited when I spotted that headline.
Finally, FIFA was going to do something to juice the scoring and amp up excitement of the games.
Fasten your seatbelts, here’s what’s coming …
For the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, matches started at 1 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm locally.
But, the 2022 games are going to be played in Qatar.
And, it’s so hellishly hot there during the summer, that –- get ready for this – the games are going to be played at night … starting at 7 pm and going as late as 3:30 am.
Now, there’s some out of the box thinking for you.
Biggest winner – besides the potentially heat-prostrated athletes – is Fox Sports which shelled out $425 million for the rights to broadcast the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Fox made it clear they want the tournament played in the Summer so it wouldn’t conflict with the World Series and NFL schedules.
Given Qatar’s time zone, afternoon games (local time) would be res-eye slots in the U.S.
Evening in Qatar means afternoons and early evenings in the U.S.
That spells a ratings boost, for sure.
While we’re on the subject, here are the changes I would have made:
1. Widen the goals … from 24 feet to at least 30 feet.
2. Eliminate offsides penalties … let players “basket-hang” if they want … works in basketball
3. Ditch the penalty-kick shoot-outs to break ties … make all tie games sudden death overtime … eventually, somebody has got to score, right?
4. Stop the damn clock when there’s a stoppage in play … like football and basketball and every other civilized sport does … why does stoppage time have to be kept secret, any way?
5. Eliminate any team – on the spot – for a nil game… if you can’t score in 90 minutes, go home.
Now, that’s how to gin up some U.S. fan interest ….