- Deep Loafe
- On Promotion and Relegation
On Promotion and Relegation
Everton fans celebrate being almost the worst team in the English Premier League in 2022 (AP Photos)
From the top:
Welcome back, friends.
Happy Sabaath. Only 2 episodes of Succession left :/
Meme theme: no memes, just one important video at the bottom of the page. Look for the headline that says “Important video at the bottom of the page.”
See you out there.
It’s that time of the year when the English Premier League wraps up. Things are a bit delayed because of the World Cup, but Manchester City has just won and lifted the trophy. It impresses on me, again, just how much joy soccer brings me.
A brief thought.
To start: Promotion and Relegation.
This is a vital aspect of why I love the Premier League. It exists in soccer in most areas of the world (notably absent from the U.S.). At the beginning of the season, the best team can, in theory, perform so poorly that they are relegated to a lower league. On the other side, teams in lower leagues can win promotion to a higher league.
Sounds oversimplified when you put it like that. But, we don’t have this in America. Imagine if the Yankees did so poorly that they got relegated/demoted to Double-A baseball. Or, the Knicks go 4-78 and get sent to the NBA G-League. This has massive cultural and financial significance. The latter part - finance - is why I would venture to guess promotion and relegation won’t find their way into American sports.
Promotion and relegation are huge reasons the Premier League (and many other global soccer leagues) stands out: There’s something to play for because there’s something significant to lose.
Being relegated costs your club a cool 100 million+ pounds, and being promoted wins your club 100 million+ pounds.
Teams who’ve been in the top league for 72 straight years can spend two straight seasons trying to stay up. Or, a team can go from the 3rd tier to winning the Premier League in 7 seasons, overcoming 5000-1 odds as Leicester City did in 2015/16 (maybe the greatest sports story of all time?). Ahh, and importantly, money is central to all of it.
When Leicester City won in ‘15/’16, their starting 11 was worth 52 million pounds, compared to Manchester City’s 411 million pounds. Money is big, but foxes are bigger.
And so it goes that with just two games left in the season Leicester City is on the brink of being relegated from the Premier League. That’s costly.
You can probably tell by now that I’m writing from the hip today and that none of this is very planned out. Good on you. You’d happen to be correct.
I went on an overnight bikepacking trip in the mountains with some friends on Friday and Saturday and here we are at 1:46pm Eastern on Sunday afternoon and I’m grasping at straws.
But, stay with me. It’s that point of the class where right as you’re wondering if you can pay any more attention, the teacher rolls out the 300lb tv that is ratchet strapped to the rolling stand, and you are filled with hope as blood rushes to your head and you are reminded that you’re alive.
The reason I bring up soccer today is to show you this video below. Stop what you’re doing and watch it. You’ll witness a group of human beings willing themselves into a collective vision of their place in the world through the art of soccer/football. Don’t roll your eyes at that anthropomorphization. I watched this in a coffee shop on Friday and could hardly hold back tears.
When you have something to lose - in this case being promoted or relegated - you have something to pay attention to. Having something to lose means we’re near to the heart of living.
Live on friends.
Important Video at the Bottom of the Page
Stuff I’ve Been Into
Kevin Kelly’s lecture series made during the pandemic. This one’s on “Black Swans.” I enjoyed it as it sort of opened up a perspective for me that if we are able to get good at predicting our “unknown unknowns,” we can significantly improve our reality.
Sadie and I have a group we meet with on Sunday mornings at church for the last few months that has been a gift. We’ve slowly been discussing Marcus Borg’s book Heart of Christianity. I find great value in gathering with other adults to discuss our living of faith and Christian life, and the hopes and mysteries that accompany it.
Welp, have a great week. Thanks for reading.