The Euro Cup is about to go into the semi-finals, and even though the Swiss are no longer in the tournament, soccer fever still reigns supreme in the Euro host country. Mr. Mad Cow and I have been following the tournament, and I must say that I am disappointed with the way the last three games have been determined by shoot-outs. I just find shoot-outs to be such a lame fashion to decide the winner of a high stakes game. I will admit that I know very little about what strategy can be used with penalty kicks. For that matter, I would even venture to say that there is little to no strategy involved, since scoring appears to be a matter of luck.
I think these games could be a lot more exciting if tie scores were determined the good ol’ fashioned hockey way… with SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME. During the regular NHL season, teams play a short overtime period in the event of a tie, and if no one scores in that time, the tie remains. The same thing happens during the first round of both the Euro and World Cups. During high stakes games (like the Stanley Cup Playoffs), the NHL lets competing duke it out as long as it takes until someone scores, where the first team to do so wins the game, hence the name “sudden death overtime”. This is where I think UEFA and FIFA could stand to learn something. Imagine how much better these winner-takes-all soccer games would be if they were determined in this way!!!