Salute the Fallen. Stand Up. Bad Decisions. Gone Missing. Just Make the Damn Call.

Memorial Day.  Our Anthem. Blunders Magnified.  It Just Disappeared.  VAR in the MLS.  

Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is now celebrated on the last Monday of May.  The holiday commemorates all women and men who have died in military service for the United States.  Please fly our Flag.

Speaking of our Flag…..the National Football League has put their foot in the sand regarding players respecting our National Anthem.  While I am a patriot and a U.S. citizen, I don’t necessarily think that the National Anthem should be played before every sporting event.  Don’t misconstrue what I am saying:  if the National Anthem is played, everyone, including the players, should stand and respect the anthem and our flag.  I just don’t think it is imperative to hear the anthem before a first pitch, kickoff, or jump ball.   Now that I have you stirred up, remember to use the Comments section of the blog to give me back your take.

Real Madrid won the Champions League for the third consecutive time beating Liverpool 3-1.  Liverpool’s goalkeeper, Loris Karius, gifted the game away to Liverpool, making two massive mistakes.  Think Bill Buckner’s error in the 10th inning of the 1986 World Series game, where a simple ground ball found it’s way through Buckner’s legs.  Or when Chris Webber called a timeout with his team trailing by two in the 1993 NCAA Basketball National Championship game – with the problem being that his team had no more timeouts.  Karius’ blunders were mind-boggling and ruined what was a competitive Champions League final.  He will need a sports psychologist after what happened yesterday.

It has been over four years and finally authorities have decided to end the search for flight MH-370.   This was the Malaysia Air Lines flight that disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 passengers on board.  After hundreds of millions of dollars spent on the search, we may never really know what, how and why the airliner vanished.  There are many conspiracy theories, including the pilot committing ‘flight suicide’, but this may be a mystery that lingers for a very long time.
You have to give credit to Major League Soccer and their ownership groups.  They have grown this league in a mere twenty-two years – and now, at some levels, the MLS competes with some of world’s more prominent leagues.  There have been some great decisions made and the effort to attract the right owners have paid great dividends.  There has also been missteps, just like any other fledgling business, but for the most part the League has been careful with the decisions they have made on and off the field, except for one: the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).  Similar to the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL, using the VAR was designed to enhance the integrity of the game, using video replay to confirm a touchdown, a technical foul, or whether a goal was actually scored.  Unfortunately, the wide parameters the MLS set in motion to utilize VAR has scarred many MLS games this year.  I won’t go into detail, but VAR usage, at a minimum, has interrupted the flow of the ‘beautiful game’ and minimized the decision-making process by the referees on the field.  Many goals given by the referees have been overturned by the VAR – to the point that many fans are not celebrating a goal until they are totally convinced that the VAR process will not overturn the the referee’s decision.  We can only hope that the MLS executives figure out the VAR dilemma quickly.
Adios and Have a Great Holiday Weekend!  






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