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Day 17 – UEFA Champions League Draw: Zzzzzzz……

August 26, 2010

Imagine, if you will, NCAA Selection Sunday has arrived. In a stunning turn of events, the bracket committee has opted to arrange the tournament not by seeds but by random draw. And you get to watch all 68 teams get picked out of a hat in an extended 2hr special. Interspersed throughout each region’s picks are stoppages for award presentations for the previous year’s NCAAs as well as interviews that must be conducted and translated into multiple languages. How quickly did you change the channel?

Ladies & gentlemen, this is the UEFA Champions League Draw show: the most boring sports television event on Earth.

The setup: 32 teams to be places into 8 groups of four. Selection is is done by placing each team’s name in a crappy plastic ball and depositing the container into what appear to be your grandmother’s candy dishes. The selector is a recently announced award winner. Here is how teams are placed:
1) The winner halfheartedly swirls his arm into the candy dish.
2) The player grabs one of the plastic balls, which is too small for his large hands to handle properly.
3) The player UNSCREWS the plastic ball (that’s right…a screw cap) with his too large hands.
4) The player retrieves and attempts to unfold the comically small piece of paper to reveal the name of the team chosen.
5) The process is matched on the opposite side of the stage with balls containing the letters associated with the eight groups.
6) Repeat Steps 1-5 THIRTY-ONE times.

Thankfully, there are no commercials. It is exactly as anticlimactic as it sounds.

What’s worse? FA Cup Draw shows: The English Football Association does this for EVERY ROUND of the tournament. No seeds, just a 1-hour game of “Spin the Bottle.”

I pray that no American sports executive contrives anything like this any time soon…

DR

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