|Well, our team got relegated, but at least you have a sick pair of sunglasses.|
More compelling, perhaps, is the race at the bottom. Wigan, Bolton, and Wolverhampton all sit in the relegation zone with 21, 20, and 19 points respectively. Two teams sit just above relegation, also with 21 points. Even Swansea City, as far up as 11th, might not be safe, with 30 points on the season.
We'll never see promotion and relegation in the United States because the owners will never approve it. The risks are far too high. Being relegated means losing alarming amounts of money and often follows with partial or total dismantling of rosters. The rewards for teams in the top American leagues are essentially nil; there is nowhere to be promoted to.
Even so, there's a certain allure to the excitement of promotion and relegation. Imagine if the "Suck For Luck" campaign last season was instead morphed into "Don't Suck Because If You Do You'll Get Moved Into A Clearly Inferior League And Lose Millions Of Dollars." We sure would have seen less of Curtis Painter. Here's a look at what might have happened if, at the end of the last full season, American sports leagues turned to the European model.
Relegated: Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings
Promoted: British Columbia Lions (Canadian Football League), Geelong Football Club (Australian Football League), Los Angeles Temptation (Lingerie Football League)
Fallout: Devastated, Indianapolis trades away every single player on the roster, sending Payton Manning to the Seahawks in exchange for the Space Needle and Curtis Painter to the Miami Dolphins for a hug. Jared Allen vows to eat Roger Goodell, while the citizens of St. Louis take solace in the fact that they at least still have Albert Pujols before realizing that they don't, in fact, still have Albert Pujols. Meanwhile, the NFL manages to expand its international reach, as the league so desperately desires. Football finally gets its sex appeal, and the issue of an NFL team in L.A. is at last put to rest.
Relegated:Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers
Promoted: Salavat Yulaev Ufa (Kontinental Hockey League), Rubin Tyumen (Vysshaya Hokkeinaya Liga), Sheffield Steelers (Elite Ice Hockey League)
Fallout: The NHL now has only 1 more team than is appropriate in Florida. Canadians riot, which Americans once again find hilarious because there is no such thing as pain in the magical land of Canada. 100,000 Avs fans show up at Tim Tebow's door and ask him to pray their team back into the league. With the influx of European teams, the number of Russians in the NHL stays exactly the same.
Relegated: Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors
Promoted: Panathinaikos (Euroleague), Guangdong Southern Tigers (Chinese Basketball Association), UniCEUB/BRB/Brasilia (Liga Sudamericana)
Fallout: Minnesota loses its 2nd professional team in a span of just a few weeks. All "industry" in Cleveland collapses; the NBA finally manages to get rid if its lone, nonsensical Canadian team. Canadians riot, which Americans once again find hilarious because there is no such thing as pain in the magical land of Canada. The quality of play in the NBA actually improves.
Relegated: Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners
Promoted: Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (Nippon Professional Baseball), Tigres de Quintana Roo (Liga Mexicana de Beisbol), Leones del Escogido (Dominical Republic Professional Baseball League)
Fallout: Minnesota is simply crushed. The brand new Target Stadium barely draws 1,000 people per game with the Twins out of the MLB. With only one team to root for, the Wild move all games into the Mall of America so the entire city can come watch. Houston's move to the American League is postponed on account of them being terrible. Seattle dismantles its team, trading Ichiro in a three-team deal involving the Indianapolis Colts in order to get the space needle back. Facing the possibility of a player strike on account of too much travel, Bud Selig does what any good MLB commissioner would do and locks the players out. The MLB finally returns in 2020, at which point a game that much more closely resembles Super Baseball has been created. Major League Baseball fails to restore its fanbase and folds in 2022.