You have to feel for Akron’s Blair Gavin. After his team stayed tight with the University of Virginia thru regulation and overtime 0-0, it came down to his kick to keep things going…and he choked…sailing his shot way over the bar (yes, like Landon) and ending Akron’s hope at an undefeated season. Virginia won on penalties 3-2.

I hate penalty kicks for finals. I understand the need for them in the build-up to the final…you have to get games finished before the final actually begins. But I have never understood the rationale for going to penalties in a Final.

Why not keep playing? What’s the rush? In the World Cup we wait FOUR YEARS for a winner, but we don’t have enough time to keep playing another hour of overtime if necessary?

I know what you’re saying…television constraints. Listen, ESPN’s rodeo championships can wait…or the Little League World Series (they’re kids for goodness sakes, who cares!) or whatever it is…because ESPN never has a problem running long INTO a soccer game.

Penalties are no way to decide a champion. As much as I hate to compare soccer to other sports, it is the same as having a home run derby or shooting free throws to decide who wins. It’s stupid! All you can do to be fair to both teams and the viewing audience is to keep playing.

Baseball does it…so does the NFL in the playoffs and Superbowl. They won’t have a field goal kick off after two overtimes. The NBA won’t just shut it down after a few overtimes and have a free throw shoot out. So why is soccer so different? Is it that painful to watch overtime?

I love it and I love the Golden Goal. People who hate the Golden Goal have no clue. Why have one team score and then allow the other team a chance to tie it up? So we can go to penalty kicks? We’re trying to avoid that at all costs! The game needs a winner during play, not in penalty kicks.

Talk to the television people and explain to them that it is no way to decide a champion. Force them to give you the extra time if you need it, just like they do for all the other sports that haven’t been inventive enough to come up with an asinine way to decide a champion.

Mark Lincir is the Editor-In-Chief of 90:00 Magazine. He can be reached at


  1. No PK’s? Easy to say from your couch, but a little bit of a different story when you’ve been on the pitch for 110 minutes.

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