... stays in Vegas--as long as it's your money--or so the city fathers desperately hope 'cus everyone else is getting outta Dodge. (The wages in Sin City ain't what they used to be.) But don't you believe them. You may leave your dignity and your last dime behind but the all-night walk-in clinic you found strongly recommends you take your antibiotics home with you and finish the prescribed course of treatment.
If the NPPL follows through with one plan that's being floated they may hope it stays in Vegas, too. While I am thankfully outta the loop our team did receive a query the other day from NPPL HQ requesting our opinion of modifying the pro format to something like what was used for the All-Star game(s) in DC. As it related to competition it was forwarded to me requesting comment. (One thing I'm good at.) I immediately objected. Alter the format for the final event of the season? When we have as a good a shot as anybody of winning the series? I don't think so. But seriously. Changing the format in season? Now I have no idea if my objection was passed along or what anyone else thinks of this format altering in season but there are also some Big Picture issues with making such a change and that's what this post is really about.
When talk of the All-Star modification first came up a month or two ago I thought it was a mistake then too. Not because it was a lousy idea for the All-Star game but because of where I assumed it would lead--to this. Before I explain my objection though I have a question: What is this format change supposed to fix?
The likely answer is that a best of 3 offers greater assurance that the better team won--and in any isolated calculation I would agree. But--if that's the argument you also end up admitting the other league has had it right all along and the change becomes us too, better late than never. And that would leave the NPPL deciding if it's going to carry the format change over across the other divisions and if not, why not? If it does then suddenly the NPPL is playing Race 2-2 with 7 players (and playing follow the leader.) If it doesn't why is the change right for the pros but not everybody else?
In the current format it is possible to lose games that you normally wouldn't or fall victim to occasional poor officiating but at the same time you play everyone that everyone else in your group plays. Everyone's opportunity is identical and more of the pro teams play against each other than happens in the other league. (We've gone whole seasons not playing a team or two in the PSP.)
How is the new format organized as a competition? (There were no details in the HQ query.) How many prelims do you play? How is moving on to your next match-up arranged? Would you end up playing more or less games? Is this, in part, a paint saving scheme? How many pods are we going to need? There are lots of unanswered questions, big & small.
My guess is the plan will be tabled for now and reconsidered in the off season. If you like the idea and think it might sway you to play NPPL by all means say so. If you don't like it say that too and if you're just curious you might as well kick back and relax. We'll find out soon enough.
If NPPL HQ is concerned about exploring ways to rebuild the format's popularity and get more peeps playing again they might have more luck using the other league's field instead of its format. Just a thought.