AC34: Where Am I Now?

Published on June 13th, 2013

Baseball has its World Series
Football has its Super Bowl
Hockey has its Stanley Cup
Basketball has its Finals

But what makes each of these championship events great is the buildup. They have the regular season, and they have the elimination series. Each step heightens your interest.

With this edition of the America’s Cup eager to become a spectator sport, here is how the buildup is looking…

* There is one defense team. They go straight into the Finals.

* There are three challenging teams. They all qualify for the Playoffs.

* The challenging teams compete in the First Round of the Playoffs. Nobody gets eliminated.

* In the First Round of the Playoffs, a team might not show up.

* If one team doesn’t show up, the other team must race by themselves.

* Did we mention that nobody gets eliminated from the First Round of the Playoffs?

This situation has caused some problems:

* Tickets were sold to watch the First Round of the Playoffs. Tickets are now being refunded.

* San Francisco businesses had prepared to serve crowds during the First Round of the Playoffs. Businesses now realize there may be no crowds.

* The First Round of the Playoffs was going to be broadcast. It is now being decided whether there is interest in broadcasting a one boat race.

* The America’s Cup International Jury is now deciding whether a playoff system where you can not show up for the First Round of the Playoffs and not get eliminated is a good system.

But the 34th  America’s Cup is not all a blanket of fog. We still have foiling 72-foot catamarans with wings that extend 40 meters high. They require a small army to maintain, are awesome to watch, and attract a global audience when they crash. The broadcast tools are remarkable.

All we need now is sport, where competition is close, losers get eliminated, and the finals represent a crescendo where the winner is not known until the final note is played. Hopefully we will get it.

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