Blackpool v Cardiff or Champions League Final?

I wrote about the special intensity and atmosphere at playoff games earlier.  There is just something special about the all or nothing outcomes of these games that make them such a pressure game that isn’t replicated in cup finals.

I am writing this on Friday night, so it is before the Champions League final and playoff game between Blackpool and Cardiff this weekend.  Living here in the U.S. we will get the Champions League game on TV but not the Blackpool v Cardiff game.

I am probably in the minority here, but if I had to make a choice, I would prefer to watch the Blackpool v Cardiff game over the Champions League final.  It wouldn’t even be a close decision.  It might be closer if there was an English team in the Champions League final and it would be totally different if my home town team was in the Champions League (but it looks like being another year or two before Sheffield United get there).

If you are lucky enough to have both games on TV, just give some thought to the tension and/or how much you enjoy the game.  Don’t just fall into the trap of thinking that the Champions League final will be better because the quality of players are better.

Let me know what you think.  And other than Cardiff or Blackpool fans, I would like to hear what you think.  Am I crazy or do I have a point?


  1. John says:

    The play off final was a fantastic event this year especially.
    Two very attacking minded coaches served up a feast of goals,3-2 to Blackpooll,all goals in the first half and plenty of open attacking football was played for the full 90 minutes.

    The temperature also touched 107 degrees Fahrenheit at pitchside so both teams deserve massive amounts of credit for keeping up the tempo for the whole game.

    In contrast the champions league final was a great occasion but the game was played more thoughtfully, but still a quite open game I thought,though I felt the play off final had a much better atmosphere to it.

    And here in the UK we were lucky to be able to watch both,although only the Champions league final was on terrestrial television.

  2. Hugh Clements-Jewery says:

    Yes, you definitely have a point. Major finals (including World Cup) have a tendency to be overhyped and can be very dull affairs. I hate having these things decided by penalties although it does provide a moment of excitement after a possibly unexciting previous 120 minutes. I think this is because teams tend to be defensive (there’s a lot on the line) and may cancel each other out to some extent. As to why this doesn’t seem to apply to the Championship play-off I’m not sure, but I venture to suggest it is because English soccer is more ‘gung ho’ than its continental counterparts in general. And because maybe a relative lack of technical skill is made up for by a lot of fast, frenetic play?
    On the other hand, there’s definitely a lot on the line in the Championship play off – perhaps more than in the Champions league final as your previous blog posting suggested (i.e. the losers still go home knowing they made the final and finished a very respectable runner up).

  3. Mike Troup says:

    Watching the Champions League final is sometimes like watching Olympic ice hockey played by professionals- yes it features the most skilled players in the world, but it never matches the 1980 Olympics when the USA beat the Russians for the first time in 20 years. The USA team was a collection of amateurs and college players who had HEART AND PASSION. For the same reason, I preferred to watch the Blackpool/Cardiff game- it was a LIFE CHANGING opportunity for these two teams and the passion showed! The Inter/Mourinho show? Eh, not so much…

  4. Mike Saif says:

    I agree with all three comments. Only wish I could have seen the Blackpool v Cardiff game.