No mincing words about the Crew's playoff schedule

Clare Grant/The Columbus Dispatch / USA

I was out of town for the weekend and realize I’m a day late with this, but I still want to have my say. I’ll not mince words: the Crew’s playoff schedule stinks.

When MLS and Apple TV announced their deal, a lot was made about getting consistency in the schedule so fans would know when their team is playing from week to week. Games were scheduled for a 7:30 Saturday start time with a few Wednesdays sprinkled throughout the season. There were a few Saturday afternoon and Sunday games thrown in, but the vast majority of MLS regular season games would be on Saturday or Wednesday. If you checked the league website for playoff information, it stated the first round would begin the weekend of October 28-29 and conclude November 11-12. So, if you’re like me, you figured each first round game would be scheduled on a Saturday or Sunday over the course of those three weekends. We all know that is not what happened.

Game 1 is on a Wednesday? Really??!! That makes so much sense because fans don’t work for a living, kids don’t have school to attend, and all of us live within just a few miles of Field. For some Crew fans, attending a game takes effort because we live a few hours from Columbus. It is an effort we happily make. The team, atmosphere at the stadium, and overall game experience makes it all worthwhile. I’m sure many Atlanta fans are in the same situation. They actually have it worse for Game 2 because it is a 7 PM start on a Tuesday. Can you imagine fighting Atlanta traffic to get to that one?  It isn’t just the league is completely oblivious to the plight of many fans, they simply don’t care.

No Need For A Tinfoil Hat

I’ve seen a conspiracy theory or two thrown around, but there is no need for that. The reason for the playoff schedule being all over the place comes down to one thing: TV. Take a look at the opening games across the MLS playoffs. Each game is given its own unique time slot. No two games will be played at the same time. This makes sense…from a TV standpoint, but I’m not happy. The league could have scheduled these playoff games at the usual Saturday night time of 7:30. Instead, they chose to put an undue burden on too many fans who want to attend a playoff game and support their favorite team.

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The MLS playoff schedule stinks, but it is what it is and there is no changing it. All we can do now is show up, cheer for the Crew…and drink a lot of caffeine the next morning.