I have only one thought on the 2014 World Cup rules announced today, really:
It takes incredible hurdles to create magnificent victories. Our heroes don’t come because they face everyday circumstances — they come out of harrowing times.
Therefore, I loathe the mercy rule that Blood and Thunder announced today. According to DNN, it states: “If a team is leading by 100 points with 20 minutes remaining, the leading team will be awarded a ‘technical knock-out.'”
I think the mercy rule crushes the soul of roller derby fans. Part of the fun is rooting for an underdog and vicariously living through their victories (even if it’s just “SHE GOT LEAD JAMMER!). As a derby fan I love the second half. I know teams come back. I know they re-think, re-energize and re-evaluate their play and adapt. Part of the satisfaction I get is seeing the smarts of the sport — OK, Team B, you’re losing. Now what?
Because isn’t that what real victory looks like? — Figuring out that who you are isn’t good enough and that to rise to the task you must be better than you thought you could be. I think so.
And from a practical standpoint: Blood and Thunder also reduced penalties to 30 seconds (or, if the other jammer it out and scoring, the penalized jammer only serves one scoring pass in the box) — OK. I can live with that. Hypothetically, someone great could score 40 points in a powerjam minute. 20 points in a half-minute — assuming you could goat the jammer that long under this rule set. 100 points is still only five (magically awesome) power jams away.
Come on, Blood and Thunder, don’t take away the chance of a great story with amazing heroes conquering the seemingly unconquerable. It’s not who we are.