Talking Points: Cascadia Cup edge to Timbers

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What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

The keepers of the Cascadia Cup — fan groups that support the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps soccer clubs — announced this week that the 2012 Cup competition will include all nine of the Major League Soccer matches among the clubs. The decision was good news for Timbers fans, and a bit of a surprise.

Surprising because in 2012, the Timbers are scheduled to play two home games against both Seattle and Vancouver, while visiting each only once. That could be a significant advantage.

In fact, the Timbers play their four Cascadia Cup home games before late-season visits to Seattle and Vancouver, which means the Timbers could claim the trophy before playing a single away game.

We are a bit surprised that the Cascadia supporters didn’t decide to count only one of each team’s home games in the Cup chase. That would have been a more fair decision.

We are far more surprised — given the boost that the Northwest rivalries have given MLS — that the league didn’t take care to balance its schedule so that each of the three Northwest teams would have two home games against one of its rivals and two road games against the other.

2

It’s All-Star Weekend.

The NFL holds its all-star game on Sunday in Hawaii. Yawn.

The NHL hosts its all-star game on Sunday in Ottawa. Double yawn.

We all love the National Football League. And many of us like the National Hockey League.

But these games just don’t matter, anymore.

There was a time -- when sports heros were only a face on cardboard — when the chance to watch the best players go at it was a big deal. That era is long past.

We understand that these events are built to wine and dine sponsors. That’s fine. But excuse us if we spend our Sunday napping.

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