夏日玫瑰

关键字:克林斯曼。马特乌斯。克鲁伊夫。贝肯鲍尔。内斯肯斯。同人。考古。八卦。(欢迎勾搭)

【读完存档】沙佩科恩斯空难引出来的《经济学人》分析

原来美国的职业体育联盟都有一套固定的应急系统而欧洲目前没有(当然了,两边整体系统本来就非常不同),而美国联盟的应急系统起源于……JFK遇刺。=_=
当年曼联空难,只知道皇马非常仗义愿意借出迪斯蒂法诺(谢谢Sid Lowe大大的《Fear and Loathing in La Liga》),但真不知道利物浦真借了他们五位……
把个人觉得最有意思的地方加黑了。

The unthinkable: What happens if the players on a major sports team die?

Dec 14th 2016, 17:24
BY R.J.E.

CHAPECOENSE have lost everything. The plane crash in Colombia on November 29th that killed, among others, 19 players from the Brazilian football team now overshadows everything that came before it (see blog). The side's spectacular ascent from the fourth division to the first is forgotten; so too its unlikely run to the final of thisseason's Copa Sudamericana, a continental club tournament. The tragedy that struck this modest club has touched players and fans far beyond Brazil.The minutes of silence solemnly observed in stadiums around the world would add up to days. And many football fans have surely pondered the uncomfortable truth that this could conceivably happen to their own team.

Perhaps this is why the tributes and offers of help have continued to flow. Among the most significant was an announcement on December 5th from CONMEBOL, the governing body of South American football, that it would award the Copa Sudamericana trophy to Chapecoense (the team's plane was en route to the final when it crashed). This gesture means that next season the club will gain automatic entry to the Copa Libertadores, the continent's most prestigious club competition. 

This is a cruel predicament. The tournament begins in less than two months, and just six players remain in Chapecoense's first-team squad. Of the 11 men who started in the Copa Sudamericana semi-final against San Lorenzo, an Argentine team, 10 were killed on the flight. The sole surviving starter, Neto, a defender, sustained head and lung injuries that required extensive surgery. Six of the seven players on the substitutes' bench died, too. (The seventh, Jakson Follman, the reserve goalkeeper, survived the crash but had his right leg amputated.) The coach, Caio Junior, also perished. 

For this club without a team the immediate priority has been to honour thedead. Around 100,000 people were present at a mass funeral on December 3rd at the Arena Condá stadium in Chapecó, the town of 180,000 people in which the club is based. Yet the near-impossible task of rebuilding the squad within a matter of weeks must now begin. On December 11th Chapecoense appointed a new coach, Vagner Mancini. He has no staff to manage. 

Help has come from all around. As winners of the Copa Sudamericana, the club will receive $2m in prize money, topped up by a gift of 5m reais ($1.46m)from Brazil's football federation. Several big Brazilian teams have offered to loan players to Chapecoense free of charge. Other famous footballers, including Eidur Gudjohnsen, a former player for FC Barcelona and Iceland, have volunteered to move to southern Brazil and join the stricken club. A charity match between the national teams of Brazil and Colombia will probably be held next month; FC Barcelona has also invited Chapecoense to play a friendly gamein mid-2017. 

Such generous behaviour was an instinctive outpouring of compassion, rather than a product of vigilance and foresight. It suggests a kind of social contract: 
if adversaries all agree to support each other in their darkest moments, then nobody falls. But despite this sporting selflessness, no one can say with certainty how Chapecoense will fare in the coming months and years. 

History records only a handful of instances in which an entire major sportsteam has died at once. Most occurred in bygone eras. Perhaps the most famous was the Munich air disaster of 1958, which killed eight players from Manchester United, an English club. The crash interrupted United's dominance of domestic football, but the team were able to continue playing with the help other clubs, including five players loaned by their hated rival, Liverpool. A different problem faced the Zambian football team, which lost its entire squad in a plane crash off the coast of Gabon in 1993. A national side cannot receive players from its sympathetic opponents. That made it all themore incredible when Zambia reached the final of the African Cup of Nations a year later with a hastily assembled squad. (Zambia eventually won the tournament in 2012 in Libreville, Gabon's capital, a short distance from the crash site.) 

The only instance since 1993 in which more than two players from a major sports team died was in 2011, when a plane crash killed the entire senior roster of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, a successful Russian ice hockey team. The disaster happened shortly before the start of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) season, and the team chose to spend a year in a lower league so it could focus on rebuilding. After meetings with government officials, including then-president Dmitry Medvedev, Yaroslavl received tax cuts, exemptions from insurance premiums and other subsidies. The KHL obliged each team to volunteer three players from which Yarolslavl could pick a new squad. Many league players had been friends with those who had died, and volunteered to switch sides. Yaroslavl returned to the KHL the following season and finished third. 

The sporting leagues of Brazil and Russia are one thing. America's super-rich circuits are another. Although the top leagues for basketball, baseball, American football and ice hockey have never seen a disaster like the one that befell Yaroslavl and Chapecoense, they have prepared meticulously for suchevents for decades. Consultants familiar with the inner workings of American sports say that teams and leagues alike have mapped out detailed responses to various crisis scenarios, be it a fatal tragedy or a star player being accusedof a crime. The full details of such hypothetical cases are not made public. Each is unique: a plane that has crashed would require a different response toone that has gone missing, for example. The secrecy of these plans provides flexibility later on.

The American leagues have been acutely aware of the need to plan for a crisis ever since the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. The National Football League (NFL) caused a scandal by choosing to go ahead with its games two days later. Pete Rozelle, the commissioner who helped forge the sport's popularity, later called that decision the biggest regret of his career. Major League Baseball was the first franchise to react, introducing an emergency-response system two years after the president's death. Others were spurred into actionat the end of the decade, when 38 players from Marshall University's college football team were killed in a plane crash

A few elements of these plans are publicly known. The National Basketball Association triggers a "disaster draft" if five of more players in a team "die or are dismembered". All other sides can protect five players, and the affected franchise can take its pick from the rest (but taking no more than one player from each team). The NFL has a similar programme, but distinguishes between two types of tragedy. After a "near-disaster", in which between five and 14 players from a single team are killed, that team gets preferential rights to "waivers" (players that other sides have made available for transfers). In the event of a full-blown "disaster", of 15 fatalities or more, a franchise may also cancel its season and receive the first draft pick for the next campaign. 

Unlike America's biggest sporting enterprises, European football leagues did not come into being during the era of modern management. Officials in England's Premier League privately admit that no such "disaster draft" exists, and that the league lags well behind America when it comes to planning for Chapecoense-style crises. Europe's leagues are also an interconnected web, rather than a closed circuit of franchises, which makes the social contract between teams less straightforward. Clubs go up and down the divisions through promotion and relegation, star players are regularly transferred between countries and some sides simultaneously play football on a domestic and continental level. What might a disaster draft look like if it did exist? If something unthinkable happened to a Premier League club which participated in the Champions League, would such a draft involve just English teams, or European ones too? Conversely, what would happen if tragedy struck a less successful side? It could not recover quietly at the bottom of the table, accruing draft picks to acquire young talent as an American franchise could. It would instead face relegation. 

Should fans of European football teams be bothered by the absence of sophisticated disaster preparations? Ad hoc generosity would go some way to helping a stricken team get back on its feet, but would not work equally well for all clubs. A small, struggling side might be able to rebuild by picking off unwanted players from elsewhere. A team accustomed to winning trophies would have a harder time assembling from scratch a squad of the highest quality. Either way, new rules that apply fairly to Europe's rich and poor clubs arenotoriously difficult to negotiate.

There is one final consideration. For the spirit of sportsmanship to remain alive, generosity from opponents cannot be too little, but nor can it be too much. In the wake of the Chapecoense disaster, Brazil's top clubs made an especially kind request to league officials: that Chapecoense be exempt from relegation for three years while it rebuilt and recovered. Under that arrangement, if the club finished the season in the bottom four relegation places, the team fifth from bottom would drop to the second division instead. But the club knocked back the idea. "They don't want it," says Mauro Cezar, a Brazilian football journalist. "They want to play against other teams normally." For all that Chapecoense may have lost, its sense of honour remains. 

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