Recently I have been reading a few tweets on twitter from some Leafs fans who are advocating ‘tanking’. As I understand it this term means going out to deliberately lose games in order to finish lower in the final league standings and therefore move up in the draft pick order. So let’s look at the pros and cons of doing this:-
Pros – there is only one that I can think of – gaining a higher draft pick position.
- your team loses every game – it’s not pleasant to watch!
- players get used to losing and a losing mindset develops.
- it is against every fair play rule and theory in sport
- it is illegal
- a higher draft position does not necessarily mean the higher drafted players turn out to be better than the lower drafted players
- it is cheating fans of not only the Leafs who pay to go to games and for various TV/internet packages but it cheats players, officials and fans of every other team in the league
- players used to losing begin next season demoralized and lacking in confidence
- the majority of the current players will most likely still be here next season – we won’t trade them all!
- it curtails the development of young players already in the Leafs team
I have heard people say we are losing when we try to win so what’s the difference. Well how about the possibility we might win some of these remaining games. You won’t win if you play to lose that’s for sure. Basically the potential reward is surely dwarfed by the certainty of the above negatives?
I have NEVER heard of this concept in any other sport. Is it something common to North American sports just because of of the draft system?
In conclusion – there are far too many dangers of deliberately losing games. The consequences DO NOT END when the season ends. Sometimes irreversible damage is done for losing on a regular basis. These players are paid millions of dollars to play hard every game and any professional sportsman (or woman) should never ever contemplate ‘tanking’.