Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Let's Talk FedEx Cup For a Minute

This year is the 2nd year of the FedEx Cup. As pointed out in Doug Ferguson's preview piece for the Mercedes, it still has never been kissed. That's an aside, though. The point is that we should not forget to keep a scrutinous eye on the FEC for its second voyage.

Last year, the playoff format had a very difficult time gaining momentum during the first, oh, 7 months of the season. In the end, though, it produced a compelling playoff format and an exhibition in domination from Tiger Woods like we haven't seen in seven years. Most critics - including me - came around to the conclusion that this was way better than what the Tour finale was prior to the FEC.

The same critics maintained, though, that the format needed tweaking in several places. Everyone has their own ideas and you can find them pretty much anywhere if you Google "FedEx Cup improvements or changes." Still, even with all of the constructive criticism and suggestions, the PGA Tour decided to make no changes to the FEC for 2008. Well, so far.

The Tour has reserved the right to make changes in February or at any point in the season. Whether they will do so or not is unknown, but there is still potential that the rules could change in light of lousy fan interest, a runaway leader, or some other conflict that comes up for the Tour.

Since this season will have its own unique characteristics, it will give fans and media another opportunity to see the viability of the concept at work. It will take another 9 months to evaluate it, but it is important to keep it in the back of our minds at the beginning. That way, we'll have a clear idea of what to criticize and applaud at the end of the season.

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