One day as I was a bit bored out of my skull, I came up with a cup competition for the Fifty States. (Uh, United States that is.) I wondered, "How cool would it be to have something like Euro '08 for the State of Washington to win?" Here's what I came up with:
The Constitution Cup
A cup tournament for the fifty states. Each state may enter one team. Club teams are not allowed to compete. This is similar to the World Cup, but using state teams. It is called the "Constitution Cup" because it is open only to those who have ratified the US Constitution, so that means no DC or Puerto Rico. To be eligible for a state's team, a player must have kept residency in that state for at least the previous fourteen months- just to have some sort of time requirement. Here is the structure I came up with:
First Round- A group stage consisting of ten groups of five with games played both home-and-away against all other states in the group. Top two advance to the Second Round.
Second Round- The states that advance are randomly placed into four groups of five for another round-robin home-and-away group stage. The only exception is that the winners of the first round groups and their respective runners-up cannot play in the same Second Round group. For example, the winner of Group A cannot be in the same group as runner-up of Group A. Top two advance to the Quarter-finals. The site of the Finals is chosen from amongst the states that are now out of the competition.
Quarter-Finals- A two-legged home-and-away series. Winner advances to the Semi-finals.
Semi-Finals- A two-legged home-and-away series. Winner advances to the Finals.
Finals- A single game played at a neutral site.
I think this would be something fun for all soccer fans in the USA. We already have many inter-state rivalries and this would be an exciting addition to them. Besides, I'm curious to see who would come in second to Washington every year!