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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

OT: The Soccer Thread, April 2013

THE key April game:

April 6th Hamburglar v SC FREIBURG: Grudge match of the year featuring two clubs oblivious to the grudginess of the match. Be there!

Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:49 PM | 916 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off-topic

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   701. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 25, 2013 at 03:28 AM (#4425367)
Bayern-Barca and Dortmund-Madrid seemed like great semi-final matchups. I'm also surprised by the blowouts.

I think most people, if forced to pick two blowouts, would have gone the other way on both of those.
   702. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 25, 2013 at 09:01 AM (#4425402)
I know this will paint me in a bad light, but I get quite a chuckle from reading RAWKs hysterics about Suarez and then reading Redcafe's smug mocking of those hysterics. It's like Mystery Science Theater for the internet.
   703. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 25, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4425416)
   704. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 25, 2013 at 09:48 AM (#4425421)
   705. jmurph Posted: April 25, 2013 at 10:01 AM (#4425432)
As a Liverpool hater, I enjoy their twisted logic in portraying Suarez as the victim. As a Red Sox fan, not so much.
   706. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM (#4425441)
As a Liverpool hater, I enjoy their twisted logic in portraying Suarez as the victim. As a Red Sox fan, not so much.

I don't hate Liverpool at all and of the Sky 4, they were the club I usually rooted for. RAWK is just good for a laugh on certain occasions. Other Liverpool boards aren't nearly as nutty so I don't think it's a universal Liverpool fan thing. RAWK is special, is all.
   707. jmurph Posted: April 25, 2013 at 10:12 AM (#4425452)
Other Liverpool boards aren't nearly as nutty so I don't think it's a universal Liverpool fan thing.


I was actually referring to the club itself. Rogers complained, Reina whined, Ayre too. If I were the FA I'd slap a fine on each of them, no matter how mild the criticism. He bit someone! During the game! That's not a thing that people do.
   708. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM (#4425467)
I was actually referring to the club itself. Rogers complained, Reina whined, Ayre too.

Rodgers and Ayre have been disappointing, yeah. They're supposed to be the grown ups.

It's weird, but you never really hear from Tottenham's big wigs. I had that realization a few months ago and so I googled "Levy Interview" and the last television interview he gave, as near as my google skills can tell, was after Ramos got fired and Redknapp hired. The club will issue statements or Levy himself will make a brief statement to kill a story in the press--like Modric going to Chelsea--but they generally stay quiet. Is there a reason for this? I'm not complaining--I have no desire to see Levy yap as much as the chairmen of Liverpool or City or Man U or West Ham or Wigan do--I just find it kind of odd.
   709. puck Posted: April 25, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4425500)
This is the guy that SHOULD have gotten Beckham money to come to MLS

I agree, and the deal should also have included the ownership option/offer. He had even been featured in those semi-regular interviews in the NYTimes.
   710. Mattbert Posted: April 25, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4425503)
It's weird, but you never really hear from Tottenham's big wigs.

Opportunity cost. Time spent flapping your yapper in the press is time that can't be spent doing evil genius things.
   711. puck Posted: April 25, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4425507)
I watched the 1eg of the CONCACAF semi-final last night as well. Dull game as Monterrey and Santos both seemed wary of counters. It probably didn't help that they had played the same fixture the weekend before in league play.

Watching the two teams right after watching Dortmund thump Madrid, the contrast was striking. It highlighted just how Liga MX is a lot closer to MLS than they are to the top Euro leagues. I suppose that's not surprising given that Mexican teams now occasionally lose to MLS teams even with starters in the lineup. And I guess Chelsea vs Monterrey in last year's CWC was similar.
   712. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 25, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4425538)
I agree, and the deal should also have included the ownership option/offer. He had even been featured in those semi-regular interviews in the NYTimes.

I think he would have taken the league by storm, and not in the empty "look a celebrity!" way Beckham did. Can't blame him for wanting to play in Brazil instead, though.
   713. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 25, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4425551)
Speaking of taking MLS by storm, BOLTON THINK FACTORY reports that Toronto FC has been tapping up another big name who is currently engaged in the professional season, possibly adding Kevin Davies right after the end of the Championship season.
   714. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 25, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4425556)
Crispix - pretty sure the Davies to TFC thing fell through.
   715. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 25, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4425591)
Is there a reason for this? I'm not complaining--I have no desire to see Levy yap as much as the chairmen of Liverpool or City or Man U or West Ham or Wigan do--I just find it kind of odd.


I suspect it's some combination of Levy not being someone who wants/needs to talk publicly and/or Levy not being interesting enough for the media to aggressively contact for a statement.
   716. J. Sosa Posted: April 25, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4425597)
re: RAWK

RAWK deserves every bit of mockery it gets. Shooty is actually being kind. LFC fans in general are pretty nutty, its just that there is a greater concentration of nuttiness at RAWK. Many of the people on other LFC boards are actually exiles from RAWK(usually they were banned from RAWK for not swearing an oath that Rafa is the greatest gaffer that ever gaffed. Except for Shankly. And some other LFC managers. KING KENNY11!!! Wait. Where was I).

At the risk of offending any LFC fans here I apologize in advance, but much of it I attribute to the prevalence of SoS members at RAWK. I actually had some run ins online with some of those people a few years ago, and let me just say, xenophobia doesn't even begin to describe it. But it is not just limited to RAWK. Multiple posters at other LFC sites went off on tirades about the notion of honoring the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing the same day as Anne Williams. I'll leave it to others to attempt to explain the lack of empathy it would require for multiple people to go on profanity laced tirades at that notion.

Consider yourself lucky jmurph. I find that my LFC fandom mirrors my Red Sox fandom in that I detest vast swaths of both fanbases.
   717. Swedish Chef Posted: April 25, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4425606)
I was actually referring to the club itself. Rogers complained, Reina whined, Ayre too.

I can live with that, myopic club personnel are a dime-a-dozen in football. It got toxic last time because it was about an issue from the real world, racism, and they handled it like it was something from the sandbox of football. This is just boys acting up and getting punished and whining about it, there's nothing to it in a wider sense.

If I were the FA I'd slap a fine on each of them, no matter how mild the criticism.

Let them whine. Wenger's whining after most every loss has long been a cherished tradition of the prem, maybe Liverpool can establish something similar.
   718. ursus arctos Posted: April 25, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4425612)
This Wambach incident is troubling.

They've already announced that she's out of the next match.
   719. Swedish Chef Posted: April 25, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4425618)
Rumors say Lewandowski is going to United or Bayern. This is a rare case where United is definitely the lesser evil.

And Neymar and a host of others is on the way to Barcelona. I sense fear and doubt.
   720. jmurph Posted: April 25, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4425619)
Consider yourself lucky jmurph. I find that my LFC fandom mirrors my Red Sox fandom in that I detest vast swaths of both fanbases.


Many of our fellow Red Sox fans are quite annoying, aren't they? I found the Boston takeovers of Camden Yards to be much less charming the last time I was there.

My Liverpool-hatred doesn't extend to their fans, I promise (I've never visited the sites you and Shooty mention and I've definitely got nothing against you!). Just one of those random subconscious decisions one makes when first forming routing interests in a sport. It was probably the Gerrard/Rafa combination, for me.
   721. Mefisto Posted: April 25, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4425624)
That Wambach concussion was crazy. She was wobbly when she went off and wobbly when they let her go back on. It was irresponsible to let her continue to play. I hope the NWSL isn't cutting corners on the medical staff.
   722. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 25, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4425631)
Really no excuse for letting Wambach play. It's not like concussions haven't been a point of discussion for the last 3 or 4 years.
   723. J. Sosa Posted: April 25, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4425632)
Camden was actually one of the things I was thinking of jmurph, funny you should mention that. There have been several times in baseball stadia I was ashamed to be wearing a Red Sox cap . A couple of those times were at Camden. My wife and I were actually caught up in a scrum between Oriole and Red Sox fans leaving the stadium one time in an incident that was instigated by drunken Red Sox fans. The Orioles fans were just defending themselves.

Probably the worst was a game in Anaheim. I forget which of the Angels fans on BTF hates the Red Sox (Shredder? Or maybe there is more than one) but I would support their loathing based on what I saw. As a general rule of thumb, I take it as bad form to curse Dads with daughters at a ball game because their cap has an A instead of a B on it. But maybe that's just me.

As for the LFC stuff, no explanation needed jmurph. Everyone on this thread is genial, I knew where you were coming from, trust me.
   724. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 25, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4425635)
Here's that Barca transfer-fest story Chef mentioned.

Looks like they want to get in on the raping of Dortmund. No mention of Lloris or Vertonghen!
   725. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 25, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4425641)
I forget which of the Angels fans on BTF hates the Red Sox (Shredder? Or maybe there is more than one)

I think all Angels fans hate the Red Sox.
   726. ursus arctos Posted: April 25, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4425642)
Rumors say Lewandowski is going to United or Bayern. This is a rare case where United is definitely the lesser evil.

And Neymar and a host of others is on the way to Barcelona. I sense fear and doubt.


The Lewandoski to Bayern rumors have been around for some time, and were most recently fanned by Heynckes' agent. They are grounded in a pre-Goetze for 37 million view of Dortmund's finances, and I'd personally be surprised if they sell him now (though his value has to be at an absolute peak).

Rosell has lusted after Neymar for years, and I'm sure that his extremely close ties with Nike Brazil have nothing to do with it. The more important question is whether the club now realizes that their single biggest mistake last summer was not meeting Thiago Silva's asking price.

   727. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 25, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4425659)
Where does Neymar play for his club team? Doesn't he play wide (and then come towards the middle) for Brazil? From what I have seen he's a very good player but isn't he just a sort of slight, technically gifted player that Barcelona already has plenty of?

A Lewandowski/RVP front two would be awesome to watch. I know there were rumors before but since all the more recent smoke was coming from Munich, I just assumed it wasn't going to happen (for United). I guess if true would mean both Rooney and Chicharito leaving.
   728. JoeHova Posted: April 25, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4425663)
The Lewandoski to Bayern rumors have been around for some time, and were most recently fanned by Heynckes' agent. They are grounded in a pre-Goetze for 37 million view of Dortmund's finances, and I'd personally be surprised if they sell him now (though his value has to be at an absolute peak).


It sounds like more than rumors. His agent said a deal is done between Lewandowski and a new team, they only need Dortmund to agree (which, according to the agent, the team has said they would do if the purchasing team met a certain price).
   729. ursus arctos Posted: April 25, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4425676)
Dortmund are denying that there has been any offer, and I haven't seen anything that Lewandowski (unlike Goetze) has a rescission clause in his contract.
   730. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 25, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4425679)
I can see why Barca is in mini panic, but will Real go all Galacticos on our asses if they lose the tie?
   731. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 25, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4425684)
I've been mentally preparing for Lewandowski to leave relatively soon. He's been rumored to join Man U, Man City, or Bayern for some time now. Hell, I think there was a Juventus rumor in there somewhere too. I really wouldn't be surprised if he left over the summer. Goetze leaving definitely took me by surprise.

Dzeko has been rumored to replace Lewandowski.

How prevalent are these "release" clauses in soccer contracts (is rescission clause the correct term?)? I haven't been following the sport for too long, but the only two players I've seen use the clause are Goetze and Demba Ba when he left Newcastle for Chelsea. Does every good player on a not-so-wealthy team have this clause?
   732. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 25, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4425689)
It sounds like more than rumors. His agent said a deal is done between Lewandowski and a new team, they only need Dortmund to agree (which, according to the agent, the team has said they would do if the purchasing team met a certain price).

I wouldn't put too much stock into public comments from an agent. That could just as easily be negotiating tactic to get more leverage. Watzke has said today that Dortmund have no offers from any club regarding Lewandowski, and that they are doing everything they can to get him to stay. Obviously that deserves a pile of salt as well. But given the manner in which Bayern went about the Götze deal, I would be surprised if they rolled over from them now. They may try and get a United deal, just to spite them.
   733. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 25, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4425691)
Does every good player on a not-so-wealthy team have this clause?

I think Messi has a release clause but it's the equivalent of buying the Canary Islands or something.
   734. ursus arctos Posted: April 25, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4425692)
Rescission is the fancy legal term; release clause is fine.

They are required in Spain, and have become increasingly popular in recent years on the continent (less so in England, as far as I can tell).

Messi's was Euro 250 million last time I looked, but it's been re-negotiated several times in past few years and may have gone up by now. These clauses pose an obvious danger to clubs in an inflationary environment, and I'm sure that Dortmund now wish they had increased Goetze's
   735. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 25, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4425698)
How prevalent are these "release" clauses in soccer contracts (is rescission clause the correct term?)? I haven't been following the sport for too long, but the only two players I've seen use the clause are Goetze and Demba Ba when he left Newcastle for Chelsea. Does every good player on a not-so-wealthy team have this clause?

They're typically referred to as 'minimum fee release clauses'. Hard to tell exactly how common they are, since football contract tend to be less public than those in US sports. That said, my understanding is that they are fairly common in Spain, and less so in England and Germany.
edit: coke to the bear
   736. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 25, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4425702)
I don't think hardly anyone in England has a release clause. I don't believe anyone for Spurs has one. Ba was an exception as Newcastle got him cheap because of his injury but, if Ba proved himself fit, he didn't want to be locked into the contract long term.
   737. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 25, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4425710)
It just occurred to me that Goetze cost less than Andy Carroll. Andy Carroll's transfer fee is like a magic mushroom.
   738. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 25, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4425714)
It just occurred to me that Goetze cost less than Andy Carroll. Andy Carroll's transfer fee is like a magic mushroom.


IIRC the running joke on Twitter last night was that Carroll cost more than Dortmund's entire starting 11.
   739. Dale Berra of Seville (was Rennie's Tenet) Posted: April 25, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4425788)
it's the equivalent of buying the Canary Islands or something.


Fourteen shillings and six-pence? Well, it's tempting....
   740. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 25, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4425790)
Everyone cost less than Andy Carroll. He was something like the tenth highest transfer fee worldwide of all time. He's the soccer equivalent of Vernon Wells.
   741. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 25, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4425800)
Wasn't Diame's release clause something like 1.8M pounds? I think it all depends on the player/agent/team. Lower clauses protect the player if they are young and get stuck on the bench and also if there something to "prove" (like Ba). Super high fees protect the team obviously.

Isn't there a rule where a player can pay off the remaining amount on his contract and become a free agent? Say Lewandowski gets paid 50K/week so 2.6M/year. Isn't he allowed to pay Dortmund 2.6M and become a free agent? What's to prevent a team to offer some sort of signing bonus to make that up?
   742. Swedish Chef Posted: April 25, 2013 at 05:04 PM (#4425835)
Isn't there a rule where a player can pay off the remaining amount on his contract and become a free agent? Say Lewandowski gets paid 50K/week so 2.6M/year. Isn't he allowed to pay Dortmund 2.6M and become a free agent?

In theory, yes, he may do it three years after the last contract was signed. But all the big clubs are pretending that the Webster ruling doesn't exist. And why not, it's not like it was decided by a real court, the risk is that a good player trying that would lose years to a legal battle.
   743. ursus arctos Posted: April 25, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4425864)
The Wiki on the Webster Ruling is pretty good.

I agree with Chef that it is highly unlikely that a player with Lewandowski's profile would take a chance on it. There's also the issue that essentially every club that could afford him has said that they won't take advantage of the ruling.

Webster has really proved to be a damp squib in practice.
   744. puck Posted: April 26, 2013 at 12:50 AM (#4426052)
That Wambach concussion was crazy. She was wobbly when she went off and wobbly when they let her go back on. It was irresponsible to let her continue to play. I hope the NWSL isn't cutting corners on the medical staff.


Is the article right that the ref waved the trainer back onto the sideline when he/she tried to come on the field to treat Wambach? If so, that's crazy.
   745. puck Posted: April 26, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4426054)
Here's that Barca transfer-fest story Chef mentioned.


Maybe Arsenal can get Alex Song back cheap. I'm not sure why they'd want to sell Cesc, though.
   746. Swedish Chef Posted: April 26, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4426504)
   747. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4426746)
@744: Yes, the ref waved off the trainer. Wambach says she has no memory of the rest of the game from that point on.
   748. Textbook Editor Posted: April 26, 2013 at 11:37 PM (#4426790)
Messi's was Euro 250 million last time I looked, but it's been re-negotiated several times in past few years and may have gone up by now.


So... And I'm just making some crazy talk here... If Beckham was worth $250 million over 5 years) in terms of increasing interest, etc. why wouldn't it also be true that Messi would be worth $300 million (not sure of exchange rate, too lazy to look) + an extended contract?

I mean, if Messi played in the MLS in New York, that would spark some interest, right? Yes, yes, yes, I know--NASL tried this move already and look where it got them. But this might be the exception to the rule. Sure, you'd also be paying him $30 million a year on top of it, and there's the distinct chance he'd sit out/go on strike rather than play for NY Red Bulls, but I dunno... An MLS tipping point seems on the horizon; getting Messi to play in the league seems like it would be a big nudge forward.

[/crazy talk]

SPURS THINK FACTORY

I remain concerned AVB would jump for RM. I don't think he's going to wind up being Spurs' Fergie (or even its Moyes), though I've been won over and I hope it happens.
   749. Spivey Posted: April 26, 2013 at 11:43 PM (#4426794)
I don't think Messi would happily or quietly move from Barcelona to the MLS, so I think it would be a really bad decision to try.
   750. puck Posted: April 27, 2013 at 02:24 AM (#4426856)
If Beckham was worth $250 million over 5 years

Who says this is true? That figure was a bunch of hot air from his agent. His actual contract was for $32.5M/5 yrs. He did drum up attendance increases, Galaxy sponsorships, and sold a lot of jerseys, but nowhere near $250 million. The Galaxy have said the extra business paid for his contract, which is really moving the needle. (I doubt Henry has gotten close.)

And as Spivey notes, you'd have to get Messi to come. If he did, yeah, every game would sell out. At least until someone took him out with a studs up tackle.
   751. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 27, 2013 at 09:28 AM (#4426879)
4-3-3 for Spurs. BTW, Jozy had a hell of a game yesterday.

Wigan Team

Robles, Kone, McCarthy, Maloney, Gomez, McManaman, McArthur, Boyce, Beausejour, Figueroa, Scharner

Subs: Al Habsi, Caldwell, Watson, Di Santo, Henriquez, Espinoza, Stam
Tottenham Team

Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Naughton; Dembele, Huddlestone, Parker; Dempsey, Defoe, Bale.

Subs: Friedel, Assou-Ekotto, Caulker, Carroll, Holtby, Lennon, Sigurdsson
   752. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 27, 2013 at 09:31 AM (#4426880)
I didn't even notice that Adebayor isn't even a sub. Not sure what's going on there.
   753. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 27, 2013 at 10:09 AM (#4426889)
OK, that was hilarious. That's not something you ever see.

And then they give the lead up within two minutes. Sigh.
   754. frannyzoo Posted: April 27, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4426891)
Given all the important games, I'm just doing a "Soccer Saturday." for these two hours. I've always been strangely fascinated by this show. So silly, so British, so much screaming at events happening off-camera.

Oh...and did you see the screamer by Watford (Udinese "C") via Chelsea's Chalubah yesterday?
   755. frannyzoo Posted: April 27, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4426909)
Wolves really might do the double drop here. I never figured Roger Johnson to be the Anti-Christ, but there's certainly evidence.
   756. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 27, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4426913)
C'mon Spurs, make yourself useful, I am 99% sure West Ham can stay up but a win here seals it.
   757. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 27, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4426915)
Spurs haven't been great but Wigan have done absolutely nothing outside of getting a goal off a corner. Not getting all 3 points in this game would be disastrous.

And of course they concede immediately after I type that. Oh, Spurs.
   758. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 27, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4426918)
I'm death on the Spurs, as soon as I tune in, they go down one.
   759. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 27, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4426922)
Spurs haven't even been particularly close to scoring since they went down. This is pathetic.
   760. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 27, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4426925)
I think that was an own goal.

FSC announcer: "Tottenham have rescued it!"

Well, not yet they haven't. They really need all 3 from this fixture.
   761. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 27, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4426926)
That about sums up the game.

I think a fair scoreline would be about: Wigan 3.5 - Spurs 0.5

Really poor showing from Spurs here, especially considering their win last week and how badly they needed all the points here ...
   762. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 27, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4426927)
I think a fair scoreline would be about: Wigan 3.5 - Spurs 0.5

Spurs haven't been very good, but I have no idea how you're getting Wigan to 3.5.

Wow, I can't believe no one on Spurs could scramble that ball in.

So, Spurs take four points off Manchester United this season and one point off Wigan Athletic. That seems about right.

Ugh, Bale wears that stupid-ass kinesio tape.
   763. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 27, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4426933)
Spurs haven't been very good, but I have no idea how you're getting Wigan to 3.5.


I was being cheeky and awarding them credit for the goals they essentially scored for Spurs ...

   764. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 27, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4426935)
Ah, I see. My mistake.
   765. frannyzoo Posted: April 27, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4426940)
This from the Wolves message board:

THATS RIGHT ... PROTEST TIME, ENOUGH FROM LILLY LIVERED PIECES OF SH.IT LIKE SPRH SAYING REAL FANS DONT PROTEST......GET THAT FCKIN BEETROOT ON A STAKE !


Good use of all-caps. No sign of Molineux burning...yet.
   766. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 27, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4426943)
I don't know, I just don't feel like ragging on Spurs so I'll start by saying, in their own way, Wigan are kind of a great team. Fair play to them as they were the better team. It seemed like Spurs shut off after that fluke goal as if they'd decided, yeah, the football gods have us covered again. I will single out Huddlestone--last week we saw the best of what he can offer but today we saw why he doesn't have a future with the club. He just doesn't have the motor to press. It's not that he's lazy, it's just not part of his skill set. On Wigan's second goal I felt queasy as soon as he laid off the man with the ball--I forget who--who then passed it over to McMannaman. The goal wasn't directly his fault, but he gave them much too much time and space to work a pass into a dangerous area. It's disappointing but Wigan probably deserved all the points.

Also Freiburg lost 1-0 to FC Evil so they are probably toast for a CL place and will probably fall out of European contention, too. AWESOME DAY!
   767. J. Sosa Posted: April 27, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4426948)
I hesitate to ask but could someone explain the connotations of a "fckin beetroot"?
   768. frannyzoo Posted: April 27, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4426959)
Barca is forlorn today, but the little guy slaloms most beautifully in that Globetrotters v. Washington Generals way to 1-1.
   769. Swedish Chef Posted: April 27, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4426972)
Very nice of Tottenham to not capitulate totally, that is much appreciated.
   770. Swedish Chef Posted: April 27, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4426986)
Subs: Casillas, Varane, Özil, Xabi Alonso, Modric, Higuaín, Callejón


That is an expensive bench!
   771. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 27, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4427001)
Nuri Sahin with a ridiculous goal against Dusseldorf today.

Entertaining match considering Dortmund was mostly playing reserves.
   772. ursus arctos Posted: April 27, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4427006)
The beetroot comment is most likely directed at Wolves' chairman, Jez Moxey, who tends be well tanned for someone who spends time in Wolverhampton. The supporters would like to see his bronzed head on a pike, it appears.
   773. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 28, 2013 at 08:24 AM (#4427318)
So, I am working from home today, i.e. watching the football. Of course, both QPR and Reading are almost surely going down anyway, but I'm betting on QPR to win and survive today. By the way, I've been following football since 2005-06 and that time Reading has won the Championship twice, finishing 8th in the Prem and now barring an absolute miracle will be relegated for the second time. In theory they could win the Championship and be relegated again, which would really be a hell of a decade.

   774. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 28, 2013 at 10:22 AM (#4427333)
Well, if today's efforts, let alone the result is indicative, deserve's got everything to do with these two teams being relegated ...
   775. frannyzoo Posted: April 28, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4427340)
I was all ready to enjoy the results in Serie A until I discovered Zanetti went out with a probable ruptured achilles. That's no way to end a career, especially on the pitch in Palermo. Hope he can come back and/or it's not as serious as feared.
   776. Mefisto Posted: April 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4427355)
Where are all the Spurs fans rooting for United today? Bile got your tongue?
   777. Baldrick Posted: April 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4427357)
So, I am working from home today, i.e. watching the football. Of course, both QPR and Reading are almost surely going down anyway, but I'm betting on QPR to win and survive today. By the way, I've been following football since 2005-06 and that time Reading has won the Championship twice, finishing 8th in the Prem and now barring an absolute miracle will be relegated for the second time. In theory they could win the Championship and be relegated again, which would really be a hell of a decade.

We made the playoffs a couple other times as well.

It's been nice having them in the top league this year, since I've been able to see more games. But it's not particularly fun to watch a team lose game after game after game. When they went on a run and got out of the drop zone in December, I really enjoyed it. Other than that, the year has been kind of a drag.

0-0 today. Fitting.
   778. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4427358)
Wow. Sagna is incredibly fortunate to still be on. I think that play carried on after that challenge is the only thing that saved him. Had play stopped on the challenge I think Dowd books him without thinking and send him off. I think the time that passed caused Dowd to realize he was going to have to send him off if he booked him and he wimped out. That challenge was absolutely late enough to warrant a yellow though.
   779. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 28, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4427359)
0-0 today. Fitting.


From a neutral perspective very disappointing. I really though both teams would go balls to the wall and go down in a blaze of glory. I thought 3-3 was more likely than 0-0. Instead we got 90 minutes of snooze-a-thon.
   780. Baldrick Posted: April 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4427362)
From a neutral perspective very disappointing. I really though both teams would go balls to the wall and go down in a blaze of glory. I thought 3-3 was more likely than 0-0. Instead we got 90 minutes of snooze-a-thon.

From a neutral perspective, why on earth would you watch the game? I was thankful it was the early game and I live on the west coast so I wouldn't be tempted to get up early and watch it. I was pretty confident it was going to be terrible.
   781. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4427365)
Where are all the Spurs fans rooting for United today? Bile got your tongue?

My bile at the moment is directed at whoever didn't realize Arsenal's goal was offside.
   782. JuanGone..except1game Posted: April 28, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4427366)
Swansea's players looked like they spent their pre-game and half-time on Kayak looking up vacation rates. Good game from Chelsea but Swansea was barely trying.
   783. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 28, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4427368)
I don't think Swansea has been trying ever since they won the League Cup.
   784. frannyzoo Posted: April 28, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4427369)
Sagna's Whoscored rating is currently 6.0. That's about 7 points higher than I expected it to be. I remember Eboue having a game like this for Arsenal and getting subbed/booed off the pitch. Everyone has been so much nicer today. Phil Dowd included.
   785. Mefisto Posted: April 28, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4427398)
Sagna was really bad today. I can't believe Wenger left him in, and I can't believe Dowd didn't do Wenger's job for him.
   786. Textbook Editor Posted: April 28, 2013 at 09:47 PM (#4427683)
SPURS THINK FACTORY

So with Arsenal 2 points up but with Spurs having a game in hand, basically if Spurs wins out the last 4 games, they are guaranteed a CL spot, right? (Because they can get 12 max points but Arsenal can get only 9 max points from remaining games.)

I know one of these 4 games is at Chelsea, but at least they have their fate in their hands.
   787. Textbook Editor Posted: April 28, 2013 at 10:00 PM (#4427693)
What the hell, here's the situation:

CHELSEA - 65 points
at Manchester United
Tottenham
at Aston Villa
Everton

ARSENAL - 64 points
at QPR
Wigan
at Newcastle

TOTTENHAM - 62 points
Southampton
at Chelsea
at Stoke
Sunderland

EVERTON - 59 points
at Liverpool
West Ham
at Chelsea
*************
On the face of it, Arsenal has the easier run, but it certainly looks like Newcastle and Wigan will both be in the thick of the relegation scrap, so both teams will be desperate. I did not realize just how tricky Chelsea's fixture list is; given the Europa League stuff on top of it, I can't see them getting max points from those last 4 games. And Everton is still very much in the thick of things, as long as they win out, I think. Gonna be an interesting last few weeks.
   788. Swedish Chef Posted: April 29, 2013 at 02:41 AM (#4427823)
but it certainly looks like Newcastle and Wigan will both be in the thick of the relegation scrap, so both teams will be desperate.´

Desperation hasn't worked for them so far, that isn't anything to be afraid of.
   789. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 29, 2013 at 05:46 AM (#4427835)
Tottenham also had their fate in their hands before last game and they barely managed to draw with Wigan, so...
   790. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 29, 2013 at 08:11 AM (#4427852)
I don't feel like looking for a link, so here's an article about London's top Jewish team a colleague of mine sent me. No, it's not Tottenham. I have to admit I'm still deflated by Spurs performance Saturday. I didn't even have the heart to watch Torino's inevitable thumping by Juventus yesterday. A tough weekend for FC Shooty. On the other hand, aside from the soccer, the weekend was pretty great!

LONDON — About 90 minutes before kickoff on a recent Saturday, Guy Morris sped through traffic near the northwest edge of the city on his way to an important game. Munching on an apple as he wove his way toward the field, Morris considered what seemed to be a relatively simple question:
Just how Jewish is London’s all-Jewish soccer team?
“Put it this way,” he said as he pulled into the parking lot. “We don’t keep kosher. But we do sometimes celebrate a big win with a horah and some dancing.”
For years, there has been a perception that Tottenham Hotspur, the Premier League team whose fans sometimes refer to themselves as the Yid Army, stands apart as the so-called Jewish soccer club of London. But such a label is badly outdated.
While Spurs’ roster (not to mention global fan base) now includes ethnicities of all kinds, the true Jewish team of the capital is in the borough of Barnet on the northern outskirts of the city, where the London Maccabi Lions play, and host community dinners and bar mitzvah parties, at the quaint facilities of Rowley Lane.
The Lions, who compete in the 10th level of English soccer’s 24-tier system, are different from Spurs — and, really, most other clubs — in a number of ways, starting with their restriction on who is allowed to play for them: by rule, all players on each of the club’s numerous teams must be Jewish.
So what makes someone Jewish? The answer is that the club has no rigorous set of rules; it instead trusts that if someone considers himself Jewish, then he is, whether or not he grew up with any religious training.
There are about 285,000 Jews in England, according to the 2011 census, and roughly two-thirds of them are said to live in or around London. The Lions were initially known as Maccabi Association London — and played in a Sunday league with other Jewish teams — but changed their name before the 2000 season when the club decided to enter into England’s more formal soccer structure.
At that time, there was some resistance from leaders of Britain’s Maccabi Union, who said it was not appropriate for the team to continue using the Maccabi name if it was going to play on Saturdays (the Jewish Sabbath), as is customary for most leagues in England. Club management considered several alternatives, and ultimately settled on Lions as a tribute to the lion of Judah, which is a symbol of one of the biblical tribes of Israel.
Despite that liturgical connection, though, the players on the London Lions represent a wide swath of Jewish identity. The club’s success — it clinched this season’s South Midlands League Division One title with three matches to go, ensuring a promotion to the ninth level of the pyramid this fall — has attracted players from as far as Manchester (about 200 miles away), which is particularly remarkable given that the players are unpaid. In fact, first-team players have to pay roughly £150 (about $230) to be on the roster and must juggle games and practices with the demands of their outside jobs.
That has often been the most difficult part of running the team, said Tony Gold, the team’s coach. Many players work in real estate or for headhunting firms, and some have high-level management jobs. Getting out of work for a midweek evening match becomes a challenge.
“It’s our Achilles’ heel,” Gold said. “We’ll have the same team for a few games and then we’ll have nine changes. It’s difficult.”
Jewish backgrounds among the players also vary. Some players had bar mitzvahs when they were younger; others did not. Some belong to synagogues and worship regularly; others, like Morris, who is the team’s captain, grew up in split-religion households and consider their faith rooted more in spirituality than ritual.
“Do I walk out on the pitch and think, this is a representation of Judaism? No, I don’t,” Morris said. “But being part of this matters. And I do feel something.”
In many ways, the Lions are representative of the larger differences — and contradictions — among groups of Jews throughout the world.
Yes, they have a Star of David on their jerseys, but during a recent game, no one wore a skullcap. Yes, they play on Saturdays, but no, they do not play on Yom Kippur. And yes, some of them adhere to the dietary laws of Passover(several players passed on cereal bars before a recent game), but no, they do not say a blessing over the wine at their postmatch parties.
“What we’re trying to do is bring in all denominations,” said David Kyte, a founder and vice president of the club. “The idea is to build a community where people feel comfortable.”
That is not always easy. Though the Lions have had tremendous success in expanding — there are 26 junior teams and 7 adult teams playing under the club’s umbrella — the response from outsiders is not universally friendly. Intolerance remains a persistent problem in Europe, especially as it pertains to soccer, and Lions teams have not been immune to anti-Semitism.
Often, the worst of the incidents are in the youth games, according to Andy Landesberg, the club’s director of football. But even the first-team Lions have experienced abuse. Gold said there had been relatively few problems this season but smiled when asked how he has instructed his players to deal with overt bigotry.
“We tell them, do it on the field, don’t give in,” Gold said. “Then, afterward, when you’re shaking hands, you can say, ‘You’ve been beaten by a bunch of Jews — how do you feel now?’ ”
Beyond the scattered anti-Semitic comments, there is also the larger issue of whether an exclusive club, of any kind, should exist. The Lions are hardly the only English team with an ethnic theme — the Lions have played against teams that are predominantly Muslim or Catholic — but it is believed that no other club in the formal soccer pyramid chooses to self-impose such a rigid restriction.
In an odd twist, the Lions take criticism from both sides: recently, other Jewish clubs protested that one of the Lions’ players was not Jewish enough to play for one of the club’s teams that still participate in the all-Jewish Sunday league (the player’s registration was suspended pending verification). On the other hand, there are those who believe that by refusing to let non-Jews join the Saturday senior team, the Lions are simply fostering another line of societal division. Even some Lions players wonder whether the message is correct.
“I know some might not necessarily like hearing it, but should non-Jews be allowed to play for Lions? Maybe,” Morris said.
Kyte said that Lions executives understood the controversial element of their rules but were committed to fostering strength among Jews through the soccer clubs. Rowley Lane is at the heart of that mission, and the ground is charming, with a number of soccer fields, a social hall and, of course, a box in the front foyer holding free copies of The Jewish News.
Support for the first team is decent. On a recent Saturday afternoon, a crowd of about 30 fans crowded into the rickety bleachers at midfield to watch the Lions play Amersham Town in a driving rainstorm with a blustery wind and frigid temperature. The play was expectedly ragged, though the Lions are one of the few teams at this level that try to keep possession and play the ball up the field on the ground.
Players slipped often. Gusts blew lofted passes awry. Everyone’s nerves were a bit frayed; at one point, the Lions’ goalkeeper, Mario Cenolli, threatened to stamp off the field after engaging in a shouting match with his teammate Sam Sloma.
Ultimately, though, Sloma and Cenolli reconciled and Sloma scored to help secure a 2-1 victory. The team celebrated, as usual, with some drinks in the social hall.
The Lions have already become the first all-Jewish team to win a match in the F.A. Cup. Could they someday cross the coveted line of demarcation in England and be promoted to one of the top four leagues?
It is, of course, a dream. But if they ever do reach such heights, it almost surely will not be because they have changed their rules about which players can join the team, Kyte said.
“Obviously, I’m restricted because I can only pick Jewish players,” said Gold, the team’s coach.
He shrugged.
“But I do think,” he said, “that in terms of Jewish players in this country, we’ve definitely got the crème de la crème.”
   791. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 29, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4428217)
Man New City York FC

New York City FC is such a boring, boring name. I don't understand why MLS feels it has to ape Euro club names. We don't have football clubs in America, dammit! Stop it with this stuff. We call it soccer and the league should embrace that.
   792. Grunthos Posted: April 29, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4428253)
I don't understand why MLS feels it has to ape Euro club names.

Because, as MLS 1.0 amply demonstrated, all the good "nickname" style team names are already in use by the other North American sports leagues. Especially now that college football has become such a huge money endeavor. I'm much happier with this format than continuing to explore the hideous universe of awkward/infinitive nicknames ("Galaxy", "Fire", "Rapids", "Fusion", "Thunder", etc.) and unpopular animals ("Rhinos", "Warthogs"... what's left, "Giraffes"? "Bats"?).
   793. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 29, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4428264)
New York Giraffes would be the best name ever. Aside from that, instead of FC why can't they just use SC. Is New York City SC not Euro enough?

   794. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 29, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4428265)
I wish people would realize that the "nickname" sports team name is not some sort of ugly-American phenomenon. It's a "professional sports team founded less than 90 years ago" phenomenon. Even in Britain the other major sports besides soccer are full of names like "Leeds Rhinos" and "London Wasps" and "Gateshead Thunder". And our stupid names are still better than the corporate-sponsor names you see in most countries' pro basketball leagues.
   795. Grunthos Posted: April 29, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4428280)
Aside from that, instead of FC why can't they just use SC. Is New York City SC not Euro enough?

I'm with you on this point. The Eurosnobs can pretend it means "Sport Club". Everyone wins.

some sort of ugly-American phenomenon

Whether they're ugly-American or not, the good ones are used up at this point.
   796. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 29, 2013 at 02:55 PM (#4428290)
I wouldn't mind if they called the team the New York Firefighters. I think that's a solid name and fits in with the city's history. New York 7's (in honor of the train everyone would take to the games) works for me, too. And, of course, they could always try to buy the Cosmos name from the current owners. That's the best option for me but I can see the argument against it.
   797. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: April 29, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4428296)
"Rhinos", "Warthogs"... what's left, "Giraffes"? "Bats"?

New York City Dung Beetles, New York City Aardvarks, New York City Leafy Seadragons, New York City Blobfish.
   798. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 29, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4428297)
I wouldn't mind if they called the team the New York Firefighters. I think that's a solid name and fits in with the city's history. New York 7's (in honor of the train everyone would take to the games) works for me, too. And, of course, they could always try to buy the Cosmos name from the current owners. That's the best option for me but I can see the argument against it.


I like "7s". It's affiliated with the city and makes some sense. That would be much better but Grunthos is right in 792, too many crappy names get used instead.

I will say I like a lot of the Euro-style names for the soccer teams. It feels like it is unique to the sport (don't know if it is overseas) but at least here in the States you hear "New York Giraffes" and you don't know what they do, if you hear "FC New York" you'll know immediately that it's a soccer team.
   799. Dale Berra of Seville (was Rennie's Tenet) Posted: April 29, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4428302)
I'm guessing New York City Football Union was proposed and rejected already?
   800. Ron J2 Posted: April 29, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4428308)
FC Evil


I like the concept but well my first pick for documentable true evil would be Juve.
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