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Sunday, May 06, 2018

OTP 2018 May 7: George F. Will Is the Umpire on Politics and Baseball

I sat down Washington Post columnist and author George F. Will in Austin, Texas, in late March to chat about the current administration and America’s favorite pastime — baseball. We discuss politics in the age of polarization and the future of America.

Baseball is the sport of America’s future, Will argues, as parents stop letting their children play football because of the dangers of lifelong head and body injuries.

 

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 06, 2018 at 02:42 PM | 1452 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hot takes, off topic, oldwarhorse, politics

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   1. bookbook Posted: May 06, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5667573)
Baseball is most def8nitely not the sport of America’s future. It’s too boring to watch on TV. And there’s too much standing around while playing.
   2. greenback took the 110 until the 105 Posted: May 06, 2018 at 11:16 PM (#5667602)
This Black Cube thing sounds less like Trump and more like Nixon.
   3. Baldrick Posted: May 06, 2018 at 11:49 PM (#5667605)
Baseball is the sport of America’s future, Will argues, as parents stop letting their children play football because of the dangers of lifelong head and body injuries.

I love baseball, but come on dude.
   4. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 06, 2018 at 11:51 PM (#5667606)
   5. Ray (CTL) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:09 AM (#5667610)
Will someone end up pulling the plug on the Rudy Giuliani Experience? Why do they keep sending him out there? (Of course, the answer is because Trump wants him to go out there.) Rudy has no idea what he's talking about. He doesn't know the facts or the law. A first year associate would do better. This is beyond laughable.
   6. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 06:02 AM (#5667622)
Why do they keep sending him out there?


Because Donald Trump is an idiot who draws a directly correlation between someone’s credibility and their willingness to flatter his fat, bald, spray-tanned, narcissistic ass. The fact that you hadn’t been aware of this very obvious and defining characteristic make me question whether Dilbert is really giving you the sort of incisive analysis you believe he does.
   7. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 07, 2018 at 06:56 AM (#5667628)
Politico: Blankenship surging on eve of West Virginia Senate primary
There is growing concern among Republicans that Don Blankenship, a bombastic coal baron who has spent time in prison, is surging ahead of Tuesday’s West Virginia Senate primary — and a last-minute campaign is underway to stop him.

As the tight contest hurtles to a close, four Republicans said they’d reviewed polling conducted in recent days showing Blankenship, who spent a year in jail following the 2010 explosion at his Upper Big Branch Mine that killed 29 workers, moving narrowly ahead of his more mainstream GOP rivals, Rep. Evan Jenkins and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

The Republicans cautioned that the surveys, designed to offer a snapshot of the race, were conducted over a brief period of time and may be overstating Blankenship’s support. Still, Blankenship’s rivals and other Republicans are alarmed. Many are convinced that a Blankenship win, coming just months after the disastrous Alabama Senate race, would destroy the party’s prospects of defeating Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in November.

...Senior Republicans say they are also distressed that Jenkins and Morrisey spent nearly all of the campaign savaging each other. Further complicating matters is that a Democratic super PAC, Duty and Country, convinced that Jenkins would pose a formidable challenge to Manchin, has invested $1.8 million targeting him in an effort to keep him from winning the GOP primary.

The bloodbath could ultimately benefit Blankenship, who has faced far fewer incoming attacks.

Primary tomorrow.
   8. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 07, 2018 at 07:02 AM (#5667630)
Gosh, and there've been so many updates about California's Democratic Party at each others' throats, riven by dissension:

L.A. Times:
The California Republican Party declined to offer an endorsement Sunday in the governor’s race, a move that could hurt the chances for GOP voters to coalesce behind a candidate before the June 5 primary election.

Businessman John Cox received 55.3% of the vote, short of the 60% required for the party nod. Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach received 40.5%, and 4.1% voted for no endorsement at the party’s convention in San Diego.

With Republicans split between the two candidates, the GOP faces the prospect of failing to advance a candidate to the general election. Failing to launch a GOP candidate to the top of the ticket could also dampen voter turnout in critical congressional races that are key to the party’s effort to hold on to control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Cox and Allen are polling a steady 3rd and 4th in the state's jungle primary, where the top two vote-getters move on to November. But the convention did kick out the super-duper anti-semite who (alas) is also the only possible Republican candidate who could advance in next month's primary to face Senator Dianne Feinstein. So there's that.

And if Crazy Jewhater doesn't move up to the #2 popular vote position, it'll be the second cycle in a row with a Democrat-versus-Democrat Senate race in California. As the L.A. Times article above notes, a November ballot with no Republican Senate candidate and no Republican Governor candidate isn't going to do the besieged Republican House incumbents any favors.

Feinstein is hoping to spend her age 85 to 91 years returned to the Senate. Yet the "Democrats are so very old, old, old" concern isn't rallying or unifying California's Republicans, who are also expected to become the #3 party in registered voters before the end of the year, just behind "no party preference." It would have easily happened already, except that the far right American Independent Party has gotten a little under 3% of the state's voter registrations. An investigation found that 3 out of 4 AIP registrants mistakenly believed they were registering as independent voters.
   9. Stormy JE Posted: May 07, 2018 at 07:06 AM (#5667631)
This Black Cube thing sounds less like Trump and more like Nixon.
So the only evidence that this actually took place is Rhodes and Kahl, paragons of honesty both (eyeroll), claimed their spouses received bizarre messages from a fictional company? I'm going back to sleep. Wake me when you've got something solid.
   10. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 07:09 AM (#5667632)
I'm going back to sleep.


You live your whole life like you were back in high school, don’t you.
   11. Stormy JE Posted: May 07, 2018 at 07:13 AM (#5667634)
Virginia GOP says Democrat’s record on Israel is anti-Semitic
(JTA) — The Republican Party of Virginia accused the Democratic nominee for a state congressional district race of being a “virulent anti-Semite.”

Leslie Cockburn received the Democratic nomination for the 5th Congressional District race on Saturday afternoon, during the Democrat’s convention in Farmville, Virginia. She beat out three other candidates and will face incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Garrett in November.

Hours after Cockburn secured the nomination, Virginia’s Republican Party issued a statement saying that former journalist-turned-politician has “a long history of anti-Semitic rhetoric which can be documented over at least the past 25 years.”

The statement noted the book that she authored with her husband, Andrew, titled “Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship.” According to the statement, “Cockburn’s book advocated for the inherently anti-Semitic belief that Israel controls America’s foreign policy.”

The statement cited a New York Times review of the book which read that “their book, supposedly a history of the secret ties between Israel and the United States, is largely dedicated to Israel-bashing for its own sake. Its first message is that, win or lose, smart or dumb, right or wrong, suave or boorish, Israelis are a menace. The second is that the Israeli-American connection is somewhere behind just about everything that ails us.”
A real winner, that one.
   12. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 07, 2018 at 07:14 AM (#5667635)
The Guardian/Observer in England:
According to incendiary documents seen by the Observer, investigators contracted by the private intelligence agency were told to dig into the personal lives and political careers of Rhodes, a former deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, and Kahl, a national security adviser to the former vice-president Joe Biden. Among other things they were looking at personal relationships, any involvement with Iran-friendly lobbyists, and if they had benefited personally or politically from the peace deal.

   13. Stormy JE Posted: May 07, 2018 at 07:22 AM (#5667636)
The Guardian/Observer in England:
I read the article over the weekend. Did the publication share any of these supposed "incendiary documents" with its readers? Why isn't there so much as a screen shot of one? And how do they prove it originated with Black Cube?
   14. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 07, 2018 at 07:25 AM (#5667637)
Probably just to bug you.
   15. Stormy JE Posted: May 07, 2018 at 07:29 AM (#5667638)
And anyway, why do you fellas care? This would be good ol' opposition research, remember? Everyone's doing it!
   16. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 07:47 AM (#5667639)
What’s the opposition?
   17. bunyon Posted: May 07, 2018 at 08:05 AM (#5667641)
Have you seen America's kids. No sport is the sport of the future. But baseball, as played in a TTO extreme, might be close.
   18. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 07, 2018 at 08:12 AM (#5667642)
BTW, I just finished reading "Against the Grain" which was recommended here. I liked it. Some of it I already knew, but how fragile early states were and how they relied on coercion was interesting.
   19. Lassus Posted: May 07, 2018 at 08:15 AM (#5667643)
The Guardian/Observer in England:
I read the article over the weekend.


Was this the same info as Farrow's for the New Yorker?
   20. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 07, 2018 at 08:21 AM (#5667645)
Virginia GOP says Democrat’s record on Israel is anti-Semitic

Nice to see that both the JTA and the Times of Israel are now operating as conduits for the Virginia GOP, but in any case here are the concluding paragraphs of that Times review:

As the Cockburns -- he is the author of "The Threat: Inside the Soviet Military Machine," she of "Out of Control: The Story of the Reagan Administration's Secret War in Central America and the Contra-Drug Connection" -- are at pains to point out, both the Israelis and the Americans have learned to live with the bad as well as the good. They have struggled with omnivorous and mendacious bureaucracies; hefty defense budgets; military-industrial and military-intellectual complexes with their own vested interests and clienteles; contentious intelligence agencies with expansive dirty-tricks departments; and allies one might think twice about inviting to dinner.
Continue reading the main story

The conjunction of hot war, cold war and history has led, in turn, to a relationship between the two countries that is certainly unique, if not the dangerous liaison of the title. Not for nothing, the book begins shortly before the Gulf war, with the Israeli military wowing American Jews with a well-rehearsed public-relations show. But as the rest makes clear, the links extend over decades and continents, and Americans have not had to be Jewish to like what they saw. Lieut. Col. Oliver North is a practical example. When asked during the Iran-contra hearings about Israeli involvement in the scandal, he explained to the congressional investigators: "We did not want the U.S. government's hand, or role in this activity, exposed, and thus . . . we tried to mirror the Israeli model."

The byproducts of the relationship, according to the authors, include nuclear larceny and proliferation, industrial piracy, bloated weapons projects, promiscuous arms peddling, aid and comfort to thugs of almost every political stripe, even a piece of the Colombian drug trade. These, they contend, have sometimes been means to an end, sometimes their own reward. But put them all together, they spell trouble, especially for the United States.

This case can certainly be argued, and the evidence presented here is intermittently original. (Ms. Cockburn's knowledge of Central America seems especially to have paid off.) But for all the former generals and retired spooks paraded through these pages, the facts of Israeli nuclear weapons, arms transfers and dirty tricks are hardly news to either Americans or Israelis who read the papers.

Still less does the book's argument, with its selective documentation and unattributed interviews, support an indictment of Israel. The British, French, Chinese and Indians could be called to testify that not all reasons for nuclear proliferation are necessarily reprehensible. Impressive for their weight class, Israeli arms pushers are still not in a league with Brazil and China, let alone with the United States and the Soviet Union. Israelis have been known to keep nasty company. But who hasn't, and what are the alternatives?

"Dangerous Liaison" is not without merit. Unlike other Israel-bashing volumes, this one at least acknowledges the long shadow of the Holocaust, as well as Stalinist anti-Semitism, Syrian hysteria, Egyptian and Iraqi poison gas, and Palestinian unloveliness. The Cockburns also pay tribute to the combative candor of the Israeli press -- though they typically note that the ever-slippery Israelis insist on publishing their papers in a language no one else can read.

But the authors' acknowledgement of the objective realities confronting Israel hardly begins to outweigh the heavy irony, undifferentiated indignation and historical tendentiousness that otherwise pervade their text. Intent on reporting the facts of life, the Cockburns bring to mind that threshold stage when children discover where babies come from. For the aspiring student of liaisons, dangerous and otherwise, this is, of course, an important discovery. But as any grown-up can confirm, it is barely the beginning of wisdom about how things really work.


Emphasis added. Those sentiments aren't usually the ones associated with deep-seated anti-semitism. How one views some of the shadier ties between Israeli intelligence and U.S. policymakers is likely to be more a reflection of one's views of the results of that cooperation than it is to be anti-semitism.

Given the family ties of the Cockburns**, there's enough to raise a red flag, but I think you'll need a bit more evidence than simply cutting and pasting a secondhand cutting and pasting of a GOP press release to say that Leslie Cockburn is an anti-semite. Do you ever cite independent sources?

** The late Alexander Cockburn was Leslie's brother-in-law
   21. Chicago Joe Posted: May 07, 2018 at 08:29 AM (#5667646)
George Will was a member of the F Troop?
   22. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 07, 2018 at 08:55 AM (#5667650)
I live in VA-5, and I can assure you that Garrett has the sizable anti-Semitic vote locked up. This really won't help Cockburn very much, unless Garrett overplays it.

OTOH, she is Olivia Wilde's mother.
   23. Traderdave Posted: May 07, 2018 at 09:18 AM (#5667659)
I tried to red "Men at Work" a few years ago and put it down after 50 pages or so. While Will clearly loves the game, he loves the sound of his own voice spewing out 50 cents words far far more. Tedious is the most polite way to describe his style.
   24. DavidFoss Posted: May 07, 2018 at 09:20 AM (#5667660)
But baseball, as played in a TTO extreme, might be close.

Sounds like stickball. We painted a strike zone on a brick wall and played one on one. The ball was a tennis ball. The bat was a hockey stick handle. Over the fence was a HR, everything else was a single. All runners were ghost-runners.
   25. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 09:21 AM (#5667661)
Do you ever cite independent sources?
What about the Times of Israel is not independent? Apparently, mindlessly regurgitating whatever he read in today’s WaPo or NYT is the only acceptable source of information for Andy.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 07, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5667668)
Do you ever cite independent sources?

What about the Times of Israel is not independent? Apparently, mindlessly regurgitating whatever he read in today’s WaPo or NYT is the only acceptable source of information for Andy.


The Times of Israel may be independent, but when it simply copies and pastes the JTA feed and headline word-for-word, it's hard to see that in this case it's acting as anything more than a transmission belt for the Virginia GOP. The article quotes Cockburn's accusers in great detail while allotting only one perfunctory paragraph for Cockburn's response.

Perhaps there's some more TOI reporting on that Virginia race that JE didn't link to, but that article as it stands could've been lifted straight out of the GOP media office with no need for the JTA middleman.

And if you want to equate the Times and the Post with the sort of sources that JE routinely links to,** feel free, but I don't think you're quite that blinded by your own ideology to say that with a straight face.

** The Daily Caller, National Review, Ben Shapiro, etc., etc., etc. How many times do you see me linking to Huff Post, MoveOn, or The Nation? (Answer: Maybe once a year if ever.)
   27. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 09:54 AM (#5667670)
Hey, I saw Ray's guy Turley all over the place on the cable news channels this weekend. I think Rudy is making him shake his head, just like the rest of us.

Interesting that he hasn't been quoted here lately. Can't imagine why...
   28. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5667677)
Yeah, I mean how positively unthinkable is it that a president may not be amenable to fishing expedition questioning about his in-office management of the Executive branch? I don't think I've ever heard such a crazy thing, ever in my life. It's like the Disco Demolition Night of ideas and in fact, I'm pretty sure you could look at the cavalcade of proles roaming the Comiskey field that night, pick three of them at random, and they would come up with smarter ideas.
   29. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:08 AM (#5667679)
The Times of Israel may be independent, but when it simply copies and pastes the JTA feed and headline word-for-word,
JFC, this may be the dumbest thing you ever wrote, and that’s a really high (or low, depending on one’s perspective) bar. The JTA is a wire service, like AP or Reuters, except that it narrowly focuses on (duh) Jewish-related stories.

The ToI isn’t “copying and pasting” from JTA; it’s publishing a JTA report, the same way the NYT publishes AP reports.

EDIT: And yes, the JTA is independent.
   30. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5667683)
How many times do you see me linking to Huff Post, MoveOn, or The Nation? (Answer: Maybe once a year if ever.)


Their more copious everyday reporting pages notwithstanding, The New York Times and Washington Post are the functional equivalents of National Review. This may not have been the case pre-Trump -- or it might have been, doesn't matter -- but in the Trump Era there's simply no serious arguing otherwise. They've gone all-in on "#theresistance" and aren't even bothering with the pretext of objectivity anymore.
   31. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:19 AM (#5667685)
I don't think I've ever heard such a crazy thing, ever in my life.
More proof that FLTB doesn’t read his own posts. I mean, just one post after he wrote this, he said that if you ignore the news reporting by the New York Times, the paper is equivalent to a publication that doesn’t do news reporting.
   32. Lassus Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5667687)
They've gone all-in on :"#theresistance" and aren't even bothering with the pretext of objectivity anymore.

This is a complete crock of shit given the sheer number of LET'S WORK TO UNDERSTAND AND EMPATHIZE WITH THE TRUMP VOTER articles they've written. Same with various White Supremacists they want to grasp.
   33. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5667688)
This is a complete crock of #### given the sheer number of LET'S WORK TO UNDERSTAND AND EMPATHIZE WITH THE TRUMP VOTER articles they've written.


Those are always dumb and anthropological, as if they're evaluating a different species.

Same this with various White Supremacists.


Speaking of crocks of ####, their bizarre perspective that "White Supremecy" is somehow on a major uptrend because Trump proves my point entirely.
   34. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5667689)
More proof that FLTB doesn’t read his own posts. I mean, just one post after he wrote this, he said that if you ignore the news reporting by the New York Times, the paper is equivalent to a publication that doesn’t do news reporting.


Whatever you say, Fundie Christian Statist.
   35. Zonk prescribes Rezine for TDS Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5667694)
Looks like somebody got up on the wrong side of the Orange this fine Monday...

None dare call it unhinged!
   36. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5667697)
What’s the opposition?


Peace in our time.
   37. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5667698)
Baseball is the sport of America’s future, Will argues, as parents stop letting their children play football because of the dangers of lifelong head and body injuries.


George is super old, and DC United is really bad in the early going this season. He probably doesn't realize what the American sports league of the future actually even plays.
   38. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5667701)
George is super old, and DC United is really bad in the early going this season. He probably doesn't realize what the American sports league of the future actually even plays.


I have no issue with MLS, but it's a minor league.(*) It is in no sense the "American sports league of the future." If a soccer league is, it would be something like the English Premier League.

(*) With bizarre, unsustainable rules on player procurement.
   39. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5667704)
I have no issue with MLS, but it's a minor league. It is in no sense the "American sports league of the future." If a soccer league is, it's the English Premier League.


Yup.

Great way to spend a non-NFL Sunday.
   40. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5667706)
The Times of Israel may be independent, but when it simply copies and pastes the JTA feed and headline word-for-word,

JFC, this may be the dumbest thing you ever wrote, and that’s a really high (or low, depending on one’s perspective) bar. The JTA is a wire service, like AP or Reuters, except that it narrowly focuses on (duh) Jewish-related stories.


I know all that, for Christ's sake, but the fact remains that (1) the article amounted to little more than a press release from the Virginia GOP, and (2) JE selectively quoted the article's citation of the Times review of the book, without providing a link to that review so that we could see those selective parts of the review in greater context. If he'd provided that link to begin with,** I would've have felt it necessary to do so.

I realize that this sort of thing is par for the course for JE, since any distinction between JE's posts and the RNC's press releases has long been obliterated, but I still think the one-sided nature of that article was worth noting.

** The full review of the book took about five seconds of googling to find.
   41. Jess Franco Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:57 AM (#5667710)
the dangers of lifelong head and body injuries.

I know a kid who ended up in a coma when he was struck just right in the head by a foul ball while playing catcher. And do we even need to speak of Yadier Molina? Former football players more often regret the folly of their youth, I'll give you that.

The sport of the future is already here in the form of drone warfare.
   42. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5667712)
I have no issue with MLS, but it's a minor league.


That already draws better than the NHL. Yes, the EPL is the best league in the world, but the conversation wasn't about "what is the best soccer league on the planet." It was "what is the future of American sports.' And the future of American sports isn't going to be English.
   43. Greg K Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5667713)
The sport of the future is already here in the form of drone warfare.

I'd disagree, but I'm too busy simulating a baseball game on OOTP 18.
   44. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5667716)
JE selectively quoted


This is the least surprising thing ever. Jason is clearly aiming to take over Head Mindless Shill on committee when Clapper finally keels over.
   45. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5667721)

(2) JE selectively quoted the article's citation of the Times review of the book,
Jason doesn't need me to defend him, but this is false. He fully quoted the article's citation of the Times review of the book.
   46. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5667722)
That already draws better than the NHL.


The NHL charges major league prices. MLS ... cough ... does not. The NHL is also limited by arena size and plays to near capacity in almost all its markets.

I've been to a bunch of Red Bulls games. It's a great place to watch a soccer match and I enjoy going out there every now and then. My son is on a travel soccer team sponsored by the Red Bulls and wears their crest for matches. I've rooted for the team.

But any comparison of the Red Bulls (or NYCFC) to the Rangers is batshit on every level. It's just not even close.
   47. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5667723)
And the future of American sports isn't going to be English.

True, but you can watch the EPL now on cable. I was an Arsenal supporter when I lived in England and can watch all the matches now. I do watch them on weekends rather than turn on the Red Bulls.
   48. Lassus Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5667726)
And the future of American sports isn't going to be English.

The cricket ball I brought back from London sheds a tear on my desk.
   49. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5667728)
True, but you can watch the EPL now on cable. I was an Arsenal supporter when I lived in England and can watch all the matches now. I do watch them on weekends rather than turn on the Red Bulls.


As does every kid in the real future of the country demographic.

Hint: You guys aren't it.
   50. BDC Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:23 AM (#5667730)
Soccer has been the sport of the American future since I was playing it in grade school 50 years ago, and probably before that. And it has made steady progress over that whole half-century, just glacially slow at times.

Soccer seems naturally to fit into the European league/club model where clubs are highly independent and leagues are hierarchical, featuring relegation and promotion. But that isn't at all the American model, where clubs are franchises and demand a kind of socialist leveling of the playing field via drafts and salary caps and revenue sharing. (YR can probably comment on this point :) So marketing of a top pro soccer league here has always been awkward. But MLS is incrementally more popular and successful all the time, and never seems in retreat vs. other sports. Kids like soccer. Concussions are present but not the object of the game. No ice is necessary. Only basketball has clearer appeal for the future, and soccer is more scaled to the average body type.
   51. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5667731)
The cricket ball I brought back from London sheds a tear on my desk.

Carrying it around is your affectation?

I wouldn't put away your snooker cue though. That is going to take off in America.
   52. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:25 AM (#5667732)
The 2012 Trophee de Champions -- the French Cup final -- was played at Red Bull Arena between Montpellier and Lyon. A buddy and mine went. After five minutes, the caliber of play differential between what we were seeing, and MLS, was readily apparent. The creativity, pace, and attacking width were night and day better. MLS has some decent grinders in the center of the park and some decent strikers, but out wide, it's badly lacking.
   53. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5667734)
True, but you can watch the EPL now on cable.


Yes. But they made the full season a paid streaming package. That will curtail a lot of adoption of "EPL as an American sports league" from the start. And at the end of the day, Joe Murcan isn't going to follow English teams, regardless of the better quality, any more so than Hiro Japanman is going to follow American baseball unless Ichiro is playing for them. People are going to follow sports teams associated with their localities, friends and family traditions. And MLS is pretty clearly the up-trend league in America. The future of American sports leagues is MLS and the NBA. MLB and the NFL won't disappear, and the NHL will continue to be a popular regional past time. But MLS already outdraws the NHL and is creeping up on the NBA.
   54. Jess Franco Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5667735)
Only basketball has clearer appeal for the future, and soccer is more scaled to the average body type.

But only at elite levels. The plus for both is all you really need is one person and a ball to practice. A basketball goal is a bit more of a challenge.
   55. Lassus Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5667744)
Carrying it around is your affectation?

I consider it more of a warning.


I wouldn't put away your snooker cue though. That is going to take off in America.

The Duke of Northumberland's castle in Alnwick had a table! (Unless it was some other castle, they've already started to blend together.) I used to play snooker (badly) in NYC with an actual player from Norway. I'm sure there are other tables, but it was a chore to find even the one we used, buried in a Caribbean bar/pool hall somewhere in a no-mans-land between Wall Street and Soho. When I win the lottery I am totally putting a snooker table in my library.
   56. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5667745)
People are going to follow sports teams associated with their localities, friends and family traditions.


The need to go local with your rooting allegiances is long gone, and EPL loyalties have already formed in the real future of the country's "friends and family traditions." My son's traditions have already been established as a fan of Chelsea and Dortmund, he's already gone to a Chelsea game in London with his father in the heart of his sports loyalties' formative years. His friends all have their own EPL allegiances and have since they were like 8. The odds of him abandoning all that when he's 30 in favor of the local MLS side is essentially nil.
   57. Greg K Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:38 AM (#5667746)
Soccer seems naturally to fit into the European league/club model where clubs are highly independent and leagues are hierarchical, featuring relegation and promotion.

My European Studies class did a seminar on the culture and politics of European football clubs. The other dynamic that isn't really present in North America (aside from maybe New York and Chicago) is the sorting within cities. There are all sorts of ethnic, political, religious, and class associations between clubs and their fans. Which I don't think is absent from North American sports...living in the prairies for years has given me a keen sense of how most Canadians see the social category of "Leafs fan". But it's a dynamic that doesn't entirely translate across the ocean. Even Nottingham has two clubs to choose from, supporting either of them saying something about who you are, and neither of them has been in the top division for ages.

Which isn't to say that all of that is necessary for soccer to take hold here.

But it does seem that within my generation and younger soccer is becoming less of a niche sport in North America. I remember even ten years ago following soccer was seen as elitist. Now I have rural, white friends and family alternating between posting pro-Trump news items and Premier League highlights on facebook.
   58. Greg K Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5667747)
People are going to follow sports teams associated with their localities, friends and family traditions.


The need to go local with your rooting allegiances is long gone, and EPL loyalties have already formed in the real future of the country's "friends and family traditions." My son's traditions have already been established as a fan of Chelsea and Dortmund, he's already gone to a Chelsea game with his father in the heart of his sports loyalties' formative years. His friends all have their own EPL allegiances and have since they were like 8. The odds of him abandoning all that when he's 30 in favor of the local MLS side is essentially nil.


Soccer fits kind of oddly into the North American sports model in that it's somehow more local and more international. With the minor leagues operating as slaves to the major leagues in North America there really isn't that local support for clubs that you get in Europe. But at the same time the big English and Spanish clubs (and to a lesser extent others) are massive international brands. They've established a sort of hybrid system where your allegiances can be much more narrowly local, or much more international (or both at the same time) than is possible over here.
   59. Ishmael Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5667752)
The 2012 Trophee de Champions -- the French Cup final -- was played at Red Bull Arena between Montpellier and Lyon.

Just a bit of pedantry - the Trophée des Champions isn't really the French Cup final, it's the French "Super Cup," or the French equivalent of the English Community Shield. It's basically a glorified preseason friendly.

The French Cup final is the Coupe de France. But the Coupe de France is not the equivalent of the MLS Cup, that's just the winners of Ligue 1. But not the winners of the Coupe de la Ligue, mind you!

There will be a test.

   60. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5667755)
Soccer fits kind of oddly into the North American sports model in that it's somehow more local and more international. With the minor leagues operating as slaves to the major leagues in North America there really isn't that local support for clubs that you get in Europe. But at the same time the big English and Spanish clubs (and to a lesser extent others) are massive international brands. They've established a sort of hybrid system where your allegiances can be much more narrowly local, or much more international (or both at the same time) than is possible over here.


My assumption is that you're replying to SBB replying to me, because I only see those comments when you quote them. That being assumed, this is just SBB living in a deeply insulated NEC/Manhattanite bubble. In order to follow EPL clubs as anything other than "something they show a couple times per week on MSNBC" you have to live in one of the major metros. No one from Canton is going to create a family tradition of getting up at 7am to walk down to the local pub and watch ManU on the telly.
   61. BDC Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5667759)
Even Nottingham has two clubs to choose from, supporting either of them saying something about who you are, and neither of them has been in the top division for ages

I've often thought of college sports as being the closest analogy in the US. For Nottingham substitute Kansas or some other state with modest college-football history. Yet the sense of identity with Kansas or Kansas State is strong, indeed generational. Of course college football lacks any international aspect, but it's got the narrow-local thing down.
   62. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 07, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5667763)
I've often thought of college sports as being the closest analogy in the US. For Nottingham substitute Kansas or some other state with modest college-football history. Yet the sense of identity with Kansas or Kansas State is strong, indeed generational.


Correct. The social aspect of club supporters in the UK maps most cleanly to college athletics in the US.
   63. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:03 PM (#5667765)
(2) JE selectively quoted the article's citation of the Times review of the book,

Jason doesn't need me to defend him, but this is false. He fully quoted the article's citation of the Times review of the book.


My semantic mistake, but not a substantive one. The article itself selectively quoted from the Times review, citing only the parts that put the book in the worst possible light, and omitting the more favorable and less damning passages. In its reliance on the GOP statement for its information, the article was the equivalent of the clean bill of health that Trump dictated to his New York doctor. Which of course is exactly why JE gave it such a shout-out.



   64. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5667766)
But MLS is incrementally more popular and successful all the time, and never seems in retreat vs. other sports. Kids like soccer. Concussions are present but not the object of the game. No ice is necessary. Only basketball has clearer appeal for the future, and soccer is more scaled to the average body type.


MLS has also made smart decisions of late re: it's position in the international pecking order of leagues. No one thinks MLS is trying to compete with EPL or La Liga or Bundesliga for internationals. Everyone, in fact, assumes that the most exciting young players in MLS - say Miggy Almiron - will be sold to a club in Europe eventually. But MLS has smartly and effectively built itself into a real competitor against Liga MX for the North American audience, and has become a preferred destination league for young South American talent to show case themselves in a bid to go to Europe.
   65. Greg K Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5667768)
Yeah the time zone is an issue too.

This past NFL season I subscribed to DAZN, which markets itself as "The Netflix of Sports" (though I see it is only available in Canada, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan). I think it was $15 a month for all the NFL streaming. But it came with a smattering of other sports. The Russian Hockey League, and a variety of Europeans leagues (Spain, France, Italy...but not Germany, and only the sub-Premier English leagues). And Europa, but not Champions League.

Looking at it now, they also offer NCAA basketball, which I didn't know. I would have continued subscribing after the Super Bowl had I known...could have watched the tournament. Also Six Nations rugby and all the tennis you can watch!

Anyway, I quite enjoyed the service. Though it seems more likely the Premier League would carve out its own streaming service rather than get folded into that. Getting the NFL streaming rights in Canada seemed like a bit of a coup, not sure how long they have the rights for.

But if you're a Udinese fan marooned in rural Manitoba you're all set!
   66. Ishmael Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5667769)
Even Nottingham has two clubs to choose from, supporting either of them saying something about who you are, and neither of them has been in the top division for ages.

I know what you mean by "even Nottingham" but Notts County are maybe the oldest continuous football team in the world, and Forest are two time champions of Europe. They are two pretty historic clubs.

One interesting dynamic about Nottingham is that because the two clubs have been in different divisions for so long, the rivalry is no longer that important, and other local rivalries (e.g. Forest-Derby) have taken over. The same sort of thing is true in Bristol, where City fans hate Cardiff more than the pitiful Gas.
   67. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5667771)
Just a bit of pedantry - the Trophée des Champions isn't really the French Cup final, it's the French "Super Cup," or the French equivalent of the English Community Shield. It's basically a glorified preseason friendly.


Good correction, not pedantic in the least. My mistake. "Glorified preseason friendly" seems a stretch, though. It's silverware and the teams really wanted it and Lyon celebrated pretty massively when they got it.

But the Coupe de France is not the equivalent of the MLS Cup, that's just the winners of Ligue 1.


Yep, and there's no analogue to the MLS Cup in Europe.(*) Playoffs for the league championship is provincially American, lame, and far outside the soccer mainstream. I'd even go so far as to call it bush league.

(*) At least in the major countries. There is a US Open Cup in the US, but I don't see a lot of evidence anyone gives a #### about it. Maybe the lower division teams do. But, let's face it, a lower tier club knocking off NYCFC or Sporting KC isn't exactly like a Second Division team knocking off Arsenal or Man United in the FA Cup.
   68. Greg K Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5667773)
I've often thought of college sports as being the closest analogy in the US. For Nottingham substitute Kansas or some other state with modest college-football history. Yet the sense of identity with Kansas or Kansas State is strong, indeed generational.


Correct. The social aspect of club supporters in the UK maps most cleanly to college athletics in the US.

One of the guys who does academic research on European soccer clubs teaches at (I think) Ohio State. He talks about an experiment he does with his classes where he asks them to think about the school rival (Michigan?). Then says, now imagine you're all working class and Michigan students are all middle class. And you're all descended from migrant workers, and they're all native. And you're all Catholic and they're all Protestant. You guys suffered under a repressive regime that got ousted within living memory, and they supported the government.

Though from what I understand of American college sports, all of that wouldn't end up moving the needle all that much. It seems like it's already at the max.
   69. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5667775)
64

MLS has also made smart decisions of late re: it's position in the international pecking order of leagues. No one thinks MLS is trying to compete with EPL or La Liga or Bundesliga for internationals. Everyone, in fact, assumes that the most exciting young players in MLS - say Miggy Almiron - will be sold to a club in Europe eventually. But MLS has smartly and effectively built itself into a real competitor against Liga MX for the North American audience, and has become a preferred destination league for young South American talent to show case themselves in a bid to go to Europe.


So, basically, MLS is the 1930s - '40s era Pacific Coast League, to give it a baseball analogy. Interesting.
   70. Greg K Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5667776)
I know what you mean by "even Nottingham" but Notts County are maybe the oldest continuous football team in the world, and Forest are two time champions of Europe. They are two pretty historic clubs.

One interesting dynamic about Nottingham is that because the two clubs have been in different divisions for so long, the rivalry is no longer that important, and other local rivalries (e.g. Forest-Derby) have taken over. The same sort of thing is true in Bristol, where City fans hate Cardiff more than the pitiful Gas.

Well yeah, I hide some important details there!

Notts County would be like if the Cincinnati Reds became a AA team in 1960. A few older timers taking about the glory days, back when that upstart Juventus club stole their jerseys.

Forest was at least in the top division in the 90s, right?

The main rivals when I was there did seem to be, well, everyone in the Midlands (Sheffield, Leicester, Derby...they all had songs about Nottingham scabs during the Thatcher strikes). Though they always did have a massive police presence when the two teams played at the same time (their two stadiums are the closest in England).
   71. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5667777)
So, basically, MLS is the 1930s - '40s era Pacific Coast League, to give it a baseball analogy. Interesting.


Not even that good. MLS has never exported, say, a Joe DiMaggio. But in structure, pretty similar.
   72. Ishmael Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:18 PM (#5667778)
"Glorified preseason friendly" seems a stretch, though. It's silverware and the teams really wanted it and Lyon celebrated pretty massively when they got it.

It is a bit of a stretch. I've never watched a French Super Cup, but by analogy to the English and German and Spanish versions, it's like the final tune up before the proper season starts. So you'll see the first teams (maybe minus a new signing or two) and they'll normally go pretty hard for most of the game, but you'll also see lots of subs (I think you get five or six in the Community Shield, rather than three). They certainly want to win the trophy. But no-one wants to risk injury just before the real season starts.

The other thing is, it's normally two pretty good teams, and often a proper rivalry game. Ronaldo actually got sent off in last year's (or this year's, or whatever season they are supposed to be a part of) Supercopa, which was a Clasico.
   73. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:20 PM (#5667781)
Just a bit of pedantry - the Trophée des Champions isn't really the French Cup final, it's the French "Super Cup," or the French equivalent of the English Community Shield. It's basically a glorified preseason friendly.

The French Cup final is the Coupe de France. But the Coupe de France is not the equivalent of the MLS Cup, that's just the winners of Ligue 1. But not the winners of the Coupe de la Ligue, mind you!
Speak English!
   74. Greg K Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5667782)
I think there's also more of a middle ground between "competitive" and "exhibition" game.

For cup games it seems like teams often think about how much they care about this competition, rather than a binary "does it count or not?" Which is again, foreign to the North American experience.
   75. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5667783)
71

So, basically, MLS is the 1930s - '40s era Pacific Coast League, to give it a baseball analogy. Interesting.


Not even that good. MLS has never exported, say, a Joe DiMaggio. But in structure, pretty similar.


Well, yeah, that's what I meant: it's acting as a feeder system for EPL/UEFA, sustaining itself on player sales. That says Olde-Tyme Minors to me. YMMV
   76. Ishmael Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:30 PM (#5667787)
Yep, and there's no analogue to the MLS Cup in Europe.(*) Playoffs for the league championship is provincially American, lame, and far outside the soccer mainstream. I'd even go so far as to call it bush league.

Outside the US, rugby (both codes, both hemispheres) has playoffs. As do a lot of cricket leagues, and the AFL. I think recent moves towards playoffs are derivative of American league structures though.

These are inferior sports, though, so it's only right they should have an inferior structure.
   77. Ishmael Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5667791)
Some of the second tier European leagues do use a kind of semi-playoff structure. They play half a season, and then split the league into top and bottom halves that play a home and away league schedule. The SPL has done this since going to twelve teams, and I think the Belgian and Danish leagues do too.

EDITED for a confusing description.
   78. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5667793)
   79. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5667797)
Playoffs for the league championship is provincially American,

Outside the US, rugby (both codes, both hemispheres) has playoffs. As do a lot of cricket leagues, and the AFL.
So you're saying that he even trolls -- or at least bullshits -- about things like this.
   80. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5667798)
Well, yeah, that's what I meant: it's acting as a feeder system for EPL/UEFA, sustaining itself on player sales. That says Olde-Tyme Minors to me.


That's precisely the model. Only, contra-SBB's pretentious EPL flag waving dismissal, this is a direction the league has taken only recently, and one that is just now building a pipeline of sellable talent. Prior iterations of MLS were built on "third tier US talent that had no future anywhere internationally, plus a fading glory superstar from abroad to make it 'sexy.'" Call it the David-Beckham-in-LA model. That model is dying, and MLS is becoming much more of an Americas league, built around South American talent feeding through, augmenting and eventually re-funding clubs. Call it the Tata Martino in Atlanta model.
   81. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5667799)
MLS is becoming much more of an Americas league, built around South American talent feeding through, augmenting and eventually re-funding clubs. Call it the Tata Martino in Atlanta model.


Is that an influence/result of MLS being part of CONCACAF, do you think?
   82. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5667800)
The main rivals when I was there did seem to be, well, everyone in the Midlands (Sheffield, Leicester, Derby...they all had songs about Nottingham scabs during the Thatcher strikes). Though they always did have a massive police presence when the two teams played at the same time (their two stadiums are the closest in England).


Yeah, it's not what it was in its hooligan heyday, but I actually bumped up against my prole limit at the Crystal Palace/West Brom opener in 2016. Son and I took a somewhat annual August trup to London, but couldn't see either Chelsea or Tottenham. We started the trip off with a jet-lagged trip to the QPR/Swindon Town League Cup opener the day we got in. Kind of an overcast day in London, 7 pm kickoff. After following the crowd out of the Underground through estate housing to Loftus Road, we get in and there's like 2,000 people and the stand on the other side is completely empty. When I got the tickets before the trip, I was kind of thinking, "Well, QPR was in the Premier League a year or two ago, we want to see some soccer, what's the big deal?" but Loftus Road was actually kind of grim and gritty and sort of ugly and the crowd was pretty young and drinking and kind of prole and not at all international. Wrigley Field this is not. I kind of looked around and was like, "Hmmm, yeah -- this isn't exactly Stamford Bridge on that Saturday last year. The hooligan thing is making a bit more sense now." I actually saw a guy and his girlfriend in Washington Nationals hats, figured them for Americans doing the same thing we were and thought, "Well, OK." Swindon Town's got this guy named Barry, and the whole game, the young drunks are getting on his case screaming. In the end, turned out ok, I guess.

Saturday, the season starts. We go to a pub, watch some early matches, and start on what turns out to be a long-ass trip to Selhurst Park. We get there, the stadium is smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood, with really narrow spin-entrances to get in, kind of like on the NYC subway. We get there at least a half-hour early, but the line to get in is absolutely massive, like three blocks long. People are getting a bit agitated, but ok behaved, I guess. With the really narrow entrances and the old-timey feel and the QPR environment still lingering, I start to get a bit of that hooligan/Hillsborough feel again. The line moves slowly, we hear "Glad All Over," Palace's entrance theme song played, and the line is getting even more irritated. Finally, about 10 minutes after kickoff, we get in -- and unbeknownst to anything on the club's ticket website, the seats are the roofed stand, under the roof. The ball goes eight feet in the air, forget it. The stand is overstuffed with proles, many drunk, spilling all over into the aisles. Just a mess. Not a cop in sight. We lasted about ten minutes and left. A part of the ride back to Kensington was spent with me explaining the concept of the working man to my then 11-year-old son.

The next day, we had club seats for the Arsenal-Liverpool match, in what is essentially an NFL-style stadium. I detest Arsenal, but was very happy to be back on familiar sporting grounds, with a more familiar sporting demographic -- needless to say.
   83. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5667802)
That's precisely the model. Only, contra-SBB's pretentious EPL flag waving dismissal, this is a direction the league has taken only recently, and one that is just now building a pipeline of sellable talent. Prior iterations of MLS were built on "third tier US talent that had no future anywhere internationally, plus a fading glory superstar from abroad to make it 'sexy.'" Call it the David-Beckham-in-LA model. That model is dying, and MLS is becoming much more of an Americas league, built around South American talent feeding through, augmenting and eventually re-funding clubs. Call it the Tata Martino in Atlanta model.


There are still plenty of geezers in MLS. David Villa, Kaka, etc.

According to transfermarkt.com, the biggest sale in MLS history was Altidore to Villareal 10 years ago for 6.5 million Euros. Second is Matt Miazga from Red Bulls to Chelsea a couple years ago for 4.6 million Euros. That's the functional equivalent of the five bucks you found in your jacket pocket.
   84. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 07, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5667804)
So you're saying that he even trolls -- or at least bullshits -- about things like this.


Yes. From today's conversation, he's pretty clearly and EPL masturbationist. Which, don't get me wrong. EPL is the world's premiere league for a reason. But aside from being a century older than most everyone else, and the clear talent advantage the prestige league on the planet draws, there are other elements at play with regard to why MLS chooses a playoff structure. One is tradition. Americans expect a regular season that leads to a big playoff finale. It's cultural, and a successful American soccer league has to have it. Period.

There's also real distinction in MLS regarding pace of play due to climate and travel requirements. The longest road trip in the EPL for the season that completes next weekend (Man City have already won the tables in dominating fashion, and without a playoff structure these games are only meaningful in that they're soccer matches in England) was from Newcastle to London. An hour and change in the air. On top of that, no EPL match is ever played in conditions like "summer in America." One of the most recent star imports into MLS, Zlatan Ibrahimovich, was discussing these things last week, and he's still never played in American heat conditions.
   85. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5667805)
The longest road trip in the EPL for the season that completes next weekend (Man City have already won the tables in dominating fashion, and without a playoff structure these games are only meaningful in that they're soccer matches in England)


There are plenty of still-meaningful matches because of European qualifying and relegation.

One of the most recent star imports into MLS, Zlatan Ibrahimovich,


Another geezer import.
   86. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5667807)
At what point do you pumpkins talk about first-world sports?
   87. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5667808)
Is that an influence/result of MLS being part of CONCACAF, do you think?


I'd imagine somewhat, yes. Fact of the matter is, American soccer fans have always had Mexico as our biggest rivals internationally, so the direct competition against Liga MX was natural and somewhat inevitable. But once MLS started positioning itself for South American talent that would traditionally go to Mexico, they sort of fell into a natural tier in the international order as well. MLS, from every action they've taken recently, is aiming to be the best and most prestigious league in the Western Hemisphere. If they get there, and continue to improve and see money start rolling in hand over fist (this would require a cratering of American football, IMHO), they might start looking at La Liga and Bundesliga as competition, but they are far removed from that. Much less the EPL.
   88. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5667809)
The pre-WWII PCL is analogous to MLS only if that PCL would have centrally dictated what team Freddy Adu Joe DiMaggio was to play for when another team held his draft rights. Total clown show.
   89. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5667811)
The pre-WWII PCL is analogous to MLS only if that PCL would have centrally dictated what team Freddy Adu Joe DiMaggio was to play for when another team held his draft rights.


We're talking about MLS, not the USL.
   90. Ishmael Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5667812)
That's interesting SBB. Selhurst Park is pretty consistently the best atmosphere in the Premier League, if not the country. And the Emirates is, of course, not. But de gustibus, particularly if you've got an 11 year old with you.

All I'd advise if you're likely to do something similar again, the stand that you are in is all important. Most clubs have a large stand behind one of the goals that used to be terraced back in the 70s and 80s, where the harder core supporters are. I think, as a neutral and with a kid, it'd be more fun to watch the Kop or Holmesdale Road Stand from across the stadium than sit in the middle of it.
   91. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5667813)
That's interesting SBB. Selhurst Park is pretty consistently the best atmosphere in the Premier League, if not the country.


Yeah, that's why I wanted to go and I could see myself going back. I was really looking forward to it. I ###### up on the seat purchase, that's all.(*) If I'd done better, we'd have had a blast. The general atmosphere at the games, with the organic and clever chants and songs and general loud dins, is really second-to-none.

(*) What goes around comes around. The year before, we went to Southampton/Norwich at St. Mary's, and I bought what seemed like ok seats and they wound up being like 10 rows off the field and virtual perfection.
   92. Ishmael Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5667814)
The longest road trip in the EPL for the season that completes next weekend (Man City have already won the tables in dominating fashion, and without a playoff structure these games are only meaningful in that they're soccer matches in England) was from Newcastle to London.

Newcastle to Bournemouth.
   93. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5667821)
Newcastle to Bournemouth.


My bad. I always forget Bournemouth.

For the record, that's 350 miles one way. About 100 miles less than the distance between Atlanta United and their CLOSEST rival, Orlando.
   94. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5667824)
Do we need this thread re-labeled as OOTP? No, that's taken. Maybe O-OTP-S?
   95. Lassus Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5667826)
I did not see any EPL matches while I was in London, but I did go see the ballet at the Royal Opera House. We're about 150 years removed from Opera House hooliganism. (Although there WAS a union protest outside the Opera House that night, for the cleaning staff. Which they very politely stop before curtain, apparently.)
   96. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5667827)
For the record, that's 350 miles one way. About 100 miles less than the distance between Atlanta United and their CLOSEST rival, Orlando.


Seven or eight of the Premier League teams also travel to Europe for Champions League or Europa League games.
   97. -- Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5667830)
Soccer in the US goes right to the essence of American exceptionalism-cum-"exceptionalism" and is therefore inherently political.
   98. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5667834)
Do we need this thread re-labeled as OOTP? No, that's taken. Maybe O-OTP-S?

The Yankees thread has devolved into talking about Star Wars and the Civil War.
   99. BDC Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5667835)
Notts County would be like if the Cincinnati Reds became a AA team in 1960. A few older timers taking about the glory days, back when that upstart Juventus club stole their jerseys

Just to continue the analogy, US college sports feature lots of schools that used to be national powers and are now playing for lower stakes. In football, the Ivy League and the service academies, of course, but even a program like Pittsburgh. Pitt was on top of the world 40 years ago, but their recent highlight, I see, was beating Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Bowl awhile back.

Basketball can be even more dramatic in that respect. My father went to DePaul when Ray Meyer was having his first run of glory there in the 1940s, and later was a faculty colleague of George Ireland's at Loyola of Chicago. When Loyola had their tournament this year, I was amused at people thinking of them as the little basketball team nobody'd ever heard of.
   100. Stormy JE Posted: May 07, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5667836)
.pilF
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