Posts Tagged ‘football

24
Jun
09

A Cinderella Story in June USA upsets Spain

If you are an avid football fan and follow the sport you think one of two things.  American football or everywhere else football better known as soccer in the neck of the woods that I am from.  For years and years the US national team and the MLS have been the laughing stock of the football world.  We have been the butt of all the jokes. There have been pushes time and time again to turn this sport into something which resembles European Football.  Time and time again we have failed. Yet every blind squirrel does find an acorn once in awhile.

This acorn, happened to be the grand daddy of them all painted in red and yellow.  Today the United States of America beat Spain at its own game.  As for me and probably the majority of the country, I did not get to watch the game, but did follow all the updates via the I Phone.  After the first goal, I was just waiting for the equalizer.  Then Spain go desperate playing at times with only one back while throwing everyone forward.  We broke their wall and went up two.  This was when I stated to think we really have a chance of upsetting the best football team in the world.

The sad part to all of this is the majority of Americans getting home from work right now, still do not know about the greatest win in American Soccer history.  Hopefully this will spark some sort of movement and create some sort of interest in soccer over here.  No not the thousands of rec leagues we have across the country, but something greater.  Possibly turning our MLS into something more than just a JV league.  Possibly being able to see great players stay over here and have great players from Europe and South America come over to play.  I know this is a long shot and will not happen over night, but a win like this could really push the movement.

All in all this tournament has been a tournament of upsets.  To say the story of the USA is a Cinderella story would be an understatement.  If I told you going into this tournament that Egypt would beat Brazil, and then the only way the USA could advance is if Italy lost 3 nill and Egypt lost 3 nill, well I probably would have been laughed at.  Yet all of this happened.  When was the last time Italy lost 3-0?  On top of this, could you imagine the betting line for the people who did throw down some money on the red white and blue (not France)?  I bet they made bank.  Will this Cinderella story continue or will the clock strike midnight?  Brazil showed some vulnerability against Egypt, maybe lighting can strike in the same place twice.   Needless to say this is a monumental day for American soccer.  Lets enjoy this one while it lasts.

Picture 5Picture 6

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26
Apr
09

Super Bowl for the Champions Cup

Roger Goodel (Chairman of the NFL) has acknowledged that talks have been going on in regards to holding the Super Bowl in London some time in the future.  There has already been success in playing football in England.  In 2007 the New York Giants played the Miami Dolphins at Wembley stadium in front of a sold out crowd of 80,000 fans.  It was deemed a success, and now the NFL wants to go bigger and better.

Ello Govnah

Ello Govnah

The theory behind moving the Super Bowl over the pond for a season would be to expand its interest over seas and make it a more global game.  I have discussed this idea with some major football fans, and it has not been accepted with arms wide open.  I have yet to hear an legit argument against the idea.

I think that it would be awesome to move the big game over to England for various reasons.  As we all know the Super Bowl is the only sport out of the big three to play just one game.  That means the chances of you, going to the game are slim.  What makes it even slimmer is the fact that if your team makes it to the Super Bowl, well the odds are they are not playing on their home turf.  Due to the fact that they change the location each year and that it is only one game with no home field advantage, then it makes the transition to the Queens backyard that much easier.

In the NBA all star game this past year there were five international players.  In the MLB all star game there were twenty plus international players. How many international guys were in the Pro Bowl?  Out side the United States football is huge, just not our football, the original football aka soccer.  What if we were getting international talent in the NFL similar to the NBA.  Look at what Dirk, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, or Time Duncan have done for the NBA.  Now imagine what that could do for Americas biggest sport.  Imagine what it would do for the popularity of the sport world wide.  Look at what the International guys have done to baseball and basketball.  They have progressed the game and made it a world wide phenomenon.

Do you think there are Pop Warner leagues in Europe?  No, there are not.  I think it is crazy that soccer in the United States is miles ahead of what American football is in England.  If moving the Super Bowl to England could spark some interest to young Britts over there, that would be awesome.  It would be a start and indeed it would be great for the game.  I just hope that the NFL will not throw this idea out.  Goodel has done great things for the NFL so far, this one would be amazing.

I think that if we do let the Britts host our biggest event of the year, then they should return the favor.  I am asking them to play the finals of the Champions cup over here.  How amazing would that be, and think how much that would grow soccer out here.  You could hold it in the new Cowboys stadium or even the Rose Bowl.  Sell out the stadium broadcast the hell out of it and let the Brits show us how Soccer is truly done.

To sum things up, the Super Bowl in England is an awesome idea.  It would advance the sport and indeed make it more global.  Years down the road we will get more foreign players in the NFL advancing the game even more and making it that much better.  If we give them our big game then they should return the favor with the Champions Cup finals. 

If you are still not with me, I ask you this.  How many Super Bowls have you had the chance to attend? How many times has the Super Bowl been in your home town with your home team?  Does the location of the Super Bowl effect your viewing habits?  There will still be Super Bowl Sunday, you can still have that party, you can still cheer on your favorite team, the only difference is that before the game we will hear not only the Star Spangled Banner but God Save the Queen as well.

Super Bowl for Champions Cup,

London or bust-

02
Mar
09

What were you doing in 1997?

As an American today is a sad day.  chartThe DJI (Dow Jones Industrial Average) dropped below 7000 points for the first time since 1997.  Lets look back at the times.   In 1997 Bill Clinton was the president, OJ Simpson a exiled Brentwoodian was found liable in a civil court case for the death of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.  

President Clinton

President Clinton

On February 13 1997 the DJI closed above 7,000 points for the first time ever.  Tara Lipinski becomes the worlds youngest figure skating champion at the age of 14.  The Hale-Bopp comet made its closeset approach to earth thus triggering the mass suicide of the Heavens Gate cultists. The university of Arizona went on to win the NCAA championship led by star point guard Mike Bibby.  Washington Sate played in the Rose Bowl, UCLA played in the Cotton Bowl, ASU played in the Sun Bowl, Washington played in the Aloha Bowl, Arizona played in the Insight.com Bowl, Oregon played in the Las Vegas Bowl, and USC well they were not good back then.  The Heisman was Charles Woodson.  Peyton Manning, Ryan Leaf, Randy Moss, and Ricky Williams were up for the running.   The Green Bay Packers lost to the Denver Broncos.  Tony Blair was appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.  Timothy McVeigh was convicted in Colorado for the Oklahoma City bombing.  For you hockey fans the Detroit Red Wings won their first Stanley Cup in 42 years.  NASA’s pathfinder probe landed on Mars.  Steve Jobs returned to Apple Computer Inc.  Microsoft bought $150 million shares of the troubled Apple Computer.  Maybe Microsoft can return the favor? Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a high speed chase.  Several weeks later 2 billion people worldwide tuned in to watch the ceremony.  Mother Teresa died of heart failure and is truly missed.  The Florida Marlins beat the Cleveland Indians. Way to trade away your whole team the following year.  In Des Moines Iowan Bobbi McCaughey gave birth to septuplets (7) and the first in which all 7 survived infancy.  I wonder if she was single, tried to make herself look like Angelina Jolie, and had 6 previous kids?  James Cameron’s Titanic was premiered in December and broke records world wide.  The Bulls beat the Jazz in 6 games.  Game five MJ had his infamous flu game where he dropped 38 points in 44 minutes and had to be helped off the court by Scottie Pippen.  

The best little man medium size man combo in the game.  Kobe and Shaq have the best big man little man combo in the game. 

 

Notorious BIG was killed in a drive by shooting in Los Angeles.

Notorious

Notorious

 

 

The top 10 songs in 1997 were

  1.  Candle in the Wind (Sir Elton John)
  2. Foolish Games (Jewl)
  3. Ill be missing you (Puff Daddy)
  4. Un Break my Heart (Toni Braxton
  5. Can’t nobody hold me down (Puff Daddy)
  6. I believe I can fly (R Kelly)
  7. Dont let go (En Vogue)
  8. Return of the Mack (Mark MOrrison
  9. How Do I live  (LeAnn Rimes)
  10. Wannabe (Spice Girls)

And the Oscars go to

Best Picture

  • As Good as It Gets
  • The Full Monty
  • Good Will Hunting
  • L.A. Confidential
  • Titanic

 

Actor Leading Role

  • Matt Damon, Good Will Hunting
  • Robert Duvall, The Apostle
  • Peter Finda, Ulee’s Gold
  • Dustin Hoffman, Wag the Dog
  • Jack Nicholson, As Good as It Gets

Actress Leading Role

  • Helena Bonham Carter, The Wings of the Dove
  • Julie Christie, Afterglow
  • Judi Dench, Mrs. Brown
  • Helen Hunt, As Good as It Gets

It’s crazy to think back to 1997.  I was in 7th grade at the ripe age of 12 years old.  I did not know what the Dow Jones was nor did I care.  I was stoked that the bulls won because who cannot like Michael Jordan.  

Rookie

Rookie

Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher were  Rookies for the Lakers and Shaq had just come over from the Magic.  Kobe would go on to air ball three crucial shots in a row for his first playoff game.  Luckily he got that out of his system and has become the most clutch player in the NBA.  Iverson, Camby, Ray Allen, Stephon Marburry, Jermain Oneal, and Stojakovic were among the top rookies in the league.  The Dodgers still had Tommy Lasorda as their Manager and Bret Buttler was starting in Center field.  We had Mike Piazza ($7,000,000.00), Eric Karros ($4,500,000.00)  Raul Mondesi (2,700,000.00) , Hideo Nomo (900,000.00), and Todd Holandsworth ($550,000.00).  Back to back to back to back to back ROY’s.  Nice scouting Dodgers.  Manny check out those numbers…….

 

So back to the present.  Yes it sucks that the economy is in the shitter.  It will get better with time just like a nice wine.  Enjoy the moment because it will pass all to quick.  1997 was a great year and so will this one.  

On that note I will leave you with one last piece of history.  Number 13 on the music chart was Hanson with Ummm Bop.  I think that it is fair to say that they came back with dark brown hair and a new title.  I present to you the Jonas Brothers…..Anybody with me on that????

27
Jan
09

Oakland my second favorite sports town

If you think of Oakland sports the first thing that comes to mind is minor league. This is not meant as an insult to the fans of the Warriros, Raiders, and A’s. Two of the three teams I have just named off are wonderful franchises with some of the best fans in the game consisting of the Raiders and A’s. I still have images of Latrell Sprewell choking out coach PJ.

Check out his highlights on You Tube....The dude had game

Check out his highlights on You Tube....The dude had game

The reason for the minor league comment is due to the fact that in recent years being the last eight or so they have had some great teams and players but can never repeat in back to back seasons cause they trade everyone away. Lets look at the Warriors first.
The Golden State Warriors is probably the least popular of the three franchises in the Oak Town. Yet with their historic upset of number one seed Dallas Mavericks several years ago in the first round playoffs, they got the city behind their back and started believeing. Snoop even made an apperances reppin the city of Oaks. He still has his Lakermobile thou.
I can still see it in my head today after taking out Dallas in the first round and going to a game seven against Utah. The highlight of that series was not the fact that Utah won in seven games but one of the most filthy dunks I have witnessed.
Self proclaimed B-Diddy took the ball baseline and eleveated against one of the top shot blockers in the NBA. A-K 47 (who might have the coolest nick name in the NBA. He is number 47 and his initials are AK Andre Kerlinko for all you non NBAers). Barron jumped as though he were wearing the same PF Fliers that Benny the Jet Rodriguez wore when getting chased by the Beast. He just kept elevating and cocked that ball so far back  AK was doomed to be on this poster. Finally once he reached the apex of his jump he threw it down and absoultly posterized Kerlinko almost as bad as Carter posterized the ever so famous French men Fred Weis. Everyone at Oracle arena went bonkers. After a tough game seven loss spurred by an emotional come back from Utahs Derek Fisher and the emergence of Deron Williams, those we believe shirts slowly drifted out of sight.
Looking at the Warriors line up the following year, it was completely different. They traded away Jason Richardson as well as some other key names and broke the chemistry of the team up. The following year they sent Baron Davis to the LA’s JV team and relied on the star power on Monte Ellis who has missed the first half of this season with a fateful basketball, I mean moped accident.
The Warriors have traded away J-Rich, B-Diddy, D-Fish, Mike Dunleavey, Troy Murphy, and other select names.
The Oakland A’s, what a great time to be in Oakland when they had Eckersly on the mound with Henderson leading off and Canseco and McGwire batting three and four. The bash brothers swept across the nation along with probably the grass roots of the hand jive.

Look how skinny McGwire is then....

Look how skinny McGwire is then....

That forearm to forearm bump was dope. I am bringing it back. These guys were good. Being a native Los Angelonian the A’s are part of my favorite sports memory envolving an injured Kirk Gibson and an ace of a pitcher Dennis Eckersley. We don’t need to go down memory lane and relive Gibsons shot over right but it still gives me goose bumps today. (LA you need to sign MANNY) Back to the A’s.
Do you remember the division series against the Yankees where a very unathlectic Jeremy GIambi rounded third and a very athlectic A-Rod (even though I hate the Yankees) made a play that still blows my mind? Two reasons for this, how did A-Rod know that the throw was going to be there and why did Giambi not slide wide and tag home base with his hand? If GIambi had been running the bases head up and slid wide then there would have been no way for Posada to get that tag down and the A’s would have gone to the ship. Anyhow that was a great run and the A’s were clearly the best team. Look at who the A’s have traded leading up to and since then Giambi, Harden, Tejada, Swisher, Zito, Thomas, and to many others to remember. What did they do the following year. Yup they traded away all their players, and slowly sank to the bottom of the cellar.
Finally the Raiders. I think that Al Davis could be the worst thing that has ever happened to the city of Oakland. This guy has wasted so many draft pickes and gone through coaches faster than a kid goes through tighty whities while potty training. The Raiders are the most followed sports franchise in the country and they still suck. Al Davis is worried about one thing and one thing only. Number one, himself. It is a disgrace that they moved the club to Los Angeles. USC and UCLA football drew larger crowds than the Raiders. It was smart to move back to the Collesum but geeze Al Davis needs to go if that franchise ever wants a shot at winning another super bowl.
One last plea, owners of Oakland ball clubs, if you have a good team, keep it in tact, don’t trade your star players away. If it doesn’t work try again. When the Lakers lost in the finals did you see them go and trade Kobe away? NO. When the Dodgers lost in the division series did you see them go and not resign Manny? Well I guess we will just have to wait and see on that one.
Oakland my second favorite sports city, keep believing-

25
Jan
09

How to solve the BCS

So, for how many years now has there been a valid argument as to who should play in the BCS championship game? As far as I know this has been around since the system came into play. Every year there is not a clear-cut champion.
Before I start to bash the BCS and everything it stands for lets look at the positives. The biggest benefit of this system is ratings. It makes every game throughout the season important. Lets use USC as an example. Not many will argue that they were one of the top three teams in the country this year. USC had a bad loss against Oregon State and for the rest of the year they relied on other teams to get them to the Championship game. This did not work out and USC had to settle for playing in the Rose Bowl.
Under the system that I propose there will still be importance on every game you play as well as settle a true champion. We should keep the BCS ratings. At the end of the regular season you then have the top four teams play in a tournament like setting. The number one plays the four and the number two plays the three. The winner of these two games goes on to play the BCS Championships and the losers play for third and fourth place.
This will counter the argument that a basketball like playoff would be to long and hard on the players because it will only add one more game to the season to the top four teams. It will establish a clear-cut winner and there will be no more debate for who is truly champions.
One last loophole to cover for the solution. This year Boise state and Utah had incredible records both almost going undefeated. They had a somewhat valid argument in that they should be considered for the BCS title game. Their strength of schedule was nowhere near an SEC, Big 12, or Pac 10 team though. In order to solve this move both Utah and Boise state into the Pac 10 and turn it into the Pac 12. Then with this format you can have a true conference championship game like the SEC, Big 12, and other schools. The Pac 12 North would consist of UW, WSU, UO, OSU, BS, and Utah. The Pac 12 South would have Cal, Stanford, USC, UCLA, UofA, and ASU. This would solve all problems and give the Pac 12 a conference game, strengthen their schedule, and give one more week to impress the BCS judges.

Here we go Gaels football –

24
Jan
09

Why Football is the most popular sport in the country

Baseball, Americas past time is a great sport but at times it gets a bit slow, basketball probably the fastest moving sport we watch yet catch the last five minutes of the game and you are set. Football, why is it the most popular sport in the USofA?
Ever since I was young football has been my least favorite sport out of the big three. I don’t know if it was due to the fact that my hometown did not have a team or that I am just a bit odd. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy watching the sport, but I don’t really follow it unless it is the playoffs or college football.
Why does the sport that starts and stops more times in three hours than you local postman does on his daily route get so much love? I have come to several conclusions. Men are very barbaric. We don’t ask for directions even though we are lost and have no clue where the hell we are going. We all say we can lift more than we really can, and then when it comes time to show it we go for it and somehow jack ourselves up but wont admit that we are hurt. We eat meat and drink beer just like the cave men did. Finally we like big hits.
This year I have watched more football than in the past strictly for one reason. The athletes out there are freaks of nature. They are bigger than a grizzly bear coming off of hibernation yet have the agility of a black panther. These guys probably put Lebron James athletic ability to question. These guys absolutely put licks on each other. This season has been full of heavy hard hitting.
My second reason this sport is number one is due to the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl as we all know is played at a neutral site and consist of one game and has a killer half time show. What a concept, one game to decide the champion. Not seven but one. Imagine the pressure of playing in this game knowing that this is the only opportunity to win. You don’t have the ability to have an off day. You have to bring your A game to the table.
I think that the NBA and the MLB should adopt this policy.
Pick a neutral site, make a whole day out of the event, have a huge half time show, and let the players go at it just one time. How many World Series or NBA Finals parties have you been to? Imagine the feeling of having a game seven without having to go through the ups and downs of the previous six. I guarantee ratings would be through the roof, new fans would be captured, and the leagues would be stronger than ever.
As great of an idea this is, it will never happen. The sole reason this can only be a fantasy for the MLB and NBA, is because of greedy owners. If each playoff series were one game then that would reduce the season potentially by 18 playoff games including the finals. Cutting out 18 games of a season is having 18 games less of fans selling out the stadium and networks broadcasting 18 games worth of television. Damn

Greedy ass owners-

23
Jan
09

Athletic Club Los Angeles

I consider myself an aficionado when it comes to professional sports. ESPN is my homepage and 90 percent of the time when the TV is on its some sort of sports. Over the past couple of days I have been playing a lot of Fifa (soccer for you non European sports fans) for the PS3. The game is awesome and highly responsible for increasing my knowledge of the football world. The team I am currently playing with is FC Barcelona. I was curious what the FC in the name stood for. I went online to FCBARCELONA.COM and found out that it stands for football club.   

FC Barcelona Shield

FC Barcelona Shield

While I was browsing the website I found out that Barcelona is not only a football club but basketball, handball, field hockey, baseball, cycling, rugby, wheelchair basketball, volleyball, ice hockey, and a figure skating club. Under one name and one company there are a ton of sports. Imagine the pride that the town of Barcelona has for their ten teams under one name. It’s like being in a college or high school all over again. 

What if we had this set up over here in the states? Think of the Dodgers, Lakers, Galaxy, Kings, and well since we don’t have a football team USC (sorry UCLA but you guys just suck) play together under one name. It could be AC (athletic club) LA. Doesn’t that just flow off of the tongue. ACLA. Think of the powerhouse Boston would be having the Celtics, BoSox, Patriots, Bruins, and Revolution. They could be called Boston United, but you get my point. 

This would unite baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, and football fans. It would more than likely increase ratings across the board because the teams shield would be on the line and more importantly it would be a city thing. Think about your college experience and if you did not go to college think high school. No matter what sporting event it was you were full of school pride. Every team wearing the same colors, name, and school logo. Every sporting result was a direct reflection of you and your pride. In college I watched everything from Rugby to women’s Lacrosse. It wasn’t my passion for the sport that brought me there it was for the Pride of my school.

Think outside the box……. Long live ACLA… 

Catch ya on the flip side…….

Thomas




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