Something Great

Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Looney Toons

Read this story from the BBC.

Before I get into the story I first wanted to comment on the writing and general professionalism over at ESPNsoccernet. I've been noticing for quite some time now that the pictures Soccernet puts up on its front page to break a story are often times ridiculous. A few weeks ago when Tevez signed his big deal for United, they posted a picture of him celebrating after a goal looking absolutely crazy. You're going to have to trust me when I say that it was much, much less flattering than this one. Now I understand he's not the most photogenic footballer on the planet, but this is not the first time they've posted a purposely unflattering picture. Since I'm lazy and didn't take screen shots all the times I noticed an exceptionally ridiculous photo, I can only mention that you look out for it in the future.

I have also started to note more and more that the writing at soccernet is horribly underwhelming. Much like Wayne Rooney, I can't remember the last time a story has impressed me. The irony is ripe within this criticism as of course you, our reader, begins to think, "well I can't remember the last time you impressed me either!" Seriously though, when's the last time you read something like, "As I examine the stars, I see Leo rising, Scorpio waning, Jupiter in the seventh house, and just a whole bunch of complete and utter nonsense which tells me that Raymond Domenech isn't fit to coach in my old Olivette soccer league," on Espn? Your answer is very likely to be, never.

Similarly, I don't understand any of the humor they insert when I detect traces of it in their stories. And don't tell me that I don't understand English humor - I've always maintained that the UK version of the Office is better than our version of it. It's just that when they try to be funny, they're not, very reminiscent of Carlos Mencia. And hopefully I'm not in the minority here because it's something I've noticed since Jimbo and I started this blog. (I knew Mencia wasn't funny the first time I heard him).

I think this story typifies what I'm trying to say - and for the record, I found this story after I decided to write this. The picture is funny for a second, but then when you realize you wasted your time reading the story, the joke is suddenly on you.

Anyway, back to the story at hand. Jim touched on this subject in a previous post but clearly poop has hit the fan. Or rather, poop has hit the fans (get it!)...

Delirious fans aggravate the hell out of me. It's one of the many reasons I hate Boston sports, hated on Liverpool fans last year, and have current beef with Castlers. What's beef you may ask? Beef is when you have a billionaire owner willing to shake things up, and the fans want more. Beef is when Mike Ashley learned the hard lesson not to mix business and pleasure - cough, Arthur Blank, John Edwards, cough. But in this modern business tragedy, there was actually a catharsis, rather than Chapter 11.

Mike Ashley put the team up for sale and fired right back at the delirious unknowing fans of sodom and gamorrah. (I'm thoroughly convinced of this analogy by the way, make it work and its funny... mostly the sodomy part).

So what Juan? You ranted for several long paragraphs, distracting me from my ever important work, and for what?
Well I wanted you to remember that this type of thing does not happen. A, "phyuck you guys" of this magnitude has never happened. This type of thing is something a fantasy football commissioner would do, not a billionaire owner. The fans thought they knew better. They couldn't understand why NewCastle wasn't part of the big four. They wanted King Kev, who might very well be a good coach on the field, but a terrible manager off of it. They pretended to know what happens behind closed doors and Mike Ashley finally had enough and let this small, beautiful emotion do the talking - vindication.

Oh NewCastle nation, you know not what you do. And hey, I might be wrong, I might be way over the top here - English soccer is a relatively new thing to me. But maybe that's what lets me see clearly. And something I've learned is that nobody is guaranteed relevance. Ask Leeds United, ask major league baseball in the mid 90s, ask Jeremy Roenick.

So go yee Castle fans, mobilise and fix all your problems. Revitalize Michael Owen to late 1990s form. Rehabilitate that disrespectful thug Joey Barton with all your cheers and praise. See if Mike Ashley cares.


Ben said...

First, why were you up so early?

Second, I think this newcastle issue is something all fans are faced with. To take it away from soccer specifically, let's look at baseball, hockey, and football.

Let's start with baseball. I expect the Cardinals to win every year (excluding exemptions given because we won in 06, which was awesome). However, I had no interest in going after AJ Burnett, or will have no interest in going after K-rod, even with our bad bullpen. The added wins is not worth the money. However, I think many fans do not think that way, and want the team to put the best team possible. Moreover, they see teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, etc. spend millions of dollars, they see their rosters, and wish their team did it too. Now I think this is less so in STL than other cities, but I think it's understandable.

Now let's take the Blues. They suck, and while there is a cap, they still suck. I've lost interest, and I'm a decent fan, so what about all of the other fans. Maybe if i was in STL, i'd have more interest, but by not spending the money (the Lauries, I'm looking at you post-lockout), they lost their fanbase. This is disastrous. Lucky for the Blues the new ownership is doing a good job and they have a strong fanbase that will come back.

And what about football. Michigan sucks - but they get a free pass, right? But I still want them to get the best talent possible. Sure they don't 'pay' them explicitly, but they do pay them, either through winter coats which come back to ruin a basketball national championship for someone who can't remember how many timeouts his team has, or through being drafted early. But as a Fan, I want the best team, and if everyother team is getting the best players, why aren't we?

So I understand the anger and frustration. First, fans want results now. If I'm paying who knows how many pounds for season tickets, why should I wait a whole season or two until we're good. But if I don't renew my tickets, I'm back on the waiting list. I want a product now.

I think the fan is justified, especially as their pockets get squeezed tighter, and all they know is that some billionaire wants to save a couple of million. Finally, in this era of the premier league when teams that have a sugar daddy (tottenham and now Man City) are the only way to compete with the big four. It begs the question, what's the point of cheering for a team that can't win the title. Are you cheering not to be relegated? Do you only care about the FA Cup or that other crappy cup? Do you only care about the young players that cut their teeth on your team, and go on to do better elsewhere?

Anyway, i don't have much to do today since a meeting was cancelled, so there ya have it.

Jim said...

Thank you Juan for the shout-out. I agree, ESPN has bizarre and uneven coverage of the sport. It's like they think the whole thing should be written about with bad puns.