round up #24

what a weekend.

real madrid finally got over their scoring “drought” by slaughtering deportivo. tottenham staged another comeback win on the back of a van der vaart brace (i really, really hope this isn’t becoming a trend… it’s going to catch up with them eventually if so). and my sunday league team moved to the top of the table and i contributed two assists… riveting stuff, i know.

poor michael only has himself to blame for his current position of "benchwarmer."

so with the intent of not boring you to death with more , here’s a round up of some of the best stories i’ve come across in the last week that are not about tottenham, real madrid or my sunday league team.

michael owen is responsible for his non-selection at club and country –
i’m not sure how you feel about it, but doesn’t anyone else get sick of the eternal michael owen pity party? my wife certainly doesn’t, but that’s based on the fact that she secretly hopes her sympathy for him will magically cause him to leave his wife for her. either way, it always seems like she and everyone feels so bad for the former superstar because he never gets to play anymore and is always getting hurt.

author “flix & trix” at soccerlens agrees with me, and makes a great argument for why owen is in his current predicament. in a nutshell, everyone forgets that owen turned down other options to be the 3rd/4th choice striker for manchester united (oh damn the allure of elusive silverware), and since he’s not getting regular games for his club, he’s not getting a look from capello. i would go one further, and say that owen placed himself in this predicament at a far earlier point. his choice to leave for real madrid (double damn the allure of elusive silverware!) set the stage for where he is now.

no sense in crying over spilt milk now though, especially when it looks like houllier is on the prowl.

reunification retrospect –
i’ll be the first to admit it… my level of “expertise” in football does not go very far beyond england, spain and the U, S and A. i feel very self conscious about it to be honest. how can i run a blog about world football and not know more about other countries’ footballing landscape? i mean i should at least know more about the other major leagues.

i’ve learned through my years of following the game through anglo and hispanic perspectives, the best way to really understand a league and it’s country is to learn more about their histories. and in an effort to help not just myself learn more about other league, but all of you too, read this link. it gives you a cliff notes version of german football over the last 20 years, since the reunification of the country after the cold war. read it, and you can be an “expert” like me.

reborn new yourk cosmos have a kit but no team – dirty tackle @
first off… omg omg omg OMG!!! i don’t just want this shirt, i need it. it’s the the perfect retro-chic, modern design kit that umbro has been consistently pumping out the last year and a half. and nothing is more retro bad ass than cosmos. once we get past my drooling, several thoughts come to mind.

obviously, this is a brilliant little grass roots marketing ploy by umbro to further their (and nike’s) push to make the brand relevant again, taking advantage of their long standing relationship with pelé. it’s also a good way for the cosmos to throw some legitimacy into the club’s mls rebirth. but, that eventual push into mls means there is no possible way that the cosmos will get a kit this amazing. why? that newly renewed exclusive supplier contract with adidas… meaning they’ll get some bland, templeted design likely to prominently feature three green stripes down their shoulders. sad.

footballer told he is not famous enough to avoid jury service –
had captain carl been the skipper of say, a premier league side, i might be willing to grant a retard pass for trying to use celebrity status to get out jury duty. someone please remind this guy of his station in life. but what really sets me off about this is this is a somewhat related blurb from my real life.

supposedly lurking around cincinnati in recent weeks has been newcastle’s ryan taylor… or at least someone claiming to be newcastle’s ryan taylor. introduced to my wife by a mutual friend, the three of them had drinks together a few weeks back. according to the kid with a “convincing english accent” (according to my wife at least), he is flying back and forth between newcastle and ohio weekly as he makes a bid to sign for the columbus crew. of course from the moment i was told about this kid, i was googling the following holes into his armor:

  • the day he had drinks with my wife and friend, ryan taylor had scored a goal for the newcastle reserves. there are no direct flights between newcastle and cincinnati… logistics are looking shaky.
  • he’s english, yet “only drinks wine… preferably champagne.” have you ever met a brittish footballer who didn’t drink beer? or just a brit that didn’t drink beer? ummmm….
  • the transfer window was about to close; would i be wrong to imagine he and his agent would have been negotiating like crazy with columbus at that point?
  • he didn’t want them to talk loudly about soccer at the bar “because someone might recognize” him. he also claims that people are always mobbing him in cincinnati because of who he is. dude, thierry henry can take the train to work in freaking new york city and hardly anyone recognizes him, and he’s one of the best players of his generation. there are, collectively, probably only 25 people in all of ohio that even know that there is ryan taylor who plays for newcastle. nobody here cares if you are who you say you are.
  • why would a player who’s getting a growing number of regular premier league minutes leave for the columbus crew? that would be the equivalent of me ditching my real world sales job for a job as a mcdonald’s cashier.

tldr; you might want to find a new story to pick up girls buddy, because you’ve been made. and my apologies for the off-topic rant.

section 8 mario bros. display –
a while back i wrote a piece about how far mls had come, and how i was convinced of that by the amazing fan support and atmosphere that i experienced at a chicago fire play off game. and while i’ve long thought that chicaco’s section 8 supporters club were at the top of the pack when it comes to stateside supporters, i never thought i could more convinced. i was wrong.

the creativeness of this super mario display, aimed at the visiting seattle sounders, is amazing. see, the sounders are basically a giant advertising board for seattle based microsoft’s xbox… get it yet? xbox vs. ninetendo?

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