Entries in Soccer (3)

Wednesday
Aug292012

Roger Goodell's NFL has Turned the Wolf into a Futbol Fan

Im not a fan of Roger Goodell or his new brand of NFL football.  Goodell is a PR Czar kind of guy who has decided to mold the NFL brand into his own image.  Ignoring, universal rule #1, if it aint broke dont try and fix it, Goodell is building a kinder gentler product on the field while ruling with an iron fist from his office in Manhatten.

Thanks to Roger Ive discovered original English football, a game we call soccer in America.  Ive had a casual interest in soccer since high school but now with the miracle of the Internet and Directv, I can become as informed a fan as the most fanatic hooligan in Manchester. I can watch live games just about everyday if Im so inclined.

Barclays English Premier League is futbol at the highest level.  The EPL is able to attract the best players in the world.  But there are also excellent leagues in Europe and throughout the world. La Liga, UEFA, Bundesliga, Serie A and countless others.

Football, Futbol, Soccer is truly the Worlds favorite sport.  Most Americans however could care less about the great game.  But fortunately for me, Im not one of those and the more I get into football, espeically the EPL and UEFA, it the more I like it. 

The more I hear from Roger Goodell, the less I like the NFL.  Today the NFL announced that replacement officials will be working the first regular season game.  Roger Goodell is arrogant enough to believe that you are stupid enough to believe that anyone can officiate an NFL game. 

Just ask Jerry Jones who said he could find 500 coaches to replace Jimmy Johnson and still win.  In a way Jerry was correct.  The Cowboys have won a single playoff game in the last 15 years.  And guess what, the Cowboys are still the second most valuable sporting franchise in the world (behind Manchester United).  The Networks still give the Cowboys more coverage than any team in the League and the Cowboys franchise is still the most liked and most hated in the NFL. Jerry is making money and he thanks you for your support.

Goodell is gambling that he can do the same with the rest of the NFL.  See David Stern over at the NBA for details.  

Dont get me wrong, I will watch the Cowboys games and some of the other NFL games available Sunday, Monday and now Thursday.  Ill be watching college football too.  Im a sports fan.  I love the drama, the unpredictably and the low cost entertainment that sports played at the highest level provide.  I admire and respect the talent and skills of the players and coaches. 

However, I dont look to the players as role models no more than I look at actors in that manner.  Their job is to be the best they can at what they do while entertaining the rest of us.  I dont care what their politics are, dont care if they go to strip clubs or run around on their wives or even if they pay their taxes or hit their mamas.  I dont care how much they are paid and dont care that most of them will be broke within five years of leaving the game.

I do care that Roger Goodell thinks Im an idiot and I do care that hes a hypocrite. He punished the New Orleans Saints to make an example out of them. Yet the Saints were doing what every NFL team has been doing for the last 75 years.  He decided to make an example out of them so he (and his league) would look good. 

Political correctness is a cancer found every where these days.  See Bud Selig and Barry Bonds or Lance Armstrong and USADA for details.  Armstrong was doing what all the cyclists were doing at the time.  So was Barry Bonds.  Take away Armstrongs seven Toure de France wins and give them to other confirmed dopers.  Oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Throw Barry Bonds under the bus to make youself feel better about allowing steroids to save baseball after the strike.  Yeah, thats the ticket. 

But guess what, I dont care.  I enjoy watching LeToure and dont care about any of the riders legacies. I still watch baseball and dont care about the steroids era one way or the other.   I watch to be entertained just like some of you watch ghost hunting, reality shows or Mexican soap operas.  Each to his own.

Thanks to the miracle of a 60 inch HD (and sometimes 3D) TV, I watch from the comfort of my Lazy Boy.  Cowboys Stadium is just 12 miles from my Lazy Boy and even if Jerry Jones gave me 50 yard line tickets, I have a better seat at the Wolf Den. Ah, the miracle of technology

But for those of you who still like to attend games, Roger Goodell has some new rules in play.  Dont get pissed at those replacement refs and attract the attention of one of those minimum wage yellow jacket security morons.

Roger has instituted a new policy in which fans ejected from a stadium will be required to take a 4 hour online course before they are allowed to return to an NFL facility.  I kid you not.

According to ESPN the course focuses on drinking, anger management and crude behavior.  If an ejected fan (there were around 7,000 last season) does not complete the course and is found on stadium property, he or she will be arrested.  Now you know why they call it the No Fun League. 

If I wanted to take bullshit online political correctness courses, I would have hung on with the federal government for a few more years. At least they paid me to waste my time learning how to be PC.

Oh well. Not for me to worry.  I may be an old man but Im a new fan of the beautiful game of football.  Its easier to crack the code on an offside pass in futbol than pass interference in the NFL. There are games to watch everyday if Im so inclined, thanks to FOX Soccer, BEin Sports, GOL-TV and ESPN.   Its all about options.  Life is Good even with Goodell, who cant rain on my parade even with replacement officals. 

Not for nothing, but if you are inclined to wage on regular season NFL games officiated by NCAA Division 2 refs at best,  Lingerie Bowl refs at worst, youve got too much money, too little sense or a gambling problem. Of course you are going to wager, thats the reason America loves football as much as England loves football. Take the UNDER 9.5 wins for the Cowboys this season.  Yeah, they gonna suck again this year. See the Texas Longhorns for details. Boomer Sooners!

Have a Bonzer Day!

Sunday
Jul172011

Japan Shocks USA in FIFA World Cup Final

Well, that was exciting, shocking, and ultimately sad if youre a fan of USA Womens World Cup Soccer. The USA Women played a game that should have been 3 to 1, but it wasnt. With every USA miss, Japan gained confidence.

Nobody gave Japan a chance but they had knocked off Germany. Then, against a favored Swedish team, they just plain clobbered them.  And now, as they say, half the part of life is just showing up. Japan showed up, then realized they could win, and just barely did.

Japan won because of the penalty kick round. I didnt expect Hope Solo to miss twice. Didnt expect any of the USA women to miss on scoring in the penalty kick round. In all, it was just plain shocking.

But give it to our USA Womens Soccer Team, they electrified this country.  They produced a lot of excitement, and gained many new fans, boasting interest in Soccer in the United States.

During the match, four of the top ten Twitter trending topics were related to this World Cup Final.

Wednesday
Jul132011

"Miracle On Grass"- Soccer Catching On In Vegas Sports Books 

Megan Rapinoe to Abby Wambach and the header is the Miracle on Grass that launched U.S. womens soccer back into the nations consciousness.  Team USA overcame subpar FIFA officiating by an Australian referee, including a red card, having to go with 10 players to rally and tie Brazil, 2-2. Team USA then advanced to the semifinals by virtue of penalty kicks.

For Las Vegas sports books, the second Wednesday in July used to be Christmas Day. Falling after Major League Baseballs All-Star game, it was the only square on the calendar without big events to captivate bettors or TV audiences.

Soccer and women have changed that.

South American soccer championship Copa America and the made-for-TV game between Manchester United and the New England Revolution are generating action in Las Vegas. Four WNBA games and two Copa America games are on the boards of the Mirage/MGMs 12 sports books, and the Man U-New England game will be on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

It used to be (today) was the day that everyone could relax, take a deep breath and take a break, said Andrew Patterson, of Las Vegas Sports Consultants, the citys dominant oddsmaker. But you do have some important games.

Those events, however, will take a backseat stateside to the suddenly scorching Womens World Cup, in which the U.S. plays France today in the semifinals at 10:30 a.m. CDT.  This is the first time that Las Vegas Sports Consultants has set odds on the womens tournament.

That game will probably have as much (bet on it) as what we do on a baseball game, said Jeff Stoneback, manager of the Mirage Sports Book.

A few trends are converging to stretch the TV-and-betting sports calendar to a full 365 days a year.

One, soccer is taking hold as a spectator sport in the U.S. as never before. Thats due in part to the emergence of Major League Soccer as a viable fifth major league, but also to the increased popularity of televised European league games.

Two, although the WNBA still struggles commercially last seasons average attendance (8,134) was about 1,500 less than the inaugural 1997 seasons (9,669) championship and international womens sports events have shown to produce significant betting and ratings.

The United States stunning comeback against Brazil on ESPN on Sunday produced the third-highest Womens World Cup rating ever, behind only the 1999 final between the U.S. and China, and the 99 semifinal against Brazil.

Three, ESPNs expanding empire is broadcasting more of everything, including womens sports and soccer. If youre on the Worldwide Leader, America is watching.

Twenty years ago the Mirage posted almost no soccer odds. Demand from international tourists means that now, Stoneback said, you can come into our book almost any day of the year and bet on soccer.