New Contest: Champions League Pick’em

Everybody likes free stuff, especially if that free stuff includes the opportunity to talk smack to friends and enemies. We figured the relaunch of Soccerati.com was a worthy occasion to give something away for just a little effort. All you need do is be able to pick more winners during the Champions League then everyone else.

ESPN is running a Champions League Pick’em contest from the first match through the entire campaign. If you finish with the most points when the latest champion is crowned, we will ship you a jersey from your favorite club. If that club happens to be in the MLS, we reserve the right to mock you while still providing you with free stuff.

The first match is September 18th so get your picks in now. The group is unlocked so players can join later but they will be at a disadvantage (yet still likely to beat most of the Yanks entered). Pass it along, the fun is open to all.

ESPN Champions League Pick’em
Group name: Soccerati.com
Password: soccerati2012 (case sensitive)

Good luck and see you in there.

Liverpool Fan Freed 4 Years after Conviction for Victory Celebration-turned-Attempted Murder

I didn’t know the original story, but found it kinda interesting to learn how Michael Shields was convicted for the attempted murder of a Bulgarian man after a Liverpool Champions League victory.

Shields — 22 now, 18 at the time he was fingered as the chap who dropped a concrete slab on the head of Martin Georgiev — became the first Brit to receive a Royal Pardon for a crime committed overseas.

He gave a statement upon his release, saying after spending four years in British and Bulgarian prisons for a crime he didn’t commit:

“I knew I would never walk alone.”

Hi, Teams That Will Lose to EPL Clubs in the Champions League!

Champions League Final 2008

The group stage draws for the Champions League are in, and barring a few exceptions, the Premiership clubs again look like the favorites to make deep runs. In case you don’t feel like doing anything strenuous (like clicking a link), here’s some of the more interesting opening round pairings:

Inter and Barcelona in in Group F
Real Madrid and AC Milan in Group C
Unirea Urziceni and VfB Stuttgart in Group G

Wait a minute…

Fox Trumps ESPN

ESPN just lost the rights for Champions League games in the US to FSC. Frankly there are pros and cons to this development.  With the increased revenue FSC will definitely improve their coverage of the sport.  On ESPN’s side this may force the largest sports channel in the US to focus more on the MLS to fill the soccer hole that now exists in their lineup.  ESPN cannot ignore the growing Hispanic audience in this country and not have soccer somehow on its channel.  Strangely enough ESPN lost out on a bid to televise games in England itself not too long ago.  Wonder if Rupert is putting a full court press on the Bristol outfit.